Video urges employers to think twice before 
dropping marijuana from drug testing program

With several states now legalizing the use and possession of marijuana for recreational and medical purposes, some employers may be wondering if their employee drug testing programs should still include marijuana at all. The answer is a resounding yes, urges a new video produced by a non-profit that consults with businesses on maintaining a drug-free workplace.

The video, called Don't Drop Marijuana and produced by Drug Free Business, points out that marijuana possession and use is still illegal under federal law, so any company that does business across state lines is still subject to federal mandate. Employees of these companies would include truckers, airline pilots, railroad engineers, workers in power plants and many others in safety sensitive positions. Any company that accepts federal funding also needs to comply with the Drug Free Workplace Act, the video states. The bottom line is that these mandates are intended to protect workers and promote safety and health in the workplace, which means compliance isn't only mandated, but is a good idea regardless.

Viewers may learn more about marijuana use in the workplace by going to the Drug Free Business web site and by watching the video below.

Don't Drop Marijuana

New brochure outlines latest facts, information on marijuana use

A newly revised brochure loaded with information to consider when making choices about marijuana use is now available for download or order from the University of Washington’s Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute’s Clearinghouse in Seattle.
Say It Straight brochure cover

The eight-panel brochure, called Say It Straight: Marijuana Myth or Fact, was produced by the Office of Lt. Governor in partnership with the Northwest High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (NW HIDTA).

The pamphlet describes 10 common myths and facts surrounding marijuana use in Washington state. It includes the latest information on its legality, marijuana’s impacts on the brain, edibles, addiction, and how marijuana sold today has been tested to be more potent than a generation ago.

The brochure offers tips for parents or guardians on how to start the conversation on marijuana with children, with links to additional resources. Driving while impaired is also covered, noting the latest data by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission that shows drivers under the influence of marijuana are an increasing factor in traffic fatalities. There is also a section discussing whether “vaping” marijuana is a safer alternative than smoking marijuana.

The brochure is updated from an earlier version that was originally published prior to Initiative 502, the 2012 measure passed by voters that legalized recreational marijuana for use by adults 21 and over in private settings. The Office of Lt. Governor consulted with several public and health-focused agencies in producing the brochure, which cites materials from trustworthy resources. Information in the brochure is intended to be straightforward, factual and non-judgmental.

In addition to the marijuana brochure, the Office of Lt. Governor also publishes a 22-page Drug Resource Guide in association with NW HIDTA that includes quick facts on other illegal or potentially harmful substances.

Both publications are available for download and can be ordered in quantity from the ADAI Clearinghouse.


Say It Straight: Marijuana Myth or Fact?

A Drug Resource Guide: Quick Facts on Methamphetamine, Ecstasy, Heroin and Marijuana.


Say It Straight: Marijuana Myth or Fact

A Drug Resource Guide


Students have fun, fellowship by forming club with focus on sobriety

A new club at Mercer Island High School is offering a safe haven for students who want to steer clear of marijuana, alcohol and other substances, and is in turn inspiring others to make that choice too.

Mercer Island’s S.A.F.E. Club (for Super Awesome Fun Events) was initiated by senior Sarah Stewart, who transferred from a high school in northern Michigan where problems with substance abuse among her peers were rampant. She was joined in forming the club by her younger sister, sophomore Hannah Stewart.

“Basically I watched my roommates and friends there struggle with substance abuse and addiction. One of my main goals in starting S.A.F.E. Club was to create a community not only for myself, but also for other people, that was less toxic than the situation I had in Michigan,” she said. (See full story)


Mercer Island S.A.F.E. Club members from left: Brian Oppenheim, sisters Hannah and Sarah Stewart and Ben Berejka. 



Mentioned in the Media

CBS News
New heroin response strategy will span 15 states
The White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) on Monday announced it's spending $2.5 million to launch the Heroin Response Strategy, a partnership between federal, government and local forces that the White House and other lawmakers call unprecedented. The funds will be used for five regional High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) covering 15 states. Read more from CBS News.

Seattle Weekly
The Spike: What Lies Behind the New Heroin Epidemic?

An Aug. 11 article in the Seattle Weekly by  Casey Jaywork takes a close and personal glimpse of the rise in heroin use - and what's driving it.

Tacoma News Tribune/AP
Washington officials warn about
marijuana exposure to kids
Calls to the Washington Poison Control Center for children eating marijuana edibles increased 33 percent between the first half of 2014 and 2015, center officials report. While the increase may be attributable to greater awareness of the center's hotline, public health officials remain troubled by the increase and urge that all marijuana edibles be kept locked and out of the reach of kids. Read the full article in the July 15 Tacoma News Tribune.

Office of National Drug Control Policy