Monday, December 8, 2014

Easy access to medical marijuana among teenagers

On Saturday, the Seattle Times published two pieces about the unregulated medical marijuana system in our state and how it plays out in Seattle.  

"How I learned it's ridiculously easy to buy pot at medical marijuana dispensaries without a 'green card'" is written by a reporter who, apparently, looks young for her age.  After easily purchasing fruit-flavored strains of marijuana in two out of three medical marijuana dispensaries without showing ID or an authorization, she wonders, "Why did these guys have to make it so easy, especially if they thought I looked too young? What if I were an underage kid?"  

Prevention WINS coalition members representing schools, parents, juvenile probation, and drug counselors have been reporting how easy it is for teenagers to get medical marijuana for a few years.  This became especially true once Seattle started licensing medical marijuana dispensaries as businesses and they started popping up along north Seattle arterial roads like Lake City Way and Aurora.  One student at a north end high school was caught many times sharing and selling medical marijuana to friends that he bought from a nearby dispensary.  Five students from another high school required medical attention after eating high potency medical marijuana edibles last year.  A middle school drug counselor complained to police about students coming to school with marijuana they purchased at a medical marijuana dispensary on Rainier Avenue.  All of these reports were apparently ignored by public officials.

An accompanying editorial, "Unregulated medical-marijuana market is creating a hazy future", calls on the City of Seattle and the state legislature to do something about medical marijuana.  They state that there is "no excuse to ignore existing authority, including criminal charges against black-market dealers masquerading as dispensaries."

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