Carlson: Youth, marijuana and the ‘vacation mentality’
There is quite a bit of debate as to whether our community and our visitors are ready for an increase of marijuana on Main St. in Breckenridge. However, there is no doubt in my mind that the youth in our community are not yet ready for the increased exposure and visibility. Colorado has not yet had a chance to catch up to the legalization of marijuana in terms of educating our youth about particularly harmful effects on adolescent brains, or even implementing responsible packaging standards.
Surveys have shown that our local kids, as a group, have a significantly lower “perception of harm” than the state average regarding marijuana. In other words, many Summit County kids already have a much more casual attitude towards marijuana than their peers across the state. As parents who choose to raise our kids in a Colorado resort town where there the “vacation mentality” is common, we are responsible for educating our kids about making good choices. Increasing the exposure by bringing it to the town core will also increase their perceived acceptance.
Many of our kids go to Main St. to “hang out” and and it has allowed them an introduction to independence in a relatively safe environment. While Main St. has bars which serve alcohol, it doesn’t reek of pot. Yes, marijuana is already legal. Yes, it our responsibility to educate our own kids. That is all happening, but I ask the Town of Breckenridge to move forward thoughtfully, deliberately, and do not put the cart even farther ahead of the horse. Do not add one more level of exposure right now. The best thing we can do is to allow time to educate, and to model moderation.
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