Youth Marijuana Prevention Education Program

The focus of the Youth Marijuana Prevention Education Program is to reduce marijuana use by youths 12 to 20 years of age. Marijuana prevention work through Public Health focuses on stakeholder and policymaker outreach, retailer education, and adult education.

Youth Facts & Figures

Per state law, youth under the age of 21 cannot purchase or possess marijuana products. Because brain development continues through the age of 25, a youth’s brain is more vulnerable than an adult's to the potentially negative impacts of marijuana. Studies show that marijuana can impair the areas of the brain that control motor coordination, impulse control, memory, learning and judgment. (University of Washington Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute)

However, per the 2016 Healthy Youth Survey (see below for more information) almost half of high school seniors in Kittitas County report having used marijuana at least once, with over a third reporting that they do not perceive the regular use of marijuana as harmful. In our community, over three quarters of high school seniors also reported that marijuana is “easy” or “very easy” to get.

Healthy Youth Survey 2016

The Healthy Youth Survey (HYS) is a collaborative effort of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Department of Health, the Department of Social and Health Service's Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, and Liquor and Cannabis Board

The Healthy Youth Survey provides important survey results about the health of adolescents in Washington. County prevention coordinators, community mobilization coalitions, community public health and safety networks, and others use this information to guide policy and programs that serve youth

The HYS website provides users with results, sorting options, and fact sheets that cover youth survey responses on a variety of topics ranging from Marijuana use to Health and Health-Related Behaviors.

Retailer Information

Lock Boxes

Marijuana retailers are allowed to provide lockboxes for the secure storage of marijuana products and paraphernalia to customers. Lockboxes can be purchased by retail marijuana businesses and sold, as long as they are sold for no less than the cost of acquisition. Lockboxes can also be donated to any person eligible to purchase marijuana. However in both cases, lockboxes cannot be used as an incentive or condition of a recipient’s purchase of marijuana product or paraphernalia. For more information, see RCW 69.50.357

Washington Poison Control

Not for KidsTM Stickers

Rolls of “Not for Kids” stickers are available free of charge through the Kittitas County Public Health Department. Stickers can be distributed to any interested customers, but cannot be used as an incentive or condition of a recipient’s purchase of marijuana product or paraphernalia. For more information, contact Public Health at 509-962-7515.

Trained Staff

Well trained staff are the first line of defense against accidental under age marijuana sales. RCW 69.50.357 requires that all marijuana retail employees are trained on the rules to ensure that underage youth are not permitted to enter or remain on the premises.

Information for Parents

Literature on youth marijuana prevention can be distributed to interested customers. Literature can be donated from outside organizations, as long as they are not a marijuana producer, processor, or retailer, per RCW 69.50.357. The Kittitas County Public Health Department, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, and many other organizations offer free literature and resources. For more information contact Public Health at 509-962-7515.