Last Tuesday (October 24) volunteers hosted a Community Talk event on marijuana in the Winona Senior High School Auditorium. 40 individuals attended to hear from a panel of local experts on what they observe around marijuana in Winona County and how they view legalization of recreational marijuana impacting their field.
The panel consisted of:
- Rebecca Church, Winona County Attorney’s Office
- Arianna Saykally-McAdams, Person in recovery
- Dr. Beguin, Winona Health
- Kenneth Solek, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency
- Josh Mueller, Counseling Associates
- Nick Walch, Winona County Sheriff’s Office
A student from Winona Senior High School who attended the event wrote a brief report of the event, included below.
On Tuesday, October 24th, there was a meeting ASAP put on that specifically talked about marijuana use in Winona. I learned a lot from that meeting. I found out that marijuana use is not the norm for students at Winona Senior High and regular use of marijuana has many negative effects to a person’s life.
Students at WSHS seem to think that most people try using marijuana at some point during high school. This is completely untrue. In fact, a survey was done of students at WSHS and 9 out of 10 said they had never used marijuana. Another 7 in 10 went on to say that their friends would disapprove of them using marijuana.
Marijuana has many different negative effects on student’s lives. On average, students who use marijuana get lower grades, are less likely to graduate high school, and are less likely to go to college than students who do not use marijuana. It is hard for students and adults to get jobs if they are marijuana users because many employers require drug tests. Marijuana use can cause permanent structural damage to teenagers’ brains, which might provide an explanation to the link between schizophrenia and marijuana use.
Going to this meeting taught me a lot about marijuana use and the prevalence of it. It further affirmed my decision to not use marijuana and taught me that most people will approve of this decision.
You can contact the Program Coordinator with any questions or comments by emailing [email protected] or calling 507-474-2727.