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Protecting CT’s Youth in the Age of Legal Cannabis


The opening of adult-use cannabis dispensaries in Connecticut marks a major change in our state. This is the first time cannabis has been legally sold to adults in Connecticut, and this change brings with it a responsibility for all of us to ensure it is used responsibly. Now more than ever, we need to think about the potential harm cannabis use can have on young people. Regardless of your stance on the issue of legalization, we must all take responsibility for protecting our youth.

The Governor’s Prevention Partnership has been working to prevent youth substance use for more than 30 years. We understand the importance of education and awareness about cannabis use for young people. Cannabis use can have a significant impact on healthy development and it is critical for parents, carers, educators and community members to have accurate information about the effects of cannabis use on young people.

As a parent, I know that protecting our children from the potential harm is a top priority – and I know that may become more difficult now that cannabis is legal, the perception of harm has diminished, or you may find it more difficult to tell your child don’t use marijuana if you use it. At the most basic levels, it’s important to talk to your children about substance use and the dangers of substance use to their health. Teens are generally less likely to use if their parents have consistent and clear boundaries around substance use.

As adults, we have a responsibility to protect cannabis from accidental users. This means preventing access, keeping it out of reach, disposing of cannabis waste properly and considering the potential consequences of using cannabis in front of young people.

It is not only the responsibility of the parents, but also of the cannabis dispensaries to ensure that no cannabis is sold to minors. Dispensaries have a legal and moral obligation to comply with state laws and regulations and not to sell to anyone under the age of 21. They also have a responsibility to educate customers about the safe storage and disposal of cannabis products to ensure they do not end up in their hands. of young people.


The legalization and sale of cannabis for adult use in Connecticut highlights the public’s need for accurate information and training. In response, we are announcing a free virtual training event, “Cannabis in CT”. This informative webinar will take place on February 2. It provides participants with facts about cannabis use, Connecticut’s cannabis laws, and the potential impact on healthy development in young people. It also includes helpful tips on how to talk to the young people in your life about cannabis use. You can register for “Cannabis in CT” via

As an organization passionate about preventing drug abuse, we recognize the importance of providing accurate and unbiased information to the public. We believe that through education and awareness we can work together to reduce the potential harms of cannabis use to young people. We urge anyone interested in learning more about cannabis use to join us in this informative event.

This is not a time to be complacent, but more vigilant than ever to protect our youth. We are all responsible for keeping our young people safe and healthy. As an organization, we are committed to continuing our work to prevent youth substance use. By working together, we can ensure that Connecticut youth are well informed about the very real harms of cannabis use and the potential impact it could have on their future. We hope you will join us in this vital effort.

Kelly Juleson is co-president and chief external affairs officer of The Governor’s Prevention Partnership.
The Governor’s Prevention Partnership is building capacity statewide to prevent underage drinking and substance use.