Monday, January 28, 2013

Using the National Prevention Strategy to guide WA marijuana policy

As our state moves forward with implementing I-502, policies that prevent underage and excessive marijuana use should be part of the new legal marketplace.  Since a highly regulated marijuana marketplace has never been established before, we can look to what has worked and not worked for underage drinking and tobacco use prevention.  With alcohol and tobacco, many regulations have proven to prevent youth use. 

Links to a few public health websites are included in the WASAVP Marijuana Education Toolkit.  One of the public health resources to which we may refer is the National Prevention Strategy's priority of Preventing Drug Abuse and Excessive Alcohol Use.  Policies that are recommended include:
  • Reduce days and hours of alcohol sales.
  • Limit the number of places that sell alcohol.
  • Enforce the legal minimum drinking age (21).
  • Restrict alcohol marketing.
  • Expose youth to counter-marketing messages.

All of these policies are among those recommended by WASAVP for addressing legal marijuana. 

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