The San Marcos Prevention Coalition is working hard in our community to implement new campaigns and programs designed to raise awareness and prevent youth alcohol and drug use. The organization’s mission is to reduce youth alcohol and drug use and advocate for safe and healthy neighborhoods by improving environmental norms and community policies and enhancing efforts to promote and deliver effective substance abuse prevention.
Here are just a few of their recent activities:
Teen Marijuana Prevention Campaign
Marijuana is the second most abused drug, behind alcohol, among San Marcos teens. The California Healthy Kids Survey found approximately 1 in 5 San Marcos 11th graders reported using marijuana in the past 30 days.
It’s important for parents, caregivers, and teens to know and discuss the risks of using marijuana. There is a lot of compelling research about the real harms of youth marijuana use.
Watch your mailbox. Four “parental toolkit” postcards have been developed around this topic and will be mailed to San Marcos households with teens. The first postcard will hit mailboxes around March 1st, with the following postcards hitting each month thereafter. Each postcard will address a different harm of teen marijuana use, and provide important information for parents, caregivers, and teens to discuss and understand.
You will also see these postcards printed in the next four issues of SHARE San Marcos. Watch for them and use them as talking points with your family and the youth organizations you support. Ultimately, the goal is to educate and help prevent marijuana use so our youth can be safe, healthy, and enjoy a successful future.
New Electronic Cigarette Policy in San Marcos
The use of Electronic Cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in all smoke-free locations is now prohibited in San Marcos, and e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine must be placed behind the retail counter like traditional cigarettes. With support from the San Marcos Prevention Coalition and its partners, and members of the community, the San Marcos City Council voted unanimously to approve this policy.
According to the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future study, more teens use e-cigarettes than traditional, tobacco cigarettes or another tobacco product.
In response to the policy change, the City noted, “by creating smoke-free areas throughout the San Marcos community, the rule change demonstrates the City’s commitment to improving the health, safety and well-being for residents.”
Underage Drinking Retail Signage Prevention Campaign
With the support of the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), the San Marcos Prevention Coalition (SMPC) coordinates with retail stores that sell alcohol in San Marcos to voluntarily place a warning sign that states, “Buying, Selling or Providing Alcohol to youth under age 21 is against the law, punishable by fines and/or jail.” The SMPC, along wiht their National Guard civil servant coalition partners, will produce and install free of charge the signs to participating stores.
In San Marcos, alcohol is the second most abused drug by our youth, just behind marijuana. Research shows underage youths can successfully purchase alcohol for themselves from retails stores, or ask someone of legal age to purchase it for them.
Unlike stores that sell tobacco, there is no mandatory warning signage for stores that sell alcohol to remind the public that selling, buying, or providing alcohol to youths under age 21 is against the law, and punishable by fines and/or jail.
Mandatory tobacco warning signs stating buying, selling, or providing tobacco to underage youths has proven successful in reducing access to minors. The Underage Drinking Retail Signage Prevention Campaign piloted in other Southern California cities successfully deterred youth from trying to purchase alcohol. Thus, reducing youth access and consumption of alcohol. Reducing underage drinking will create a healthier, safer San Marcos.