RCW 43.270 established programs to engage community members in partnership with law enforcement, government and key stakeholders to address community safety issues, such as underage substance abuse, increased substance use disorders attributed to marijuana, alcohol and opioid abuse, methamphetamine and community level violence. There is a great need to build effective community police partnerships to achieve greater civility and adherence to healthy community norms that benefit children and families. Gaps in funding to DBHRs, DOHs, and OSP's targeted substance abuse prevention programs point to the need for funding to engage the grassroots and key stakeholders in school and community-based prevention initiatives.
a. Commercial marijuana presents similar challenges as “Big Tobacco” in the influences on youth. To protect youth,
i. Restore and implement original funding allocations for protective measures under I-502.
ii. Strengthen regulations and enforcement of marijuana advertising.
iii. No sales of marijuana infused edibles that resemble any regular food item.
iv. Replace “recreational” with “adult use” in all marijuana legislation and rules.
b. Advocate for policies that support firearm safety and violence preventio
Raise the legal age of access to tobacco and vapes to 21 years and advocate for more regulation and enforcement of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). These strategies will have a substantial positive impact on public health, helping to fight the scourge of tobacco use and save lives.
Focus on curbing the expansion of alcohol availability as it evolves alongside commercial marijuana and other substances for comprehensive prevention that incorporates multiple substances of abuse.
Advocate to prevent young people from becoming addicted to opioids. Advocate for safe storage, statewide safe disposal, and limiting adolescent prescriptions to prevent overdoses. Implement the locally driven proven communications strategies geared toward youth and the community.