Muir Wood therapist, David Laing

Limiting Youth Access to Legal Marijuana in WA

As lobbyists continue to push for the legalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes, the states that have already passed laws allowing for recreational use are facing the difficulties that come with regulating a brand-new industry—and one that focuses on the sale of an addictive substance.

In the states of Colorado and Washington, legislators have had to address such issues as:

  • Legal limits when it comes to operating a motor vehicle
  • Legal age of use
  • Limiting the access of teens and children to the drug

Lobbying groups are heavily focused on pushing government officials to put marketing regulations into place that will limit the appeal of the drug to children and young people.

Addressing the Issues

In the state of Washington, the battle for the health of America’s youth is heating up. Community activists, the board of public health, and minority groups are teaming together to give solid recommendations to the State Liquor Board in an effort to curb a sudden influx of marketing and products aimed at youth, particularly at minority youth. The health board and their community activists have a long list of recommendations to the state liquor board in hopes of creating laws that will curb Washington youth from being exposed to adult products. Some of these recommendations include:

  • No images that are kid- or teen-focused are allowed on the packaging.
  • No additives that would make the taste or use of marijuana more palatable to children (e.g., flavorings) are allowed.
  • All sales must be made in person to ensure that the buyer is of the appropriate age.
  • Store hours are limited to fewer than 20 hours per day.
  • Poison control hotline numbers and medical warnings that remind users of the risks of using the drug and the importance of keeping it away from children must be posted in all stores where the drug is sold.
  • Possible side effects as well as the warning that use of the drug “may be habit-forming” should be posted visibly. Additionally, all labels on products should make it clear that the use of the drug is not approved by the FDA and provide a contact number for the Department of Health and Poison Control.

How Families Can Help

As with all community challenges, success begins at home. You can do your part in protecting your teen by:

  • Being a good role model
  • Talking about the products and marketing with your teens
  • Educating them on the risks of abusing drugs
  • Take action if you see drug use in your child

If you would like to learn more about the intervention and treatment options available to your son, contact us at Muir Wood today.