Teens talk marijuana at upcoming forum

January 21, 2014

By Christina Corrales-Toy

As cities continue to grapple with the ramifications of Initiative 502’s legalization of marijuana in 2012, communities across the state are looking inward to determine how it affects its men, women and children.

The voter-approved initiative legalized recreational marijuana use for adults, but it still remains illegal for teens and is technically a federal crime.

The Issaquah Community Network will explore how legal marijuana affects local adolescents with a teen forum Jan. 27.

The event, sponsored by the network’s Drug Free Community Coalition, will feature guest speakers, a video and a teen discussion panel.

“We’ll answer questions like how has the new marijuana law affected your school, how do you think it will affect parents and how people feel about it,” said Robin Lustig, an Issaquah High School senior who will be a member of the teen panel.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with a showing of “Marijuana and Teens,” a video produced by Mercer Island Communities That Care. The panel discussion featuring teens from Issaquah, Liberty, Eastside Catholic and Tiger Mountain Community high schools will follow.

The audience will then hear from a pair of special guest speakers in Issaquah Police Chief Paul Ayers and Jerry Blackburn, the director of Early Recovery Services with Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers and the Bellevue College Chemical Dependency Counseling Program.

“We have a lot of great speakers, so it should be a very positive night,” Lustig said.

Since the new law was passed, Lustig said she has noticed more of her peers willing to freely talk about the impacts of the drug, and the repercussions of Initiative 502.

“I believe it’s more of a topic of conversation, and not just among students,” she said. “Often, teachers bring it up as kind of a debate for a class. It’s a good learning experience.”

The Jan. 27 forum will be held at Issaquah High School’s Performing Arts Center, but for those unable to make it, another will be held at Liberty High School Feb. 6.

King County Sheriff John Urquhart is expected to be a speaker at the Feb. 6 event.

Learn more at www.issaquahcommunitynetwork.com.


If you go

Legal Marijuana and Our Teens forum

6:30 p.m. Jan. 27

Issaquah High School Performing Arts Center

700 Second Ave. S.E.


Legal Marijuana and Our Teens forum

6:30 p.m. Feb. 6

Liberty High School

16655 S.E. 136th St., Renton


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