“Do What’s Best for Iowa Youth! Weeding out the Hype” Iowa AC4C goes to Iowa Capitol for Substance Abuse Prevention Day on the Hill.

Written by Theresa Rose on February 20, 2015

On Wednesday, February 25th, the Alliance of Coalitions for Change (AC4C), a state-wide collaboration to effect positive change in substance abuse, will be meeting with the state legislators to discuss their concerns about youth marijuana use and substance use in Iowa.

The Henry County Substance Abuse Coalition, Mt. Pleasant Middle School and High School students, along with Sheriff Rich McNamee will be among the several community coalitions, representing a mixture of Iowa’s rural and urban populations at this event. Samantha Crawford, 8th grade student and Beth Wells, a senior will be speaking about the dangers of marijuana at a press conference held in the Capitol’s rotunda.

Iowa has a low rate of marijuana use when compared to the national average. However, the perception of harm among youth is declining. A lower perception of harm historically shows us that there will be a rise in use.

The 2012 Iowa Youth Survey showed 11% of 11th graders reporting marijuana use in the past 30 days. 34% of 11th graders believe there is a slight risk or no risk in harming themselves if they use marijuana once a week. In states with policy expansion of marijuana, youth use rose as perception of risk decreased. Past-year and past-month marijuana use by all ages exceeds the national average in both Washington State and Colorado. Marijuana use in both these states has risen significantly between 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.

It is important for the health of Iowans to keep drug use at a low rate so we don’t experience the following consequences: The number of burn victims in Colorado from hash oil explosions has significantly increased since marijuana legalization. Between 2008 and 2011, an average of 4 children (between the ages of 3 and 7) were sent to the ER for unintentional marijuana ingestion. In 2013, 8 children went to the Colorado Children’s hospital. As of the first half of 2014, at least 14 children have already been sent to the ER.

The AC4C press conference will be held in the East & South Wings of the 1st floor rotunda 11:30 A.M. until to 12:00 P.M. Media, legislators and the public are encouraged to attend.