| Posted on Thu, January, 22nd 2015 by THCFinder
Last Monday, a story hit the Palm Beach Post’s pages, in which the director of the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition credited his own organization for a small drop in the county’s teen alcohol use rates in a recent survey. Director Jeff Kadel wasn’t just there to pat himself on the back however and went on to say that the teen marijuana use in PCB between 2012 and 2014 (an increase of 1.4%) was a direct result of the campaigning last year to push forward a statewide referendum that would legalize medical marijuana. But while the referendum failed last November, Kadel is convinced that the marijuana use has increased because of the campaign.
“All of a sudden, the legalization issue came out, giving teens the idea that marijuana has medicinal value,” Kadel told The Post’s Lulu Ramadan. “It reduced the perception of harm.” But with such harsh claims against the campaign in Florida, the Director had no evidence to back up his claims. In fact, teen use of marijuana has gone down in states like Colorado and Washington, leading most to believe the complete opposite of what Kadel is saying.
What is most likely contributing to the teen’s increased use of marijuana is the explosion of popularity of the plant in pop culture. Most celebrities are smoking weed, singing about weed, making movies featuring weed. Teens are impressionable by the media and if anything is to be blamed, it would be pop culture. By legalizing the plant and implementing educational programs to teach people how to properly handle the plant and how to use it, the amount of teen use would probably decrease. But as always, the forbidden is more appealing especially in the eyes of teenage kids that are hellbent on pissing off their parents.
Ben Pollera, the campaign manager for United For Care, which pushed for the passing of the medical marijuana referendum, stated, “There’s no evidence to back what Kadel is saying. Most of the ads we’re addressing were those attacking our campaign.” United For Care spent more than $2 million in advertising for the referendum in 2014, the Post reported.