Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Governor briefed about state youth marijuana prevention activities

Decreasing the percentage of 10th grade students who report smoking marijuana in the past 30 days from 19.3% to 18% by 2017 is one of Results Washington's goals for creating healthy communities.  In addition to preventing marijuana DUIs, state leaders briefed Governor Inslee on this goal during a meeting on September 24.

The discussion about youth marijuana use prevention starts at about 1:12 of the video.  The secretaries of the Department of Social and Health Services and the Department of Health provide an overview of current and planned prevention activities.

At about 1:43 the governor asked a question about marijuana-infused foods to ensure they are not overly attractive to youth.  Rick Garza from the Liquor Control Board said that they are not allowing products that are:
  • brightly colored;
  • sugar coated;
  • anything that is "typically what a child would see and find appealing;"
  • mimicking candy bars.
He also said that the medical marijuana law needs to be changed to address marijuana-infused foods because they are currently not regulated under state law.
Medical marijuana is the "wild west" right now according to the governor.  Mr. Garza confirmed that there are no regulations on medical marijuana products that are attractive to youth.

The governor also asked about the use of fear tactics in marijuana prevention campaigns.  Mona Johnson from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction replied that many years of prevention science research shows that scare tactics do not work and that prevention programs today don't use them.  The importance of educating parents about prevention was also discussed. 

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