Talk to your teens
New tool kit provides advice for talking
to youth about risks of marijuana use

A new tool kit developed by the Washington Healthy Youth Coalition (formerly RUaD) is aimed at helping parents talk to middle and high school youth about marijuana use, which is still illegal in Washington state for those under 21.
The toolkit includes a parent's guide with tips for preventing underage use of marijuana, the warning signs of teen marijuana use, and how to get help if a teen is already using marijuana.  The guide discusses the health risks to adolescents when they use marijuana and gives parents clear steps on what they can do to help their children make the right choices. More information and a link where the resources can be downloaded is on the website.

Colorado study outlines impacts of marijuana legalization
A study of current and expected impacts of marijuana use in Colorado is available in a new report compiled by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA).

While the bulk of this second annual report focuses on experience in Colorado, its findings can provide insights on the impact of legalization for recreational and medical use in other states as well.  Data and case summaries range in topics from youth and adult marijuana use, impaired driving and how and where in the nation Colorado marijuana ends up in the marketplace.

The study also looks at whether there has there been an increase in Denver’s crime rate since the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2013, the number of pets that have been poisoned from ingesting marijuana and whether youth exposure to drug has increased.

Among its findings are that the number of traffic fatalities involving drivers testing positive for marijuana increased 100 percent from 2007 to 2012, and that the number of marijuana-related visits to emergency rooms increased 57 percent between 2011 and 2013.

The amount of marijuana of Colorado origin seized in 40 other states increased 397 percent from 2008 to 2013, the report states.

Download "The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact" (PDF Format)

Letter to Teens
National Institute for Drug Abuse offers tips
to teens concerning risks of marijuana use

Marijuana may not be as harmless as some teens might think it is, the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) states in a "letter to teens" on its marijuana facts page. It can lead to serious addiction and may harm you in ways that you are might not have thought about. The NIDA page also features resources and things to know when considering use of marijuana, which is still illegal under federal law, in most states for adult use and all states for the teenage set. 
Prescription abuse campaign
targets health care professionals
The Partnership for Drug Free Kids has introduced “Search and Rescue”, a new campaign targeting healthcare professionals. This education effort, supported by a multi-year grant from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), recognizes the key role healthcare professionals play in prescribing responsibly, communicating the risks of misuse and abuse and identifying and helping patients who may already be misusing or abusing medication. Read more. 

New federal policy calls for treatment over
punishment for those who use illicit drugs
The Office of National Drug Control Policy has released its new, science-based blueprint for drug policy reform, one that promotes prevention and treatment over incarceration.

"Our prisons and jails are already overcrowded with people who desperately need compassionate, evidence-based treatment for the disease of addiction--not a jail cell," Acting ONDCP Director Michael Botticelli states in a blog post announcing the strategy.

Mentioned in the Media

New York Times
Feds limit availability of painkiller hydrocodone

WASHINGTON - The federal government  has tightened restrictions on prescribing the most common form of painkiller in the country, the final step in a policy shift that has been years in the making, according to an article in the New York Times. The stricter rule for hydrocodone, which is the most widely prescribed painkiller in the United States and which is an ingredient in medications such as Vicodin, Lortab and their generic equivalents, is one of the most far-reaching efforts to stop the growing epidemic of prescription-drug abuse.

Reuters Health
Heavy pot use in teen years may predict later-life disability

A long-term study of Swedish men finds that those who smoked marijuana at age 18, especially the heaviest users, were more likely to end up on the nation’s disability rolls by age 59, reports Shereen Lehman in an article published in Reuters Health. It’s unclear whether the pot use in adolescence may have led to more severe substance abuse or was an early sign of psychiatric or social factors that contributed to later disability, the researchers caution. Read more.

Daily Record
Groups to steer kids away from marijuana
A school-based initiative to steer youth away from using marijuana is the goal of a partnership between the Kittitas County Public Health Department and the Kittitas County Community Network and Coalition, reports by Mike Johnston of the Daily Record in Ellensburg. Local officials hope that a program using teens in peer relationships to discourage fellow teens and grade-school children from using marijuana will start this fall.

Yakima Herald
Sunnyside renews moratorium marijuana businesses
Officials in Sunnyside have extended the city's ban on recreational marijuana sales by another six months, the Yakima Herald reports. City officials decided a longer moratorium allows them to wait while lawsuits in other parts of the state progress and the Legislature reconvenes to possibly give cities more direction.



Partner Reports


Office of National Drug Control Policy