VANCOUVER ‒ The Youth Now video and graphics contest running through Nov. 30 provides a forum for youth 12 to 20 to document why they choose not to use marijuana. The contest encourages youth to enter creative, high-impact messages to win cash and other prizes. Posters, hand-drawn or digital, and 30-second to two-minute videos must illustrate the theme, Why do you choose not to use?
Entry instructions are available at www.youthnow.us.
Clark County Public Health will lend video equipment to schools or youth groups that lack resources to create entries. For more information about the contest or to check out equipment, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The contest is part of the Youth Now prevention initiative made possible by a partnership between PREVENT! Clark County and Clark County Public Health. Funding is provided by the Washington State Department of Health through Youth Marijuana Prevention and Education dedicated marijuana tax dollars.
Data from the 2014 Healthy Youth Survey show higher rates of marijuana use among kids experiencing depression, thoughts of suicide, physical abuse or lack of adult support. Research shows many young people believe regular marijuana use poses little or no harm. By asking youth to share healthy ways they cope with stress, the campaign allows them to lead a conversation around youth marijuana prevention.
Research offers several reasons why youth should choose to not use marijuana, including:
- The brain continues to develop through age 25.
- Marijuana affects parts of the brain that control emotion, memory and judgment.
- The earlier a youth begins to use drugs, the more likely he or she is to become dependent.
- Heavy marijuana use by teens has been linked to lower grades, lower likelihood of graduating from high school or enrolling in college, and higher likelihood of earning a lower income or being unemployed.
- If cited with underage use, teens can lose federal financial aid and incur other societal consequences.