Schools Seek to Solidify Response to Legal Cannabis

Schools are working out how to discuss and change their curriculum now that recreational marijuana is legal in New York.

“We’ve known this was coming,” says Greece Central School District Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator Stephanie Rago. “And for lack of a better word, starting to armor up because we know this is going perhaps just from what we’ve seen in other states where there is legalization this might have an impact for our teens.” 

School districts are worried that now that recreational marijuana is legal, there will be more use by teenagers.

“Just the methods and the different actions that are available for marijuana use which could be appealing to teens,” says Rago.

According to Rago, the district launched a multi-step vaping intervention learning curriculum after vaping became common in schools around the country, and they are considering doing the same for marijuana.

“Is there a way that we can kind of mirror that specific to a cannabis intervention program?” she continued.

Rago says that in addition to collaborating with a variety of organizations to educate students about the substance, they will also provide staff and parent training so that they can recognize warning signs.

“In the midst of it-and you feel like your teen might need that support-then again reach out and get that support for them,” say Rago.

She iterated their slogan that legal does not mean safe, clarifying that if students are caught with it then they not only may face ”consequence, whether it be some kind of in-school suspension or perhaps a detention along those lines; they also would participate in this program–there has to be teaching.”

With the goal being to get students educated on safety, rather than in trouble, Rago says that they are “developing their skills for whatever might come next. Right now, it’s marijuana–but what could be the next trend or next kind of thing? That is going to be a challenging issue that, no matter what that might look like, kids at the basis will have everything they need to be able to handle.”