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Gordon Werner 1
Where's her editorial to ban alcohol? You know that stuff that actually kills people?
Posted by Gordon Werner on December 11, 2013 at 4:17 PM · Report this
@1 - Damn! you beat me to it! I just don't get how some people are in such a huff about marijuana legalization when alcohol is a way more destructive drug, has been legal for sometime now and is thrown in kids/teens faces everyday.
Posted by MoreDrexTalkin on December 11, 2013 at 4:21 PM · Report this
I’m a high school health teacher and I do not try to scare my kids from using drugs.

"I just try to scare adults from legal activities that I think are making my job harder."
Find some sand and pound it, Miss Plumpe.
Posted by Sir Vic on December 11, 2013 at 4:25 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
KNHC plays songs that glorify illegal MJ

How is this different?
Posted by Will in Seattle on December 11, 2013 at 4:30 PM · Report this
And the knee-jerk, idiotic comments begin. First, she mentions alcohol right at the top. Second, nobody is talking about banning anything (the conclusion @1 jumps to right out of the gate). She's simply questioning the message that's being sent.

Reasonable adults can have a healthy discussion about the messages we send our kids (whether it's about pot or booze or sex or anything else). Are there any reasonable adults in this comments section?
Posted by bigyaz on December 11, 2013 at 4:32 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 9
Does she REALLY think teens look at adults and say, "HEY let's be JUST LIKE THEM, because you know people my parents age are so cool." WOW is she out of touch.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on December 11, 2013 at 4:38 PM · Report this
What a joke of an article. Any single beer commercial is a much more potent form of influence and messaging to teens and children than 1000 meet ups at Seattle Center. You might be able to begin making arguments like this when marijauna advertising rivals alcohol advertising but not before and certainly not now.
Posted by QRRR on December 11, 2013 at 4:39 PM · Report this
She claims to be concerned about "telling the truth based on studies" and then turns around and quotes us anecdotes from "an intake counselor" (?) at Children's Hospital, who got the information "directly from teens being admitted".

So: your evidence is teens who are experiencing psychosis, hallucinations, and blacked out (they're reliable!) who are admitting to the minimum possible illegal drug use (one hit! just one hit! honest!) to an authority figure. Really? Because you are very, very concerned about evidence. (Also: "are physically addictive to 20 percent of teen users" - really? Cite your sources, because I claim shenanigans.)

Some of the rest of her points are less-obviously-full-of-shit - admitting that untangling cause and effect is tough is admirable. But: "throwing a party to celebrate the legalization of a drug by using that drug in a large group, in a public place where families gather—is definitely sending a clear message about our community’s opinion on the use of marijuana." - Uh. Yes. Our community just LEGALIZED THIS DRUG. That's quite a clear message that it's okay.

Throwing a party to celebrate that? Yes, okay, perhaps that sends a further message, but it seems completely trivial in the face of the fact that the drug is legal. Perspective, people.
Posted by Ancient Sumerian on December 11, 2013 at 4:51 PM · Report this
I don't think she is right, but she has points that need to be discussed. Pot usage by kids can harm developing brains, in a way that it does not harm adults. We need to find a clear way to send that message, just like we (try to) send the message that alcohol use by minors is bad.

But by discussing the issue with the kids in her class, she is doing exactly that. Removing all hints of adults smoking pot (behind the magical curtain) isn't going to fool the kids in any way. We need to quit patronizing them, and actually involve our youth in the discussion. It's a concept.
Posted by SeattleKim on December 11, 2013 at 4:51 PM · Report this
Dougsf 14
Most shit adults do for fun sends a bad message to kids. Isn't that why kids generally live with their parents and go to school instead of all just getting apartments together as soon as they stop suckling?
Posted by Dougsf on December 11, 2013 at 4:57 PM · Report this
seattlestew 15
"Think of the children..." Same shit, different day.
Posted by seattlestew on December 11, 2013 at 5:05 PM · Report this
venomlash 16
Her main point is absolutely valid; we should be cautious about telling kids "it's okay as long as nobody sees".

