A 20 year strong program of the Center for Prevention and Counseling, “The Coalition for Healthy & Safe Communities,” has had a mission to create healthy and safe communities free from substance use disorders, addiction and related issues among people of all ages throughout Sussex County. Looking ahead at what the end of the year may bring in New Jersey, we find it our top priority to provide education and factual information regarding the significant impacts marijuana legalization will have on our Sussex County communities and persons at risk for addiction.

 

On behalf of the Coalition for Healthy & Safe Communities, we would like to invite you to a special upcoming monthly Coalition Meeting: Cannabis Laws/Policies: Federal and Regional Update and Using Strategic Prevention Framework and Prevention Science to Inform Policy, on July 10th, 2020 from 9am to 10:30am. We are honored to welcome, Scott M. Gagnon, MPP, PS-C, Director of AdCare Educational Institute of Maine, Inc. & New England Prevention Technology Transfer Center. Come join us and learn about the stages of state marijuana legalization laws and the multiple layers of marijuana policy, the importance of prevention taking a leading role in identifying public health issues emerging from commercialization and legalization policies, the intersection of policy and prevention and how we approach marijuana prevention in the era of commercialized marijuana.

 

In Sussex County, we have already made tremendous strides in our marijuana prevention efforts, and establishing those protective factors to keep our communities healthy and safe. As we reflect on our actions, we must remember there is much more work to be done to continue these efforts to ensure the health and safety of our Sussex County communities, especially with our young people. In Sussex County, 21% of our 12th grade high school students reported using marijuana in the past 30 days in 2019; this was a 24% increase since 2017. As the landscape of marijuana has been changing in NJ, it is imperative to address this issue, as the availability and the perception of harm decreases, the use of marijuana increases. Our village is only as strong as each of its members and we will continue to contribute our ongoing efforts to strengthen our community and help our children and families thrive. For more information and to register to attend on July 10, 2020, please contact Coalition Coordinator: Ashley Brown at ashleyb@centerforprevention.org