March 30, 2022
Dear Smart supporter,
Marijuana regulations and policies lag behind new, innovative, and radically different THC products. This has left too many consumers and the general public unprotected and misinformed, including those at greatest risk: babies, children, teens, young adults, and pregnant women. Regardless of how an individual feels about adult use, the science is sound that there is no known safe amount of THC for kids or pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Please use this information as a starting point for further learning and thoughtful discussions with your family, friends and policy makers. Please share widely with those that care about kids!
Why it matters:
Today’s commercial marijuana industry extracts the primary psychoactive and addictive chemical THC from both the marijuana plant and federally legal hemp to create products that have little in common with the natural form of the drug. Many products come in benign, kid-friendly forms, including sweet flavorings, attractive packaging and branding, and are marketed in ways that appeal to kids.
Suggested regulatory points:
Robust regulations are critical to protect kids from the harms of THC. Support and ask your elected officials and regulators for baseline transparency safeguards at local, state and federal levels.
- Child resistant packaging
- Universal THC symbol on the product wherever possible and required on all labels
- Clearly labeled serving sizes and number of servings per package, along with directions for use
- List all chemicals used in growing and producing of THC products, including carcinogens such as butane, propane, and arsenic
- Health and safety warning labels of mental and physical health risks
GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT & ENFORCEMENT
- Legislate compulsory compliance checks with significant and enforceable fees and penalties for violations pertaining to selling and/or distributing to minors and require public disclosure of violations
- Limit the number of stores, especially in impoverished neighborhoods and where kids gather such as schools, playgrounds and public recreation centers
- Monitor, report, and enforce false health and safety claims
- Provide legal recourse for those harmed by gross negligence, false claims, or deceptive manufacturing, marketing, or business practices
PUBLIC HEALTH PRECAUTIONS
- Potency caps and maximum amount of THC allowed per package on all types of THC
- Prohibitions on kid-friendly THC products including candy and added flavors
- Collect, monitor, and report health impacts around de-identified THC toxicology reports on youth that die by suicide, non-natural deaths, and births with THC present
- Address key safety gaps when it comes to detection, enforcement, and reporting of THC-related impaired driving and fatalities
- Restrict advertising and marketing reaching youth to include: billboards, road signs, television, radio, newspapers, magazines, electronic ads, on-line and social media applications directed at youth
- Appropriate and meaningful funding for multi-year public awareness campaign focused on the risks, harms and negative effects high THC products can have on the developing brain and body
A recent Canadian study highlights that product and health warnings are an important part of regulatory frameworks for consumer products such as food, alcohol and tobacco. They conclude that “mandating health warnings on cannabis products in Canada was associated with higher noticing of warnings, particularly among consumers who obtained their products from legal sources.”
What you can do:
Who is dictating policy in your community? You can make a difference by engaging with local and state policy makers. Sometimes it only takes one voice or one story to change the outcome. Play a critical role, speak up for kids and demand that lawmakers, the marijuana industry, regulations, and policy be more transparent and accountable.
- Log on to your city and state website to monitor regulations and laws.
- Find out who represents you in the local, state and federal government and how to participate at each level.
- Sign up to receive notifications for local meetings and agendas.
- Make public comments and email your local and state officials when possible. Your voice matters!
- Be consistent and assertive with your messaging and ask your friends and neighbors to do the same to amplify your voice!
- Build a coalition of like-minded individuals and organizations that care about kids.
- Encourage your friends to sign up with One Chance To Grow Up.
Marijuana policy and products are evolving very rapidly. Many new, radically different and often kid-friendly products are constantly being introduced and aggressively marketed. Policy must keep up with these changes. Check out THCPhotos.org for free, licensed, downloadable photos, for your use, of available products in states where THC is commercially sold. Please visit our website if you would like more information and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Thank you for your care and support in better protecting our kids.
The One Chance Team