AP: 3ba2ec84-41f5-47b9-9c92-7a13ecaec040
Washington's Superintendent of Public Instruction is concerned about a possible increase in use of marijuana by young people. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

School leaders fear how Washington's new pot law will affect kids

Washington's Superintendent of Public Instruction is concerned about a possible increase in use of marijuana by young people, particularly following the passage of Initiative 502, which legalizes possession of small quantities of the drug for adults.

School officials around the state report they're seeing a rise in pot possession among young people since the passage of Initiative 502.

"There's really a mixed message there," says Denise Fitch, a drop-out prevention specialist in the office of the state schools superintendent. "Time will tell how this thing all plays out but I think we need to be aware as school folks that marijuana use doesn't have any business on campus."

Fitch said the legalization of marijuana comes on top of cuts to school drug prevention programs, which statistics show have been effective in reducing drug use among young people.

"When the funding goes away, we see use rates climb and perception of harm go down," she says.

Schools just finished the 2012 Healthy Youth Survey, which includes questions about drug use. Results come out in March.

Schools Superintendent Randy Dorn says the new law legalizing marijuana does not change the law prohibiting possession or use of marijuana on school grounds, on school buses at bus stops and at other school-related activities.

Tim Haeck, KIRO Radio Reporter
Tim Haeck is a news reporter with KIRO Radio. While Tim is one of our go-to, no-nonsense reporters, he also has a sensationally dry sense of humor and it will surprise some to learn he is a weekend warrior.
Top Stories

  • Sordid Tale
    Tom Tangney found himself asking whether 'Foxcatcher' was worth it

  • Turnaround Underway
    The state's first charter school is on probation, but the director promises improvements
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.