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Organization says parents need to be more aware of today's marijuana

HORNELL, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - The legalization of marijuana is a pressing topic right now across the nation. One local organization says parents need to be more aware of the effects of today's marijuana.

"They need to become educated about it," Norman McCumiskey,  "Know what the signs to look for with use of their kids."

The Steuben County Prevention Coalition, an organization that aims to reduce alcohol and drug use among young adults, said people should look at states that have legalized it and see the effects.

At an open town hall meeting in Hornell, McCumiskey cited a rise in crime and the risk of marijuana laced with chemicals and other drugs.

He also points to usage among kids from data gathered from Steuben County Schools, he said.

"With all the schools that we can in Steuben County in grades 8, 10 and 12, they ask some questions about drugs and what they've used in the last 30 days," He said, "lifetime use, so we know there's a lot of data what we're doing here tonight."

There is a benefit for marijuana he said.

"Marijuana does have some properties in that can be used for medicine," McCumiskey said. "Our take as a coalition is that if it's going to be used for any particular ailment, it has to be better than what is currently available through prescriptions."

As for those who are recovering addicts, "they may start out with cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, then other things," McCumiskey said. "They wind up with prescription drugs and then heroin. I mean, that's a common theme here with people in recovery."

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