Experts on cannabis

Human and Social Development, Social Sciences

The following University of Victoria experts are available to media for perspective on cannabis legalization. 

Susan Boyd (Public Health and Social Policy) teaches courses on drug law and policy, theory and research methodology in the Faculty of Human and Social Development. Boyd was a member of the national Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation and is a member of the steering committee for the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition. Boyd is the author of several scholarly articles and books, most recently Busted, An Illustrated History of Drug Prohibition in Canada. Boyd works with national and community organizations that advocate for drug policy reform and harm reduction initiatives. (Boyd is available to media by phone at 250-721-8203 or email at

Tim Stockwell (CISUR) is the director of UVic’s Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research and a professor in the Department of Psychology. He has published more than 400 academic papers, book chapters and monographs on substance use, including the recent Canadian Substance Use Costs and Harms (CSUCH) report. He can speak to the public health implications of cannabis legalization, as well as the costs and harms of cannabis and other substance use in Canada. (Stockwell is available to media by phone at 250-472-5445 or email at ) 

Bonnie Leadbeater (Psychology) is an expert in adolescent behaviour and high-risk behaviour in youth. She can comment on the patterns of use and effects of cannabis from adolescence to young adulthood, including impacts on mental and physical health, driving, substance co-use and abuse, and educational and occupational outcomes. Her studies show that youth who engage in high-risk patterns of use (chronic or increasing use over this life stage) have poorer outcomes. (Leadbeater is available to media at 250-721-7523 or email at 

Dan Reist (CISUR) is the director of knowledge exchange with CISUR. He and his team have been working on Let’s Talk Cannabis, a national project designed to facilitate community dialogues around cannabis in light of legalization. He also leads Helping Schools, a continuing project aimed at assessing evidence, identifying promising practices, developing resources to support effective responses to substance use, and providing consultation and support to educators and their partners—parents, health professionals and others in the school community. (Reist is available to media by phone at 604-408-7753 x2231 or email at 

Russell Callaghan (CISUR) is a scientist with CISUR and a professor with the Northern Medical Program at the University of Northern British Columbia. Much of his research over the past several years has focused on the impacts of cannabis use on human health. This line of research has produced a series of studies assessing the relation between cannabis use (or cannabis-use disorders) and a range of health outcomes, including persistent psychotic syndromes, mortality patterns, fatal and non-fatal motor vehicle collisions, lung cancer, testicular cancer, and a systematic review of cannabis use and development of cancer in humans. (Callaghan is available to media by email at

Media contacts

Amanda Farrell-Low (CISUR Communications Officer) at 250-853-3229 or

Paul Marck (University Communications + Marketing) at 250-721-6246 or

Anne MacLaurin (Social Sciences Communications) at 250-217-4259 or

Kate Hildebrandt (Communications Officer, Human and Social Development) at 250-589-8988 or

In this story

Keywords: cannabis, health, policy

People: Susan Boyd, Tim Stockwell, Bonnie Leadbeater, Dan Reist, Russell Callaghan

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