Tioga County ASAP position statement on youth cannabis use

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From: Tioga County ASAP:

The Tioga County Advocacy, Support And Prevention (ASAP) Coalition recognizes the use of cannabis (aka: marijuana, pot, weed, bud, kush, etc.) for serious and life-threatening medical conditions (approved 2014) as defined by the New York State legislation and acknowledges the March 2021 passing of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) for adult marijuana use (ages 21 and over) in New York State.

The Tioga County ASAP Coalition strongly opposes any cannabis use by or around persons under the age of 21. Research confirms cannabis affects brain development in teens, stating that the “drug may reduce attention, memory, and learning functions and affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for these functions” (CDC, 2018).

The CDC also states that cannabis use in adolescence or early adulthood can have serious impacts on a teen’s life including:

  • ●      Decline in school performance
  • ●      Increased risk of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and psychosis
  • ●      Impaired driving
  • ●      Potential for addiction (approximately 3 in 10 people who use cannabis have cannabis use disorder)

Since the 1970s, the potency of flower cannabis has increased from 3-4% per flower to as high as 30% today due to different methods of use (e.g., dabbing, edibles).

The increase in potency and various methods have posed a substantial risk to our youth.

Data from the Upstate New York Poison Control Center indicates that calls have nearly tripled for children and teens under 19 years of age who ingested cannabis candies from January 2021 – May 2021, compared to the same time frame last year. (https://www.upstate.edu/news/articles/2021/2021-06-07-gummies.php)

Therefore, the Coalition strongly endorses the position that the legalization of cannabis, even when restricted to adults, may be associated with negative social, physical, and mental health outcomes for youth.

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