Let's Talk Cannabis

The Canadian government has enacted legislation that legalizes and regulates cannabis. Even though cannabis use has been relatively common in Canada, its legalization represents a major shift in public policy that can be expected to have a broad impact on Canadians. Addressing complex issues such as cannabis use requires that we come together as a community and build understanding. We know that strong communities make for healthier citizens. When our communities nurture human connections, we are better able to face social challenges.

In collaboration and partnership with the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, the Thunderbird Foundation, and provincial health ministries of Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, the Let’s Talk Cannabis project brought citizens together in dialogue about cannabis and cannabis policy.

The following resources have been developed for and used in communities across Canada to promote dialogue about cannabis. All resources are also available in a generic format for use in promoting dialogue about other issues of interest to your community.


  • Understanding Dialogue - Dialogue is often confused with other forms of communication such as discussion or debate. Use this document as a foundation for understanding the specifics of dialogue.
  • Principles of Dialogue - The principles of dialogue help create safe spaces where we can collectively explore the different perspectives in our communities. Use this document as a brief overview of the principles.
  • The Art of Listening - Listening, a key element in dialogue, is more than hearing words. Use this document as a guide (or handout) on attentive listening.
  • The Challenge of Empathy - Practicing empathy is essential as it helps us connect and understand each other better. Use this document as background (or handout) on the concept of empathy.
  • Asking Good Questions - Asking good questions is an important element of dialogue. Use this document to develop better questions that encourage deeper exploration.
  • Four Dimensions of Dialogue - Dialogue often involves a progression through various stages of intensity. Use this document to learn about the four different dimensions in which dialogue can occur.
  • A Guide to Nurturing Community Dialogue - Planning dialogue is more than a process or methodology, it is an art. Use this document as a guide to planning community dialogue.
  • 10 Common Tools for Dialogue - Nurturing dialogue can take many forms. Use this list to stimulate thinking on how to nurture dialogue in your community.
  • Conversation Café - Conversation Cafés are open conversations in coffee shops or any other publicly accessed community setting, including restaurants, conference rooms, churches or more. Use this guide to learn how to facilitate your own Conversation Café.
  • Photovoice - Photovoice is a participatory research method. Use this guide to learn how to adapt the methodology to encourage community dialogue.
  • Walking Tours - Walking tours are creative ways for participants to engage with different perspectives while touring a particular setting. Use this guide to learn how to facilitate your own tour.