Whether you’re a teacher, a professional working with youth, or a caring adult in your community that youth trust, it’s important to be equipped with the right information.
It’s illegal for anyone under age 21 to purchase, possess or use retail marijuana. The Colorado Comprehensive Health Education Standards outline how teachers can address substance misuse and marijuana prevention in age-appropriate ways.
The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) Standards & Instructional Support Team worked with teachers across the state to develop the Comprehensive Health Education Instructional Unit Samples. These unit samples link to the substance misuse prevention standards. New resources are being added often, so keep checking back for more resources for teachers.
Additionally, the CDE has resources and handouts available under Substance Misuse-Marijuana.
School and organizational policies
The Tobacco Free Schools Law includes retail marijuana in the prohibition language. RMC Health worked with school districts to provide training, education and technical assistance to review and revise current policies to comply with the updated law.
More resources for evidence-based curricula:
National list of evidence-based curricula that prevent or reduce youth marijuana use.
Washington State Institute for Public Policy’s cost-effectiveness breakdown of youth marijuana prevention programs.
Marijuana may impact the ability to pay for college
Since marijuana use is still illegal under federal law, any marijuana use or possession charges may mean that teens won’t qualify for federal financial aid opportunities. This includes Perkins Loans, Pell Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, PLUS Loans and Work-Study programs.
Section 484 subsection R of the Higher Education Act of 1998 states that a student with a past conviction for any controlled substance offense (which still includes marijuana) is not eligible for any of the above federal financial aid.
Be sure your students understand the impact marijuana use can have on their ability to pay for a college education.
Child abuse or neglect concerns
If you as a health care provider have a suspicion of abuse or neglect (i.e., that the health or welfare of a child is threatened), it’s your duty as a mandatory reporter to report it.
You can learn more about the signs of child abuse and neglect from the Colorado Department of Human Services or access the mandatory reporter training. Call the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline with suspected abuse or neglect concerns: 1-844-CO-4-KIDS.
If you’re unsure if marijuana use is a concern for the welfare of a child, contact your local Department of Human Services directly to ask questions.
You can download shareable resources about youth and marijuana, tips for parents and tips for youth-serving professionals.