LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Health officials Thursday kicked off a public education campaign aimed at keeping kids off marijuana, even as one in six teenagers in Los Angeles County are considered frequent users of the drug.

Using rap music videos and roundtable talks, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s “bigger choices” campaign focuses on the possible dangers of using marijuana before the legal age of 21.

“I would see marijuana, like blunt wraps on the floor, on the bleachers, and people would smell it in the restroom,” one L.A. high schooler involved in the campaign told CBS2 News.

“They post pictures or videos of them doing it online, especially like Snapchat,” said another female student.

According to the Department of Public Health, some long-term effects on young people who use marijuana include impaired thinking, memory and learning functions.

“There are numerous studies associating the use of cannabis with rates of psychosis and schizophrenia,” said Dr. Gary Tsai.

Plus, there are the legal ramifications some teens have seen firsthand.

“One of my friends was actually sent to prison recently because he started smoking marijuana a lot, and then he stopped showing up to class, and now he, like, robbed a store to support his habit,” said student Lily Larson. “And now he’s locked up.”

According to a 2017 LACDHP survey of 12- to 17-year-olds, 26 percent reported using pot at least once in their lifetime. Of those who said they used marijuana, 72 percent said they used the drug with friends. Forty-nine percent said they have gone to school high.

“I’m inspired by these young leaders who have taken the initiative to express to their peers just how important it is to avoid marijuana and make bigger and better decisions for their health and their future,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said.

“There’s other ways to have fun, there’s other ways to find an escape from your problems in life,” said one teen.

Videos for the campaign – which include addiction specialist and media celebrity Dr. Drew Pinksy – can be found at the Let’s Talk Cannabis YouTube page.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

Comments (14)
  1. I believe keeping teens off smoking marijuana will help parents control their kids more before they become adults. The streets are full of kids now who’s parents couldn’t control and have been running homeless as runaways. This idea of bringing teens to a realist world where they can control their own lives is a positive step in the right direction of reducing teens from taking their anger to the streets as their last choices and not their second choices.
    If kids didn’t smoke pot then maybe they would do better in studies and not skip school, maybe they would do better in school than getting the A’s they get now on pot. Some do good in school while smoking doobie. But the laws are govern to protect the best in trust of those weaker teens who’s lives are heading south and not because it’s their fault, it always is of their parents fault why the teenagers are acting up like the way they do.

    You cannot blame kids for smoking, drinking, or having non-consensual sex because kids will be kids no matter what laws you try to provoke. Peer pressure is where it’s at. Govern peers and then you may solve the kids problems. Give them all good peer influences then you may guide them into a more positive livelihood. But this plan here in the media: Quack-Qwack-Wack. Just another way of getting your secret laws passed that you will plan on placing on our voter’s ballot soon, nice try. Con us now and use teens then pass it so your dispensaries can cash in. Oh we are the dumb-clucks. Vote No early, BEWARE this media report Quaker-to come on the Ballot I read you all like books. What’s your game? Call me stupid in advance!
    #Baddboy – #MEDIA

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