420 rally to celebrate drug-free youth
Ryan Summerlin April 17, 2012
Daily staff report
EAGLE COUNTY – The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office in collaboration with the Eagle Valley High School’s DADD (Devils Against Drinking and Drugs) Club is hosting its inaugural 420 Drug Free Rally on Friday at the Field House in Edwards.
This event will be celebrated on a local level with a free community barbecue and open pick-up games such as soccer, basketball, volleyball and rock climbing, along with a giant bonfire with s’mores and an outdoor movie. This event will begin at 4:20 p.m. with a National Guard helicopter landing.
April 20, also referred to as 420, has become a day to celebrate and smoke marijuana in defiance of the law and authorities. The code word “420” is used by the pot-smoking subculture for “let’s go get high.”
For many in the counterculture, 420 represents April 20, or the “National Pot Smoking Day.” Most Coloradans believe 420 sends out the wrong message to our youth by glorifying drug abuse. Others view this as insensitive and a dishonor of the Columbine High School tragedy, which also occurred on April 20.
In order to take a stand against “National Pot Smoking Day” and to promote healthy and safe teen choices, different counties throughout Colorado are holding rallies or events on or about April 20, with the emphasis on a drug-free message.
These events are intended to counter the perception that the majority of our teenagers use drugs and send a message that drug free is the social norm.
The purpose is to celebrate our teenagers and the fact that the majority of them make good decisions and do not use or intend to use drugs.
• 91.6 percent of local middle school students have never tried marijuana.
• 60.9 percent of local high school students have never tried marijuana.
• 39.1 percent of local high school students have tried marijuana.
Perception of risk and/or harm:
• 71 percent of local 12th-grade students saw no risk or a slight risk in harming themselves by trying marijuana.
• 69 percent of middle school students saw a moderate or great risk in harming themselves by trying marijuana.-
Eagle County is committed to spreading healthy, safe and drug-free messages to local youth. Organizations including the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Avon Police Department, Eagle County Schools, Eagle River Youth Collation and the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District (WECMRD), along with a number of adults and youth, have organized events as positive alternatives to drug and alcohol use by discussing the harmful effects of drug use, providing events that are positive, safe and healthy, countering the message that a majority of our teenagers use drugs and celebrating that the social norm for our youth is being drug free.