Schools worry new pot laws could lead to more marijuana on campus

Posted at 7:28 AM, Jan 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-16 10:28:30-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - California's new law that makes recreational marijuana legal for adult use has raised concerns at San Diego schools that weed could become more prevalent on campuses.

"The perception of harm is going down, and when perception of harm is down and accessibility goes up, we have a dangerous situation," said Salvador Garcia, who runs a Youth Development Program for the County Office of Education.

Garcia said they need to wait a few months and look at suspension and expulsion records to see if more kids are getting high. But they think it could become like alcohol or cigarettes, something kids use, even though it's illegal for them.

"We see advertising now on billboards, we see people twirling signs for marijuana and it's a continued mixed message for young people that adults are okay with this," said Garcia.

The County Office of Education runs a program called "Friday Night Live" that teaches teens about the dangers of marijuana and empowers them to educate their peers. They're also working with the San Diego Marijuana Prevention Initiative to tell students about the effects weed can have on young, developing brains.

In the meantime, schools already have rules in place forbidding drugs on campus. They have no plans to change that, even though it's now legal recreationally for adults.

"Nothing changes," said Garcia. "Schools are here for young people to learn, and to get their education and to do well. And anything that's a distraction to that is a problem."