@6: Word.
Posted by venomlash on December 11, 2013 at 5:08 PM · Report this
GhostDog 17
In regards to her using anecdotal evidence in regards to dabs. In a nutshell, she has to. Keep in mind that until around 5 years ago or so concentrates of this level weren't really a thing. They have been around since the sixties, true, but because of the difficulty in manufacturing them they weren't really used enough to warrant scientific study. So she has to either use anecdotal evidence or say, "Maybe it does good things, maybe not, who can say?". This is a luxury we as people who don't deal with kids can take but not someone who is responsible for educating kids. Also, in my experience when someone is an inexperienced smoker and tries dabs it really can lead to a "cannabis overdose"(which is nowhere NEAR as bad as alcohol poisoning but still not at all fun).

In regards to "sending a message to kids". I think her argument really falls apart here. The history of "those kids"(where the kids don't like what the adults are into and the adults feel the same way about the kids) has a documented evidence all the way back to ancient Greece. Unless I see some really solid statistics I'd be very disinclined to believe that stoner parties will produce anything other than eye rolls. My counter argument would be Amsterdam. People see stoners having a great time all the time there and the cannabis use of their population is extremely low.

Lastly, I think we need some flexibility in regards to "public use". Part of what makes cannabis use fun is using it with other people. If you take that away you take away a big part of the fun of cannabis use. If you can only use it alone in a basement of a free standing structure that you own that makes it pretty much useless to people who just want to be law abiding citizens who also use cannabis.
Posted by GhostDog on December 11, 2013 at 5:51 PM · Report this
wisepunk 18
Here's my reply to those kids:

Children, sometimes the teachers and administrators (also friends and parents) will lie to you in order to get you to conform. Do your own research, and be prepared to suffer the consequences for any actions that you take.
Posted by wisepunk on December 11, 2013 at 6:02 PM · Report this
You want to know the best way to get a teenager to want to do something? Make it forbidden. I stopped believing him at "I do not try to scare my kids from using drugs."
Posted by treehugger on December 11, 2013 at 6:20 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 20
To add to @1, @2, and @10 who here knows any teachers, and knows how some of them do love to unwind with a glass of wine or three some nights, and go on benders once in a while. I do. Unclench, Mrs. Prude.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on December 11, 2013 at 6:24 PM · Report this
Sean Kinney 21
I still am not convinced that several hundred stoners smoking pot in a tent in the 'public square' isn't the least interesting party I could imagine. Well Occupy tops the charts. Still...
Posted by Sean Kinney http:// on December 11, 2013 at 6:39 PM · Report this
tabletop_joe 22
Is a-motivational syndrome to blame for her lack of citation?
Posted by tabletop_joe on December 11, 2013 at 6:49 PM · Report this
long-time reader 23
@19, bingo. I really didn't have the slightest interest in it until I had to sit through D.A.R.E. Also, as a fully functioning member of society (job, car, wife) who started getting drunk and high before high school and still aced the AP's and SAT's, I'm not the least bit concerned about kids enjoying these vices.
Posted by long-time reader on December 11, 2013 at 7:17 PM · Report this
jnonymous 24
I agree with too many comments here to enumerate and I disagree with the premiss of the letter writer; i smoked a lot of illegal and disapproved of pot in high school and can't imagine upping my intake simply because a bunch of olds were in on the action.

However, many teenagers are lazy and will shrug off responsibility whenever they can, and education is a responsibility of the teanager. Blaming a teacher for not being able to teach a stoned kid is foolish. A kid who gets high to further facilitate spacing-out in class is gonna do just that plus feel like he or she has really stuck it to the man

I want to mention to all the kids out there that getting high isn't just for shrugging off class. You can often find intriguing what was previously too boring to comprehend. You can kick ass in Geometry with a little lift. Use it to your advantage, not as just another way of being a dick.

