Conference Held On The ‘HARM’ Of Marijuana Use

Jul 2, 2012

On Thurs­day, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Health Advo­cates Reject­ing Mar­i­juana ( HARM ), spoke to an audi­ence at the con­fer­ence cen­ter at Choctaw Casino in Durant about the dan­ger and pre­ven­tion of mar­i­juana use.  The con­fer­ence was hosted by the Bryan County Turn­ing point Drug Free Com­mu­nity Coali­tion and the Wichita Moun­tains Pre­ven­tion Net­work. The goals of HARM are “to decrease the accessibility/ avail­abil­ity of marijuana-related para­pher­na­lia and to min­i­mize mes­sages that encour­age, nor­mal­ize or triv­i­al­ize mar­i­juana use” and “to reduce mar­i­juana use by youth, to lessen the prob­lems asso­ci­ated with the acces­si­bil­ity and use of mar­i­juana by youth and to change the per­cep­tion that mar­i­juana is harm­less.” Dur­ing the con­fer­ence, the fol­low­ing five pol­icy cam­paigns were dis­cussed in-depth: head shop pol­icy, retail­ers pol­icy, spe­cial events and out­door venues pol­icy, dis­pen­saries pol­icy and media nor­mal­iza­tion.  John Byrom, co-facilitator of HARM, and Rebecca Her­nan­dez, a pol­icy co-chair, spoke to the audi­ence about mar­i­juana use in San Diego County, Cal­i­for­nia.  In 1996, Cal­i­for­nia passed a law legal­iz­ing the use, pos­ses­sion and cul­ti­va­tion of mar­i­juana by patients who pos­sess a “writ­ten or oral rec­om­men­da­tion” from a physi­cian that he or she “would ben­e­fit from med­ical mar­i­juana.” Byrom said he actively protested the law and has been fight­ing against mar­i­juana use in Cal­i­for­nia ever since.  Her­nan­dez became involved work­ing against mar­i­juana use when she was employed at a San Diego high school work­ing with at-risk high school stu­dents.  She said she saw how drugs and alco­hol were neg­a­tively affect­ing their lives and futures. “We’re los­ing a whole gen­er­a­tion of kids to drug use,” she said.  Dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion, the team spoke about dif­fer­ent ini­tia­tives of the orga­ni­za­tion and how they have worked to stop the preva­lence of the glam­or­iza­tion of drug use in soci­ety.  They showed pic­tures of cloth­ing, shoes, belts, bags and other items found in major stores in Cal­i­for­nia.  Pic­tures and clips of sound and video were also viewed that showed how HARM has been actively fight­ing mar­i­juana use in San Diego County. Her­nan­dez said, “We need to stand up to the bully.  We’re going to lose our nation if we let peo­ple like that [advo­cates of mar­i­juana use] move for­ward and that’s why we’re shar­ing what’s going on in Cal­i­for­nia with other states.” Byrom urges res­i­dents of South­east­ern Okla­homa to take a stand against mar­i­juana use and work to pre­vent its preva­lence in the com­mu­nity. “You can stop it and that’s what’s great.  You can stop it from grow­ing to the point of Cal­i­for­nia and you can be the pre­ven­tion.  You have the abil­ity because it hasn’t taken hold here; it’s noth­ing com­pared to Cal­i­for­nia.  If you can stop it before it hap­pens, that’s the whole idea of pre­ven­tion.  ” Accord­ing to Gwynn Busby, Wichita Moun­tains Pre­ven­tion Net­work regional coör­di­na­tor, mar­i­juana use was cho­sen as a pri­or­ity issue in Bryan County because of the high rate of admis­sion into treat­ment with mar­i­juana des­ig­nated as the drug of choice.  South­east­ern Okla­homa State University’s arrest records show 100% of drug arrest for stu­dents 18 and over at the uni­ver­sity had mar­i­juana included with other drugs that were con­fis­cated.  Slightly over one-third of the Bryan County Court’s cases are related to mar­i­juana charges.  These charges include: pos­ses­sion, intent to sell, cul­ti­vate, and para­pher­na­lia. Source: Durant Daily Demo­c­rat (OK) Copy­right: 2012 Durant Daily Demo­c­rat. Con­tact: http://​www​.durant​de​mo​c​rat​.com/​p​a​g​e​s​/​s​e​n​d​_​l​e​t​t​e​r​_​t​o​_​e​d​i​tor Web­site: http://​www​.durant​de​mo​c​rat​.com/ Author: Brit­tany Snapp

2aef764d66flier.jpg 150x114 Conference Held On The ‘HARM’ Of Marijuana Use

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Con­fer­ence Held On The ‘HARM’ Of Mar­i­juana Use

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