Together Our Voices: Your questions answered.


The following are questions from Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander youth that were answered by people from our communities!


How do we talk about cannabis?

How do you deal with stress?

What can we do to change our environment?

What’s the difference between medical cannabis and recreational cannabis?

My friends use cannabis. What can I do?

Learn about the effects of Cannabis.

Educate others so they can make healthy choices.

Spread awareness about the effects of Cannabis in your community.

What if I’m caught with cannabis?

In Washington state, cannabis is only legal for those 21 years of age or older. Youth caught with cannabis face many consequences:

Criminal Charges

Underage cannabis possession can lead to a misdemeanor charge. If someone has more than 40 grams, it’s a felony.

Possible Jail Time

A misdemeanor charge can mean spending up to 90 days in jail. A felony charge can mean spending up to 5 years in jail.

Fines

The penalty for underage cannabis possession also includes fines up to $10,000

Loss of Driver’s License

An underage cannabis conviction means losing a driver’s license for up to two years.

Can a cannabis possession conviction affect me later in life?

On top of jail time and a fine, a cannabis possession conviction can affect youth later in life:

Can’t qualify for financial aid for college.

A cannabis conviction can prevent a person from receiving college financial aid.

Being turned down from renting a home.

Landlords can refuse tenants with criminal records.

Difficult finding a job.

Having a criminal conviction may prevent you from getting a job.

Is cannabis addictive?

1 in 6 teens who regularly use cannabis become addicted. Factors that increase the risk of cannabis addiction include:

Brain Development

Cannabis use can have long-term effects on a young person’s brain development. A young person’s brain is not fully developed until the early or mid-20s.

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Repeated Use

People who use cannabis a lot can feel irritable, have sleep problems, or feel restless.

High THC content

THC is the main chemical in cannabis. When using cannabis with a high THC content, a person’s brain starts to change the way it functions.

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How can you tell if someone is addicted to cannabis?

Some warning signs of cannabis addiction include:

  • Losing interest in other activities
  • Stop caring about how their use of cannabis hurts themselves and others
  • Denying that their cannabis use is a problem and hiding cannabis use.

What are the health effects of using cannabis?

Cannabis has harmful effects on a young person’s brain:

Changing a young person’s brain chemistry

Cannabis use can have long-term effects on a young person’s brain development. A young person’s brain is not fully developed until the early or mid-20s. The brain is sensitive to drug exposure. Cannabis use impacts how connections form within the brain.

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Becoming vulnerable to addiction

Cannabis's effect on a young person’s brain makes addiction more likely.

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Impairing memory, learning, and intelligence

Cannabis use can impair attention, memory, and learning. These effects can last up to several days beyond the time of actual “high.”

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How else can cannabis affect a person's body?

Physical effects on lungs and heart.

All smoke, including cannabis smoke, can be harmful to lung health. Cannabis can cause the heart to beat faster. This can lead to increased risk of stroke and heart disease.

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Poisoning

Edible cannabis takes up to 2 hours to take effect. This makes it hard for a person who is consuming edible cannabis to know when to stop. And it can lead to poisoning or serious injury.

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What are the consequences of driving while high?

Driving while high on cannabis can be dangerous, even deadly. It can also result in a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge.

Being arrested for DUI.

There are serious legal consequences if you get pulled over while high. A DUI can result in the loss of your driver’s license, expensive fees, jail time, and high car insurance costs.

Injury or death

Cannabis can affect a person’s coordination and reaction time, making it dangerous to drive.

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