Following Up  | October 27, 2020 Online Program

Recorded on Tuesday, October 27, 2020

What was once a relatively simple plant, cannabis (marijuana) has inspired everything from fear to fierce loyalty. We had a conversation about today’s marijuana and its impact on young people’s developing brains.

We need to learn all we can about this evolving substance, which bears little resemblance to a plant.
Our presenters addressed the effects of increased THC levels, social norms, availability, and the impact on a young, developing brain.

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* This activity is made possible by funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Human Services Block Grant and the Montgomery County Commissioners. The County of Montgomery makes no representations or warranties as to the suitability of this information for your particular purpose, and that to the extent you use or implement this information in your own setting, you do so at your own risk. The information provided herewith is solely for your own use and cannot be sold. In no event will the County of Montgomery be liable for any damages whatsoever, whether direct, consequential, incidental, special, or claim for attorney fees, arising out of the use of or inability to use the information provided herewith.

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Meet Our Panelists

Patrick Dowling, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

Learn more about Patrick


Person in Recovery

Learn more about Andrew

Following Up  | October 15, 2020 Online Program

Recorded on Thursday, October 15, 2020. We were grateful to have Ben Cort back with us to have a deeper conversation about the “Lessons Learned from Colorado.” We were also joined by Jeff Hanley, Executive Director of Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Prevention Alliance.

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↓ Watch the Recorded Webinar ↓

Click here to see Ben’s slide deck.
Take the Online Survey! Let us know your thoughts about his program, and which topics you would like us to address in future Online Programs.

Meet Our Presenters

Ben Cort

Marijuana Policy Expert
Author, Weed, Inc.

Learn more about Ben Cort

Jeff Hanley

Executive Director
Commonwealth Prevention Alliance

Learn more about Jeff Hanley

Here are the handouts that Jeff Hanley referenced.

Pennsylvania Legislation Bills to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

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Cannabis Legislation Comparison

Compiled by State Representative Jake Wheatley, Jr.

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Resources for contacting Your PA Legislator.

Find Your PA Legislator

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Facts for you to speak to your Legislators about Regarding Recreational Marijuana Legislation

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Here are some helpful recordings and links addressing cannabis.

Ben Cort’s full presentation on May 19, 2020

Dr. Joseph Garbely, DO, DFASAM on July 16, 2020

Dr. Garbely is the Chief Medical Officer at Caron Treatment Centers

“Clearing the Air: Vaping, Nicotine & Marijuana” presentation on June 16, 2020

Featuring David Fialko, BS, ICPS, NCTTS, Certified Prevention Specialist with the Council of Southeast Pennsylvania

Visit our Youth Marijuana Prevention Project (YMPP) Page

A 5-Year Initiative funded by the Montgomery County Office of Drug and Alcohol

Following Up  | May 19, 2020 Online Program

Recorded on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. We were joined by Ben Cort, marijuana policy expert from Colorado and author of Weed, Inc.

Subscribe & Stay Connected!

↓ Watch the Recorded Webinar ↓

Take the Online Survey! Let us know your thoughts about his program, and which topics you would like us to address in future Online Programs.

Watch Ben’s TEDx talk from November 2017.

Click Here

Here is the book written by Ben Cort in 2017, Weed, Inc.

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Learn about Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome from the DSM-5

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See the DSM-5 criteria for Substance Use Disorder (Addiction)

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Here is the book that Ben mentioned, Cannabis in Medicine: An Evidence Based Approach. Ben helped to write the recovery and treatment chapter.

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Be a Part of the Conversation has one goal:  to address substance use, misuse and addiction and its impact on individuals and their families by building a culture of awareness and support.

To that end, we will strive to provide as much supportive information as possible regarding all mood-altering substances, and the related research and treatment options.

View the November 2018 presentation by Ben Cort at Be a Part of the Conversation’s community event:

Click here to see Ben’s slide deck.

Helpful Information

There is a great deal to understand about this very complicated substance. Below are just a few resources.

Marijuana for Anxiety in Teens

Learn about “Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome”
National Institutes of Health/US National Library of Medicine

Some frequent questions about marijuana, and related responses.
SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)

Marijuana consumers are 2.7 times more likely to abuse harder drugs.

Marijuana has also been shown to lower pain threshold.

Marijuana worse for teen brains than alcohol, study finds.
NBC News, October 3, 2018
View the full article, published by The American Journal of Psychiatry here.

FDA & Marijuana:  Questions & Answers
U.S. Food & Drug Administration

Kevin A. Sabet, PhD, Shares Important Lessons from Cannabis Legalization
“The Buzz,” Center on Addiction

National Adolescent Drug Trends in 2017: Findings Released
University of Michigan Institute for Social Research

Dr. Nora Volkow Discusses Marijuana’s Effects on the Brain, Body & Behavior
NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse)

  • More from NIDA:

The Black Market in States with Legalized Marijuana

  • Narcotics officers in Colorado have been busy responding to the 50% increase in illegal grow operations across rural areas in the state (Stewart, 2017).
  • In 2016 alone, Colorado law enforcement confiscated 7,116 pounds of marijuana, carried out 252 felony arrests, and made 346 highway interdictions of marijuana headed to 36 different U.S. states (RMHIDTA, 2017).
  • The U.S. mail system has also been affected by the black market, seeing an 844% increase in marijuana seizures (RMHIDTA, 2017).
  • A leaked police report in Oregon revealed that at least 70% of marijuana sales in 2016 were on the black market and around three to five times the amount of marijuana consumed in Oregon leaves the state for illegal sales (Hughes, 2017; Associated Press, 2017, August 14; OSPDES, 2017).
  • The U.S. Attorney in Oregon reported in 2018 that “Oregon has a massive marijuana overproduction problem,” with 2,644 pounds of marijuana in outbound postal parcels and over $1.2 million in cash seized in 2017 alone (Williams, 2018).

Rocky Mountain HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Report

September 2019  |  The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact Volume 6

“Legal Marijuana Coming into Focus” – Colorado Health Institute

Updated: April 11, 2017

The Lancet, Psychiatry:  Cannabis & Psychosis

May 2015

National Institute on Drug Abuse:  Is marijuana addictive?

Mental Health Consequences:  Does Cannabis Cause, Exacerbate or Ameliorate Psychiatric Disorders? An Oversimplified Debate Discussed

Lessons Learned from Marijuana Legalization in Four U.S. States and D.C.