Two prevention staff of Behavioral Health Service,, Inc (BHS), NCADD’s Gardena, CA Affiliate, participated at the 2017 National Cannabis Summit held in Denver in late August.
One of the presentations was a poster session about marijuana use among young people. Youth access to marijuana had increased at alarming rates due to the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana use, decreased perception of harm associated with marijuana use, and increased social acceptance. BHS decided it needed to shift the social norm in communities and decrease youth access through strategic planning, education, and advocacy.
Through its work and passion it has the ability to create behavioral and environmental change while protecting youth and communities. The poster highlights BHS’ Drugs Kill Dreams Program, which includes the use of the evidence-based Project CHOICE curriculum developed by the RAND Corporation. It also focuses on the agency’s marijuana prevention efforts on both local and county levels. The poster presentation was given by Jenifer Harris, Prevention Coordinator at BHS’s Gardena Center. A copy of the poster is available by clicking here.
The other was a joint presentation by Gilbert Mora, MS, Prevention Coordinator of BHS’s Hollywood Family Recovery Center and Monica Sanchez, PhD, Los Angeles Office of Education.
Mr. Mora also is the Policy Chair of Rethinking Access to Marijuana (RAM) a collaboration of public health professionals seeking to prevent marijuana-related harms by limiting youth access in the County of Los Angeles. The presentation focused on the commercialization of marijuana since its legalization in several states and provided documents and resources that give a comprehensive review of the potential impacts of various marijuana policy options based on collaborative input from stakeholders including educators, community groups, public health professionals, medical practitioners, business affiliates and legislators.
The session reviewed proven strategies that limit youth access to marijuana through regulatory policy, best practices relating to marijuana storefront dispensaries, personal use cultivation, commercial cultivation and delivery services. Information was provided for local legislators concerned with enacting smart marijuana regulation that adequately protects youth within any designated municipality. To access the power point presentation, click here. The RAM “policy menu” can be seen here.
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