January 22, 2015

Forum Feature: CADCA Offers a Plethora of Marijuana Training Sessions at its 25th Forum

Youth marijuana use is one of the most pervasive problems in communities today. To help coalitions address this in a comprehensive manner, CADCA has put together a wide range of marijuana-focused training sessions at its upcoming 25th annual National Leadership Forum, held Feb. 2-5 in National Harbor, Md.

Coalition members have their choice of attending seven courses related to marijuana-use prevention.

For example, one of them, “The Naked Truth: Science-Based Marijuana Messages That Matter”; will equip participants with effective prevention messages to help community leaders prevent and reduce youth marijuana use, especially in today’s changing climate. Participants in this session will gain a better understanding of how CADCA has translated the science on marijuana into four major themes and developed prevention messages that resonate at the community level around each of them.

Presenters include Sue Thau, CADCA’s Public Policy Consultant, and Dale Quigley, Manager, Investigative Support Center, Rocky Mountain HIDTA.

Additional courses throughout the week will feature distinguished subject matter experts who will go deeper into the research and information aligned to each one of the four message themes: (1) academic achievement and brain development, (2) public and highway safety, (3) productivity and the workforce, and (4) environmental impact.

Thau said all of CADCA’s marijuana-related training sessions will be helpful to coalition members battling the drug’s impact in their state.

“We want folks to leave armed with the top line science-based messages about the impacts of marijuana on brain development and academic achievement, public safety, employment and employability, and the environmental impacts and then to go deeper with each message with actual experts in each of these areas. We want coalition leaders to have the in-depth science and evidence behind each message,” she said.

Thau was particularly excited about Dale Quigley’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) session, “Measuring Marijuana’s Impact Locally: Data Collection and the Eight Federal Priority Areas”. Participants in this session will learn about the eight enforcement priorities related to marijuana set out by the U.S. Attorney General. Also, participants will become familiar with how to collect and disseminate data, information, and metrics to measure how changes in marijuana laws and policies actually impact each of the eight enforcement priorities over time.

“This course will explore the Rocky Mountain HIDTA report on the impacts of legalization in Colorado with advice on what data sources to use in both baseline data collection and monitoring these metrics over time to determine exactly the actual impact of changes in marijuana policy on states and communities,” Thau said.

During “Science-Based Messages: How Marijuana Affects Highway Safety”, presenter Joanne Thomka JD, National Traffic Law Center, National District Attorneys Association, will provide the latest science behind driving under the influence with emphasis on the effects of marijuana-induced impairment and measuring levels of the drug to prove impairment. Additionally, this presenter will go deeper into the science about marijuana’s impact on public safety and those associated costs to communities.

Participants will also want to take part in a course led by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): “Marijuana and Kid’s Brains – What’s the Real Buzz? An Update on Marijuana Research: Effects on Adolescent Brain and Behavior”. During this power session, presenter Wilson Compton, MD, MPE, Deputy Director, NIDA, will delve deeply into marijuana’s effects on brain development, on thinking and memory. This session will highlight current and planned NIDA-support research to understand how and why marijuana use impacts adolescent brains and how what we are learning can enhance community-based education and prevention efforts.

Thau said CADCA’s marijuana trainings will be comprehensive.

“These courses are really about how to have a comprehensive understanding and be able to communicate the science and evidence of what’s really going on in your community related to marijuana use. Participants will hopefully leave being able to talk about this issue with some real depth and understanding based on the science,” she explained.

The marijuana courses are among more than 70 training sessions taking place at the CADCA Forum. Click here to read descriptions of all of the training sessions.

Held at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center, just outside of Washington, D.C., the CADCA Forum is the nation’s premier and largest training conference for community drug prevention leaders, treatment professionals and researchers. Register now!

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