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Just Say No to Marijuana Dispensaries In SCV

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Much has been written lately about the licensing of medical marijuana here in our community. As chair of the city of Santa Clarita's Blue Ribbon Task Force and an avid opponent of marijuana use and dispensaries, I feel compelled to share some facts and research with you, as well as some opinions I have as a parent and school administrator.

First and foremost, you need to know that drug use, especially marijuana use, among teens doesn't just exist in the Santa Clarita Valley. It is rampant.

Now, I know for some of you parents, this is not troubling to you. Heck, you used marijuana in your teens; you smoked and drank beer; you see it as a right of passage and you are not concerned.

What you might not know is that the marijuana that is available to teens today is much stronger than the marijuana that was available in the 1960s or 1970s. Sometimes it is also laced with other, more potent drugs.

Marijuana is physically addictive. Each year, 100,000 teens are treated for marijuana dependence. Teens who smoke marijuana heavily experience many the same symptoms of withdrawal as users of nicotine.

Between 1991 and 2001, the percentage of eighth graders nationally who used marijuana doubled from 1 in 10 to 1 in 5. Kids are using marijuana at an earlier age.

Research indicates that the earlier teens start using marijuana, the more likely they are to become dependent on this or other drugs later in life. Of teens admitted for treatment for marijuana dependence, 56 percent had first used the drug by 14 years of age, and 26 percent had begun by 12 years of age (Kids and Marijuana).

According to a National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA), marijuana was the most frequently used drug of choice by teens. The NHSDA also reported that teens using marijuana on 12 or more days during the past year, 58 percent of them had one problem that they related to their marijuana use, 41 percent had two problems, and 28 percent had at least three problems that they related to their marijuana use.

From age 12 to age 13, the proportion of teens who say they could buy marijuana if they wanted to more than triples, from 14 to 50 percent. Also, the percentage of teens who say that they know a student at their school who sells drugs almost triples, from 8 percent to 22 percent (Psych Central).

With the advent of marijuana dispensaries, teens get a mixed message about marijuana, but the message needs to be clear. Marijuana is an illegal substance that affects teens in many harmful ways.

It is very important to begin taking with kids about it by at least 12 years of age. Magazines or newspaper articles are often a good place to start your discussion about drugs. Teens need to be told clearly and often that using marijuana and other illegal substances carries significant health, safety, and legal risks (Kids using Marijuana).

This "slippery slope" is what concerns me. Those truly in need and eligible for medical marijuana in our community are a very small group compared with the large number of teens who may "slip through the system" and be able to obtain marijuana from a dispensary. While you might say that "kids will get it anyway," I say, let's not be our kids drug dealer!

For those of you who are wondering what is being done to prevent alcohol and drug use in our community, I can tell you that it is a lot. Sheriff's deputies conduct regular alcohol stings and utilize minor decoys to catch liquor stores who sell to minors, as well as adults who buy alcohol for minors. Several arrests have been made to this effect. The Sheriff's Department also works closely with the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to conduct operations and stings and to enforce the law.

Our own Blue Ribbon Task Force offers programs and education to the community that addresses various teen issues, including drug and alcohol use. We do not support nor endorse marijuana dispensaries in our valley. It is easy for teens - and adults, for that matter - who do not necessarily have debilitating conditions to potentially get a prescription written for medical marijuana.

Having a facility close by will provide easy access and can easily compound the problem.

The Blue Ribbon Task Force developed and disseminated information materials in English and Spanish) about a Prescription/Over-the-Counter Drug Campaign, designed to educate the community about the dangers of prescription-OTC drug abuse. These materials - posters and brochures - were sent to medical offices, pharmacies and drug stores in the area.

I am particularly proud of the DADS program, which I founded - Dads and Moms Against Drugs. This program is a group of moms and dads and their teens and tweens who meet and listen to presentations about drug use among teens. Parents are given drug test kits to use on their kids randomly; results are confidential and kept among themselves.

The program's objective is two-fold: prevention - random drug testing by parents gives kids an excuse to say "no" when their peers offer or pressure them to use drugs; and intervention - if the test comes back positive, parents can seek intervention and treatment for their kids.

Every year, the Blue Ribbon Task Force hosts "Teen Scene Unplugged," a unique program for teens and parents designed to educate the community, especially parents of teens, on various teen issues, including drug and alcohol use.

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Happy Kitty

Well-Known Member
The purpose of having a a dispensary to help the seriously ill in their communities. Do they understand how far these people will have to go to get their meds. And is this the way they want to help their seriously ill citizens of the community?

I hear many times about people getting meds from the co-ops without a recommendation. I don't know where they get this info. Most are very strict about what they require. I can't imagine dispensaries taking the risk of selling to people without recs. And apparently they think it's teens. That one always puzzles me. I have seen questionable things happen at some of the clubs, but never inside. All the clubs I have visited are well run.

Marijuana is NOT the drug of choice these days for teens. If they just read a little farther in their facts, they will find that marijuana use among teens is lower than it's been in years. From what I've read, it's the parents medicine cabinet that is the problem. I have heard of some pretty scary practices these days to get high. But the big kahuna's they don't read the facts, or they are just ignorant. In fact, I'm sure they are ignorant about this issue.

People with serious illnesses will now be forced to go to the street for their meds. Is this really going to help stifle marijuana use in their community. If you asked me, it's going to make the "problem" even worse.

The clubs are the place these people need to go. And they need one there.

It's all about gettin re-elected, that's the way I see it.:60:
 
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