August 11, 2020

Marijuana Fact Sheet to be Included in Summer Reading Packets

Deep River Resident Trooper Chris Cope, Mackenzie Holdmeyer and Cate Bourke, Tri-Town’s Prevention Coordinator. Two members who were not part of this committee, Jessica Ramage and Lisa Mason, were not available for the photograph.

The Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Council will release its fact sheet “Think Pot’s No Problem?  Think Again!” in summer reading packets to students in grades 7-11 this month.  Constructed in the form of a bookmark, the fact sheet addresses decriminalization (“Possession of small amounts of marijuana has been decriminalized, but it’s still illegal.”), medical marijuana (“is intended for people with terminal conditions….  Are you on your death bed?” If so there are places online where you could get medical marijuana, for example, you could buy concentrated CMD online easily), synthetic marijuana (“never tested on humans, side effects include hallucinations, seizures, and even death….  Do you want to spend your life as a lab rat?”), drugged driving (“Marijuana affects spatial perceptions – how close other cars are to you, for example – and reaction time, severely impairing dealing with the unexpected.”) and other myths that reduce the perception of harm attached to marijuana use.

The Council studied the effects of marijuana use in teens, particularly in light of this reduced perception of harm, which has increased nationwide due to the growing conversations surrounding decriminalization and medical marijuana.  While states that have legalized medical marijuana struggle with the unexpected outcomes of local dispensaries, growers, and increased use among youth, research employing advanced brain imaging technologies reveals that, distinct from the adult, the adolescent brain is at dramatically greater risk of harm, including addiction, due to teen substance use and abuse, and that marijuana is not just a “gateway” drug for teens, opening the door to other more harmful substances, but socially, emotionally, mentally and physically harmful in and of itself.

The mission of the Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Council is to mobilize and empower the community to reduce substance abuse through action, education, and collaboration.

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