Cannabis Prevention & Cessation for Youth

Wahkiakum County is part of the Youth Marijuana Prevention and Education Program

YMPEP: Partners across a seven-county region, working together to implement a plan that:

  • Strengthens community and regional networks focused on substance use prevention
  • Encourages community members to engage in science and fact-based conversations with youth about marijuana use
  • Strives to change policies, systems, and environments to encourage youth to make healthy choices when faced with using marijuana

Goals: The prevention work of the Youth Marijuana Prevention and Education Program focuses on three areas:

  • Reduce percentage of 10th grade students who have used marijuana at least once in the last 30 days
  • Reduce the percentage of youth who initiate use before 10th grade
  • Reduce the percentage of 10th grade students who have used marijuana at least once in the past 30 days who are American Indian/Alaska Native, and/or LGBTQ

Population: The prevention services of the Youth Marijuana Prevention and Education Program focus on three identified populations:

  • Youth whose parents have spoken to them about marijuana in the last 12 months
  • Youth who live with someone who possesses or uses marijuana
  • Youth who get low to poor grades
  • Youth living in a rural areas with little to no prevention funding


You Can Campaign – Health Effects and Consequences of Using Marijuana for Youth:

  • Marijuana use can change the way a person’s mind and body perform. The You Can campaign aims to educate teens about the risks and consequences of using marijuana and remind them that when it comes to pursuing future dreams and personal goals, “Marijuana Can’t. You Can.” The campaign recognizes the stress that comes with being a teen and provides healthy alternatives to unhealthy behaviors. Ultimately, You Can empowers young people to choose life, school, relationships, health, and safety over using marijuana.
  • Marijuana can change the way a person’s mind and body perform. Marijuana can be bad for health and harmful no matter how it’s used, whether smoked, eaten, vaped, or dabbed.
  • The brain continues developing until one’s mid-twenties. While the long-term impacts of marijuana use on intelligence are still unclear, using marijuana while the brain is still growing can change brain chemistry and interfere with it, making it harder to keep up at school and achieve other goals.
  • Research shows that one in six people who start using marijuana as a teen becomes addicted to it. Most teens who get treatment for substance abuse in Washington say marijuana is the main or only drug they use.
  • Marijuana can impact a person’s memory, learning, mood, motivation, and judgment. Physically, marijuana can affect coordination, movement, and reaction times—making driving while high, or riding with impaired drivers unsafe.
  • It is illegal to use marijuana under the age of 21. If a person under 21 is caught with marijuana, they could be charged with a Minor in Possession (MIP), which can involve fines, public service hours, misdemeanor or felony charges, and the loss of their driver’s license.

Find out more about You Can: https://www.youcanwa.org/basics-about-marijuana/



Under the Influence of You Campaign – Background and Survey:

  • Initiative 502 (I-502) requires the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) to implement a statewide media-based campaign to prevent youth marijuana use.
  • Research shows that adults are the number one influence in teens’ lives. When influential adults are present and engaged, teens are happier, healthier, and make better choices.
  • Parents and adults often struggle to talk with teens about marijuana. Adults may not know the facts or understand the serious risks that using marijuana has on teens.
  • The campaign reminds parents and other trusted adults about the influence they have on teens, encourages them to talk with teens about the risks and consequences of marijuana use, and provides tips on how to have effective conversations.
  • DOH engaged parents and other adult influencers across the state to provide input on the campaign messaging, tone, look, and feel. DOH also consulted state and local partners.
  • Outreach efforts will include a nine-week statewide digital ad buy reaching parents of teens, coaches, teachers, and other caregivers (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.). The campaign will place an added emphasis on reaching parents living in rural areas.
  • Featured assets include animated videos, social media, and banner and Facebook ads on YouTube, Facebook, and other websites. The buy will also include Seattle Times takeovers and paid search. All ads direct to StartTalkingNow.org for more information and resources.
  • Teen Marijuana Use: According to the 2016 Healthy Youth Survey, 17% of 10th graders report having used marijuana within the past 30-days. The survey showed a decrease in youth perception of harm, which is concerning.

Find out more about Under the Influence of You: https://starttalkingnow.org/