Smoke Signals 8/5-8/12 | Smoke Signals | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

Culture » Smoke Signals

Smoke Signals 8/5-8/12

The Pot Talk

by

comment

Just Say No. DARE to Keep Kids Off Drugs. If these black-and-white, fear-based programs had been successful, we would have seen more of a shift in illicit drug use by teens. Rather, in the past 20 years, the percentage of 12th graders who say they've used an illicit drug in the last month has continued to hover between 20 and 25 percent.

One thing that has changed is the perceived risk associated with marijuana. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, close to two-thirds (64 percent) of high school seniors don't see any harm in regular marijuana use. Twenty years ago, just 35 percent held that view.

While moderate cannabis consumption is generally safe for adults, many studies show it's not great for still-developing young brains. But how can teachers and parents convey the risks associated with youth marijuana use even as its use by adults becomes legal, and therefore more commonplace?

One Mountain View High alumna is embracing that challenge head on. Caitlin Sinatra, a recent graduate of University of Oregon, wants to write simple, straightforward books aimed at guiding people through difficult conversations. In "Let's Talk About Marijuana," she uses conversations between a teen named Mary Jane and her mother to walk families through an open-ended conversation about avoiding and responding to marijuana-related risks.

In every scenario—from differentiating medical use from recreational use and abuse to finding a way home when your ride is too intoxicated to drive—the book models open, non-judgmental dialogue.

For Sinatra, it's a conversation rooted in reality. Though she was first exposed to marijuana while home alone with friends at age 15, her father used marijuana medically while fighting cancer. Her goal, she says, is to promote the message that marijuana is for adults to use in a safe, responsible way.

"This children's book is designed to help adults and youth initiate 'the talk' about marijuana in an open-ended and honest manner to ultimately prevent adolescent substance abuse and use," Sinatra explains.

Learn more about the book at letstalkpublications.com.

About The Author

Erin Rook

Erin is the Source Weekly's Associate Editor. Before moving to Bend in 2013, Erin worked as a writer and editor for publications in Portland including PQ Monthly and Just Out. He has also written for the Willamette Week, El Hispanic News, Travel Portland, OUT City, Boston magazine and the Taunton Daily Gazette...

Add a comment

More by Erin Rook