Top Federal Health Official Says States Can Use Legal Marijuana Revenue To Help Deter Youth Use

MJ moment

A federal official with a top health agency recently gave some tips to states that are moving to legalize marijuana, specifically as it concerns deterring youth use. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Tom Coderre spoke about cannabis policy during a webinar hosted last week by the prohibitionist group Smart Approaches To Marijuana (SAM). While he made clear that he’s concerned about youth marijuana consumption and cannabis commercialization generally, it was notable that the SAMHSA official seemed to recognize the inevitability of legalization, going so far as to suggest that states could use marijuana tax revenue to support public education programs. “We have to figure out what to do to grapple with how to best regulate this new market, and there are several evidence-based prevention approaches that that our stakeholders—local, state and federal government—can consider for preventing marijuana use,” Coderre said.

He first listed two things that legal marijuana states are already broadly doing: imposing taxes on cannabis sales and preventing retailers from selling marijuana to people under 21 “to help prevent, or at least reduce, younger age groups” from accessing the products. “Reducing youth exposure to marijuana marketing, obviously, can help prevent or reduce marijuana use among youth and young adults,” he added. “The strategies can include anything from banning advertising on television, radio, billboards and social media, and limiting advertising with youth audiences, such as advertising on any of the forms of local, state and national media.” “It’s also important to fund, and support funding for, public health media campaigns. States and communities can develop public health media campaigns to promote evidence-based messages about youth marijuana use, leading to reduction in youth use,” he said. “Public health prevention campaigns that discuss the harms of certain products have been effective in…

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Source : Top Federal Health Official Says States Can Use Legal Marijuana Revenue To Help Deter Youth Use

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