The Oroville Police in April arrested a young man age 20 selling cannabis edibles to high school students (see KRCR website). This is an example of how, one-by-one, the risk factors for Mount Shasta youth using cannabis add up and move the needle from risk to danger. Let’s count them,
1) Perceived risk of harm in using drops. This 20 year-old young man’s brain is still developing. He probably uses regularly himself leading to loss of cognitive functioning (drop in IQ) that lasts well into adulthood. The high school students who bought from him no longer perceive cannabis as harmful to themselves. I talked to a bright 17-year old MSHS student Saturday while watching a Mount Shasta Youth Sports little league game. She said she doesn’t use marijuana, but “other kids do.” We hear anecdotally from Emergency Room personnel in Mount Shasta that youth THC-related ER admissions are up since passage of Prop 64. Most of these youth in ER when asked how frequently they use, say “daily.”
2) Perceived availability of cannabis. This guy was allegedly selling cannabis edibles designed for kids—to kids, definitely illegal. A licensed cannabis retail facility in Mount Shasta is unlikely to sell directly to youth under 21. However, youth who want to use cannabis will find a way to get it, like asking someone over 21 to buy it for them. Fifty years ago, this was how my friends and I got liquor, only alcohol while affecting adversely, does not lead to loss of IQ extending into adulthood as does regular use of marijuana by youth. Black market marijuana is already available to MSHS students.
3) Community laws and norms favorable to cannabis use. The prevalence – per 1,000 people – of active cannabis industry licenses in Mount Shasta already exceeds that in Arcata, Eureka, Davis, and Shasta Lake based on publicly available data downloaded from the CA Bureau of Cannabis Control. The number of active licenses will only go up as Mount Shasta vendors activate more licenses already purchased but not activated yet. The city’s ordinance to reduce the buffer zones around schools, day cares and youth centers to accommodate cannabis industry growth, along with the highest concentration of cannabis industries in the north state, only exacerbates this well researched risk factor. Continued expansion of the cannabis industry in Mount Shasta near locations where children and youth are concentrated is not worth the high risk of more youth using.
Sign the referendum petition to draw the line at the 600-foot buffer zone around schools, day cares and youth centers. If you can’t find a petition to sign, call me Tom Scovill (530) 918-8163.