Colloquium with Dr. Zach Walsh

Thursday October 24, 2019
12:30 PM - 1:50 PM


Dr. Zach Walsh, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus.


Cannabis Revised: Legalization, Mental Health, and Public Health


The past decade has seen increasing recognition that the negative health impacts of cannabis prohibition may outweigh the direct risks of cannabis use. As such, the legalization of adult cannabis use in Canada provides an opportunity to re-evaluate the health consequences of cannabis use. In this talk I will present research on the impacts of cannabis use on mental health and public health with a focus on the potential for cannabis legalization to positively impact health via the substitution of cannabis for other substances. I will also summarize recent work from our group on methodological issues in cannabis research, and present preliminary findings regarding the impact of legalization on cannabis use practices, motives, and norms.


Zach Walsh, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, where he directs the Therapeutic Recreational and Problematic Substance Use lab. His research on cannabis use has been presented to diverse audiences including the Canadian Senate, Canadian House of Commons and the Government of Uruguay and has been included in testimony to the Supreme Courts of BC, Ontario, and Nova Scotia. His research has been featured in the New York Times, Time magazine, the Times of India and High Times. He is the lead investigator for several ongoing studies of the therapeutic use of cannabis including a clinical trial of cannabis for PTSD, and federally funded studies of the effects of cannabis legalization on health and well-being.


Annually the Department of Psychology hosts a Colloquia Series throughout the academic year. This exciting program brings us together outside of the classroom to have conversations with the speakers we’ve invited to our campus to share their ideas. You’ll have the chance to hear from international speakers on a wide range of provocative topics.