City Announces Launch of Cannabis Information Campaign Amid Results of 2017 Survey


City officials announced Friday another development in its management of cannabis in Long Beach, this time in the form of education.

Following the results of a 2017 survey conducted by city and county health officials in which over 60 percent of adults reported having used cannabis, the city’s health department has determined the need for widespread cannabis education.

That education will take place in the form of an informational campaign called GreenlightLB, through the Department of Health and Human Services’ Cannabis Education Program.

City officials said the campaign will “educate the public about safe cannabis use, the risk of cannabis use to developing minds, and the risks and legal ramifications of driving under the influence of cannabis.”

The 2017 survey was conducted by the city’s Cannabis Education Program, in partnership with the county’s Department of Public Health Substance Abuse Prevention and Control, to understand behaviors and perceptions surrounding cannabis and prescription drugs in the community, according to a city release.

The surveys, made available in English, Spanish and Khmer, were circulated in Long Beach digitally across city-wide social media channels and via paper at various community events and recreation centers, officials stated. Paper surveys were also distributed to Cal State Long Beach students.

A total of 649 surveys were completed and analyzed, according to city officials. Individuals ages 25 and older made up 341 respondents while those 18-25 years old made up 200 of respondents and those ages 12-17 consisted of 108 respondents.

The survey found that 61.5 percent of adults have used cannabis with 46 percent of those 18-25 years of age reporting they have driven while high.

Additional findings include:

  • 72 percent of 18 to 25-year-olds agree or strongly agree that cannabis is harmful to the brain development of youth.
  • 61.5 percent of adults over 18 years of age have used cannabis. This figure is similar among 18 to 25-year-olds (61 percent).
  • Of the 61 percent of 18 to 25-year-olds who have used cannabis 83 percent use it for fun, 67 percent use it to relax, 45 percent use it to get high and 44 percent use it to sleep.
  • 52 percent of 18 to 25-year-olds are getting cannabis from a friend, and 26 percent from a dispensary.
  • 40 percent of 18 to 25-year-olds are using at home, followed by 22 percent at a friend’s, and 13 percent at a party or kickback other than a friend’s.
  • 19 percent of 18 to 25-year-olds report cannabis caused them harm in the form of driving under the influence, and 17 percent say it affected their personal motivation to succeed. 60 percent report that it caused them no harm.
  • 41 percent of 18 to 25-year-olds report having been in a car with someone driving under the influence.
  • 43.5 percent of youth 12 to 17 years of age disapprove or strongly disapprove of someone their age using cannabis; 43.5 percent neither approve nor disapprove.

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter for the Long Beach Post. Growing up as one of six kids in the working-class immigrant suburb of South Gate, she was taught the importance of civic engagement and to show compassion for others. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015. An avid Harry Potter fan, Stephanie now lives in Bixby Knolls with her boyfriend and their bearded dragon, Austin.