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Officials Warn About Youth Marijuana Use As Michigan’s Cannabis Industry Grows

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As Michigan’s cannabis industry continues to grow, The District Health Department #10 is starting a campaign this summer to educate families on youth marijuana use.

Jen Hansen with the District Health Department #10 says as the industry grows they’re concerned about the impact marijuana can have on youth.

“There was a grant available to the counties for this. So, we thought it was a good opportunity to get the message out. Because I think there’s not a lot of people that understand what substances can do to young developing brains,” Hansen says.

The District Health Department #10 (DHD10) is the largest geographical health department in Michigan. It serves ten counties including Crawford, Kalkaska, Lake, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Newaygo, Oceana and Wexford.

The counties that received the grant are Mason, Lake, Oceana and Crawford Counties.

DHD10 says a caveat of concerns are linked to youth marijuana use including, brain development, mental health and issues in school.

“We understand that a lot of adults are using marijuana these days, but our priority is to make sure that it’s locked up. We want to teach people that there is a risk with young people using it and try to help them understand it needs to be locked up,” Hansen explains.

DHD10 advises parents who use marijuana to keep their products in a secure lockbox.

They plan to use the funds for social media engagement and billboards. They’ll also produce a 15-minute video for families to watch to learn about the risks of youth marijuana use.

They say they’re not trying to create a stigma, they just want to keep kids safe.

“Anytime we post something about marijuana we do get some feedback that basically people want us to argue about if it’s better than alcohol or not. Our message is that young people shouldn’t be using any substances,” Hansen explains.

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