Vail Daily letter: Successful event | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: Successful event

We would like to take a moment to sincerely thank the concerned parents and community members who attended the Eagle River Youth Coalition and Total Health Alliance of Eagle County’s May 3 Marijuana Forum at Battle Mountain High School. The panel of experts presented the latest information about marijuana products, health and other concerns, as well as provided information about consequences and potential solutions.

Of the numerous facts and trends shared by the professionals, Ryan McCay of Battle Mountain High School noted that teenage marijuana use is detrimental because the brain isn’t done developing until the mid-20s.

Megan Heil of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office clarified the history of marijuana’s decriminalization and shared very interesting information on current products available on the market, including transdermal patches which can be completely hidden from view. Marijuana educator Olga Wilkins shared excellent educational resource clearinghouses including Good to Know, Protect What’s Next and Speak Now. Dr. MacColl of Mind Springs Health shared on the correlation between marijuana use and mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and suicide.

Of the attendees who completed our evaluation:

• 79 percent reported increase in knowledge of marijuana laws due to this presentation.

• 86 percent reported increase in knowledge of marijuana trends and products due to this presentation.

• 86 percent reported increased confidence discussing marijuana and its effects with children, friends, colleagues and others.

These statistics, especially the third one, are encouraging because proactive, healthy communication between parents and their kids is paramount. A parent’s voice is the strongest voice that youth hears.

For those who missed the forum and are interested in learning more about this topic, we are thrilled to let the community know that, as a result of the generosity of Eagle County’s ecoTV18, there is a full recording of the forum available to watch online. Please visit eagleyouth.org to view a link to the forum, or just preview bits and pieces if you don’t have time to watch the entire recording. As always, we welcome your feedback and comments to info@eagleyouth.org.

Lastly, thank you to our expert panel members for bringing crucial information and data to our community: Megan Heil, school resource officer, Eagle County Sheriff’s Office; Olga Wilkins, marijuana educator, Crea; Dr. Catherine MacColl, psychiatrist, Mind Springs Health; and Ryan McCay, Battle Mountain High School athletic director.

We look forward to hosting more prevention education initiatives in the very near future.

Daric Harvey

Town of Vail Police Department, Eagle River Youth Coalition board member and Total Health Alliance of Eagle County committee chair

Michelle Stecher

Eagle River Youth Coalition executive director and Total Health Alliance of Eagle County committee member