The preliminary paper, entitled ‘Youth First: Reconstructing Drug Policy, Regulating Marijuana, and Increasing Access to Treatment in California,’ was initially presented at CSAM’s State of the Art Conference in October.
It states: “Adolescents in California have easy access to purchasing and using marijuana. California’s current medical marijuana laws have not had significant impact on access, and have made physicians de facto gatekeepers for access to both medical and recreational cannabis. CSAM therefore recommends that the best course at this point is to replace the current system of medical marijuana dispensaries and physician recommendations with a more strictly regulated system in which physicians are no longer gatekeepers for access, and fees and taxes from marijuana sales preferentially support education, prevention, and intervention for youth with marijuana-related problems.”
Authors add: “A system of constructive regulation will assure that individuals are never jailed solely for possession or use of marijuana, more youth will be kept in school through community-based education, prevention and early intervention; and, referral to treatment will occur when needed. … CSAM will support a system of marijuana regulation if sufficient funds from tax and fee revenues are sequestered and directed toward a multi-level Youth First program.”
CSAM’s call for cannabis regulation follows a similar resolution issued last month by the California Medical Association that recommended lawmakers legalize and tax marijuana “in a manner similar to alcohol.”
According to the Associated Press, board members at the American Society of Addiction Medicines did not respond favorably to CSAM’s report, stating: “We oppose any changes in law and regulation that would lead to a sudden significant increase in the availability of any dependence-producing drug. This policy includes marijuana, a mood-altering drug capable of producing dependence as well as serious negative mental, emotional, behavioral and physical consequences.”
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500. Full text of CSAM’s ‘Youth First’ report is available online at: https://www.csam-asam.org/fckfiles/csam_youth_first_draft-lo-res.pdf.