York Regional Police are trying to clear the air after an officer reportedly told a group of teens that smoking marijuana lowers testosterone and “doobies make boobies” or “enhanced mammary growth in men.”
YRP spokeswoman Const. Laura Nicolle says the erroneous information was included in a presentation by officers for high school students last week.
In an emailed statement to CityNews, the York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) says the presentation was part of the annual Drug Awareness Power Conference attended by approximately 100 secondary students from the Board’s 15 secondary schools. The conference is aimed at helping students make smart choices and discussing how they can promote those responsible choices among their peers.
They say during the conference, a panel discussion led by members from York Regional Police, York Region Health and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) was focused on drug awareness and the upcoming legalization of cannabis and its possible impact. The misinformation was shared during this panel.
Const. Nicolle says the police force was contacted on social media by several people who were at the session, questioning the link between cannabis and growth in men’s breasts.
In a tweet Friday afternoon, police say marijuana does not cause “enhanced mammary growth in men,” adding that the force is “working to address” the misinformation by the officers.
The officer’s comments also caught the attention of pot activists who say that misinformation encourages kids to question all health information about drugs.
“The biggest danger of exaggerating fears and lying outright is that young people won’t trust you when you’re giving them true information and legitimate warnings,” says cannabis activist Jodie Emery. “We need honest authentic information, not fear mongering.”
Const. Nicolle says police are looking into exactly what the officers told the students and where they got that information.
“The YCDSB is currently communicating with the partners on the panel to address the misinformation shared,” the board said in a statement. “Our secondary school superintendent will then communicate with staff and students who attended the conference to address the misinformation.”