New youth-focused web site empowers teens
to 'Remember what's important. Forget marijuana'
A new web site launched by the Washington Department of Health challenges youth to consider the long-term consequences of choosing to use marijuana. The site,, features real stories from teens to discuss why marijuana use might be the wrong decision. It includes sections on health effects,
the potential impacts on school plans and success in life, and the legal ramifications of marijuana. The site was developed by the Department of Health with funds from legal recreational marijuana sales for adults through Initiative 502.

The site was developed based on conversations with youth in focus groups held in several communities across the state.  
Study finds one in six children hospitalized for lung inflammation test positive for marijuana exposure
A new study found that one in six infants and toddlers admitted to a Colorado hospital with coughing, wheezing and other symptoms of bronchiolitis tested positive for marijuana exposure, an article in CADCA reports.

The study, "Marijuana Exposure in Children Hospitalized for Bronchiolitis," recruited parents of previously healthy children between one month and two years old who were admitted to Children's Hospital Colorado between January 2013 and April 2014 with bronchiolitis, an inflammation of the smallest air passages in the lung. The parents completed a questionnaire about their child's health, demographics, exposure to tobacco smoke, and as of October 2014, whether anyone in the home used marijuana. Marijuana became legal in Colorado on Jan. 1, 2014.

Marijuana legalization has consequences,
new Washington-based study finds

Adults in Washington state rank among the highest users of marijuana in the nation, pot is disrupting the classroom and cannabis grown in The Evergreen State is being illegally exported across America, concludes a new report that examines the impacts of the drug since voters legalized it for recreational use in 2012.

The 142-page report, produced by a federally funded office in Seattle that works closely with law enforcement on drug trafficking issues, draws information from 37 public entities to provide a comprehensive snapshot of the impacts of Initiative 502. It covers the history of marijuana in Washington since voters approved it for medical use in 1998 and reviews key state laws, regulations and rulings over those 18 years.

The nearly 30 million grams of marijuana legally harvested since legalization “would be the equivalent of providing one ounce to each person in attendance at over 14 full-capacity events at Century Link Field,” the report states. A study by the Association of Washington Cities concludes that 90 percent of the state’s population lives within 10 miles of a marijuana retail store.

A section on youth impacts indicates 98 percent of student drug violations in Seattle Public Schools between September, 2013 and May of 2014 were due to marijuana. From September 2014 to January 2015, 77 percent of all alcohol and drug violations in Seattle schools were related to marijuana. In 2014, youth under the age of 20 made up 45 percent of Washington Poison Center calls. The number of those calls has since increased to 80 percent since legalization.

The Washington State Marijuana Impact Report was prepared by the Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (NW HIDTA) a Seattle-based office administered by the National Office of Drug Control Policy. Besides law enforcement, NW HIDTA provides assistance to the state’s substance abuse prevention community, drug courts, tribes and other organizations in areas that are known for the movement of drugs and other illicit substances.

The report indicates that even with the legalization of recreational marijuana the black market is still thriving in the state, fueled in part by the medical marijuana industry that has gone largely unregulated and continuing market demand beyond what is sold in legal retail stores. The recreational and medical markets are slated to merge in July due to legislation passed in 2015. (Continue reading) 


Mentioned in the Media

Amid concerns over opioid
dependency, meth makes a comeback
After a period of dormancy in Washington state, meth is making a big comeback thanks to widespread production and distribution by Mexican drug cartels. An article by Jake Thomas of the Inlander reports on how meth is surfacing once more even with most of the talk these days on heroin abuse.

Seattle Times
Opioid overdoses deadlier than car crashes;
state officials scramble for solutions
In Washington state and across the nation, overdoses have surpassed traffic accidents as the leading cause of death, mostly due to opioid abuse, the Seattle Times reports. The newly formed King County Heroin Task Force is now grappling with the problem. Read the full article by Christine Clarridge in the Seattle Times.     

Seattle Magazine
What's Being Done about the Rise of Marijuana Use Among Teens?
An article by Malia Jacobson in the April edition of Seattle Magazine discusses the pitfalls of teen use of marijuana in Washington and what local prevention networks are trying to do about use among youth in the wake of adult acceptance of cannabis on the rise. Read the full article online. 

Office of National Drug Control Policy