Marijuana Legalization Fails According to Student Mock Election in Washington State

The following was an article posted by CADCA on December 6th, 2012 on a Student Mock Election around the legalization of marijuana. The results are quite surprising!

"The week before Washington voters passed Initiative 502 legalizing recreational marijuana for adults over age 21, youth in the state failed the same initiative by a margin of 49 to 51 percent, according to the 2012 student Mock Election.

The following was an article posted by CADCA on December 6th, 2012 on a Student Mock Election around the legalization of marijuana. The results are quite surprising!

"The week before Washington voters passed Initiative 502 legalizing recreational marijuana for adults over age 21, youth in the state failed the same initiative by a margin of 49 to 51 percent, according to the 2012 student Mock Election.

This result by Washington K-12 students is significant because legalization poses the greatest risk to youth.

As marijuana becomes easier for youth to obtain, more marijuana advertising targets youth, and community attitudes become more favorable to the drug, Washington youth are more likely to become marijuana users. Teens enter substance abuse treatment for marijuana problems more than any other drug problem, including alcohol. In light of the passage of I-502, significant, coordinated efforts are needed to ensure youth are protected from the harms of marijuana and supported in making health choices.

Anticipating the challenge, the Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention (WASAVP) is currently engaging statewide substance abuse prevention and treatment leaders to coordinate marijuana prevention strategies. Strategies they are working on include provisions contained in I-502 such as advertising restrictions; minor in possession laws; enforcement of home grows; future tax rate adjustment recommendations, and more. In addition to the provisions contained in I-502 they are working to strengthen policies that have proven to reduce youth substance abuse.

“Although legalization will put substantial new pressures on Washington kids to use marijuana, there are substance abuse prevention experts across the state fighting to keep marijuana from going the way of cigarettes in the 1950s and becoming a normal part of daily life in Washington,” said WASAVP President, Derek Franklin.

Below are FAQs important for youth and parents to know as legalization begins today:

• Marijuana use remains illegal for those under 21: Know the law–providing marijuana to a minor is a felony under I-502. Smoking marijuana in public is illegal. Although adults can possess up to one ounce, it remains illegal to purchase recreational marijuana until Dec. 1, 2013.

• Potency: Marijuana today can be 4-5 times more potent than marijuana in the 60’s and 70’s. Medical marijuana is not safer marijuana – adults with “green cards” selling marijuana to kids are dealing drugs.

• Marijuana “Edibles”: Under I-502, edibles (marijuana infused products) are legal. These include brownies, candy, flavored beverages, etc.—many that appeal to youth.

• IQ loss: Heavy marijuana use before age 18 (4 times/week) can result in permanent IQ loss, even after stopping marijuana use for years.

• Lack of initiative, energy, and focus: Academic performance decreases significantly among marijuana users. Workplace drug testing does not change under legalization.

• Driving Under the Influence of Drugs: There is zero tolerance for youth driving under the influence of marijuana. Marijuana is the most common illegal substance in traffic fatalities involving drug use.

CADCA appreciates the Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention for sharing this story. To share a coalition strategy, contact vcarlborg@cadca.org.

And don’t forget to check out CADCA’s marijuana resources."