"Nobody's cleaning seeds out of marijuana on a record album like they used to do in the old days."
dependency is not a myth
Early use increases risk of later dependency. With new scanning technologies, we are able to identify the neurological impact of early cannabis use. When young people begin using marijuana before the age of fourteen, they increase their risk for addiction to one-in-six. This is almost double the risk of those who start using later in life.
In fact, more youths are in treatment for marijuana dependency than for alcohol and other drugs combined. In 2012, of the 242 juvenile referrals to treatment in Clackamas County, over 80% were for marijuana dependency.
adult norms effect youth perception
As medical and recreational cannabis become more prevalent, the social environment continues to change. While it may seem appropriate to make pot jokes with friends and colleagues, or to make light of the effects of cannabis on adults, children who hear these social exchanges are left with a mixed message. As the perception of risks associated with cannabis use declines, use tends to increase. It is up to adults to begin distinguishing the impact of youth use, and to reconsider normalizing conversations, messages, signage, etc. in the home and in the community.
clackamas county wants healthy choices
Thanks to our partners at MetroEast Community Media for the fabulous interview, and to Walky and all of the youth in Unity Club at Rex Putnam School.
This interview provides a helpful overview of the youth-related concerns about cannabis becoming more normalized and widely available.
It also focuses on Clackamas County, some of the active solutions that are in place, and what is possible on the local level.