National survey shows big need for marijuana ed

Even parents who support marijuana legalization expect strong regulation of the drug that includes bans on public use and advertising of any kind, according to the results of a national survey released today in Denver by The Partnership at

The survey of 1,603 adults included 1,200 parents of children ages 10-19. Of those parents, 200 live in Colorado, and 200 live in Washington state, where marijuana was legalized for recreational use in 2012. Roughly half of all parents surveyed reported having used marijuana. The number was higher for parents living in Colorado — 62 percent.

The survey showed strong support in the general adult population for the medicalization (70 percent), decriminalization (50 percent) and legalization (40 percent) of marijuana. However, it also showed that adults’ beliefs about the drug and its impacts on health are “dreadfully wrong,” and their understanding of regulating the drug as they expect it to be “horribly naive,” said A. Thomas McLellan, an expert researcher on addiction treatment who served from 2009 to 2010 as science advisor and deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Mr. McClellan is now chief executive officer of the Treatment Research Institute, which works to change the ways research is used to treat addiction and develop public policies around substance use and abuse.

[box type=”shadow”]The Drug Free Partnership presented the survey’s findings at the University of Denver’s Cable Center and hosted a panel discussion afterwards. That panel included Mr. McLellan, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers and SAM board advisor Dr. Christian Thurstone. Journalist Christine Tatum, a SAM supporter and Dr. Thurstone’s wife, summarized the panel discussion here.[/box]

Ms. Tatum caught up with Mr. McLellan after the presentation.