Students urge proactive regulation of marijuana dispensaries

GHV Teen Council representatives Tori Sloan, Emily Howke, Dalton Hawe and Paige Rasmussen presented data on teens and marijuana use to the Garner City Council.
Rebecca Peter | The Leader

GARNER – Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High school students urged the Garner city officials to take a proactive stance to regulate marijuana dispensaries should it become legalized in Iowa.

The GHV Teen Council and representatives from the Garner Asset Project (GAP) and Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) met with the city council, Feb. 28.

The council was asked to consider a draft resolution placing restrictions on dispensaries, public use of cannabis, marijuana grow operations, and edibles infused with marijuana in city limits.

Students Tori Sloan, Emily Howke, Dalton Hawe and Paige Rasmuson presented data from a 2016 Iowa Youth Survey, the U.S. National Library of Medicine Institute of Health, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse on teens and marijuana use.

The Iowa Youth Survey showed there is a low perception of risk of marijuana among GHV students. The survey is taken every two years by 11th, 8th and 6th graders.

Twenty-seven percent of 11th graders, 11 percent of 8th graders, and 26 percent of 6th graders believe there is no risk or slight risk using marijuana once a week.

The survey indicated other beliefs among young people such as:

•Belief that marijuana is not addictive.

•Marijuana is “safe” because it is part of nature.

•Belief that marijuana is “medicine.”

Read the complete story in the March 7 Leader.