Maybe if we take away the cool / forbidden aspect of pot, fewer lazy dickheads will hit it as a signifier of JDGAF and leave it to the real heads.
Posted by jnonymous on December 11, 2013 at 7:18 PM · Report this
raku 25
7 people in King County last year died from acetaminophen use. How about you focus on that instead of literally the least damaging drug that is tracked? Seriously, there are a lot of problems in the world that need to be fixed, pot use is 1 trillionth on the list.
Posted by raku on December 11, 2013 at 7:52 PM · Report this
raku 26
Page 85, there are 48 drugs that caused at least one death in King County last year. 48!! Marijuana (even in hash oil form) is not one of them.…
Posted by raku on December 11, 2013 at 7:56 PM · Report this
no8do 29
There is evidence that the vending of alcohol correlates with use by teens. Mostly they just stand in the parking lot of the grocery store and ask you to buy them beer.
Posted by no8do on December 11, 2013 at 11:01 PM · Report this
Claypatch 30
I also think most of her points are somewhat specious and not well thought out, although the overall thrust of her letter is correct, we should be thinking about the message this sends to kids. Not that the tent party was in any way detrimental to teens, it wasnt and anyone who would think so is either delusional or truly ignorant about marijuana; I went to the party, it was fun for about an hour.

I am also with her on the motivational aspects of smoking marijuana. Its been my experience that motivation diminishes greatly after consumption of pot, so I would be worried about my teens smoking if they had school work to get done. However this is only my anecdotal evidence, and not nearly enough to base any kind of public policy on. Have there been any kind of scientific peer reviewed studies on the effects of pot on motivation and/or emotional changes?
Posted by Claypatch on December 11, 2013 at 11:15 PM · Report this
this guy I know in Spokane 31
Because goodness knows, the thought of marijuana would never enter children's minds if there weren't public pot parties at the Space Needle.
Posted by this guy I know in Spokane on December 11, 2013 at 11:21 PM · Report this
> The THC levels in the marijuana being sold today are physically addictive to 20 percent of teen users

Bullshit. Or, as they say on Wikipedia, "citation needed."
Posted by aaronbrethorst on December 11, 2013 at 11:24 PM · Report this
blackhook 33
Sweet Annemarie - the hypocrisy from your letter drips like sweet wine from the corner of your mouth. Do you not see how silly you sound? Or are you one of the neo-prohitbitionists who would rather see alcohol banned as well?

From the tone of your letter, all bars should be *immediately* shut down, lest impressionable children get the idea that having a few beers is OK. The horror!!!
Posted by blackhook on December 11, 2013 at 11:47 PM · Report this
So yeah, I think we've all pretty well established that this lady is full of crap. The end.
Posted by Eckstein on December 12, 2013 at 12:36 AM · Report this
I think the teacher is right on regardless of how she worded her letter.
I used to work at Seattle Center and I've tried marijuana. The party crossed the line that should always be drawn when it comes to kids. Parents and teachers should have the right and a say as to what their kids and students can be exposed to that is still controversial. Has the principal of the Seattle Center school given a comment?
I'm embarrassed for Seattle and I found the event humiliating and demeaning for marijuana users concealed away behind fencing.
Posted by Seattle Rain San on December 12, 2013 at 1:14 AM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 36
Dear Ms. Michaels-Plumpe,

Isn't it part of a teacher's job to teach them critical thinking skills, and not just to be automatons? Kids are exposed to arguably harmful messages about a multitude of subjects. You can't silence every message you don't like (that pesky First Amendment). You can only try to provide information and the skills to make good decisions.

Kids go to football/baseball/soccer games in our local sports palaces every week. Far more beer is consumed at every one of those events—right in front of impressionable youth!!!—than evil weed was consumed at one pot party in a tent. There are hundreds of beer ads on TV every day, right in front of impressionable youth's very eyeballs. The horror!!

Please unclench.

Respectfully yours,


Posted by Reverse Polarity on December 12, 2013 at 6:16 AM · Report this
@35 The event was well publicized and "concerned parents" could easily have found out if there were pot parties planned for the initiative anniversary. I strongly reject your assertion that I have any responsibility to shield other people's precious snowflakes from any legal activity. If people don't want kids to be exposed to the world, don't have kids.
Posted by wxPDX on December 12, 2013 at 9:01 AM · Report this
@35 you talk about drawing lines and things that are "still controversial" seemingly without realizing what a broad mandate that represents. You know what is still controversial? Photoshopped women in advertising. But that controversy doesn't require all of society to shield abstract children from media. Individual parents can choose that for their kids but we do not all have to play along.
Posted by wxPDX on December 12, 2013 at 9:07 AM · Report this
Skye Blu 39
the only danger from pot is that it makes you think your poetry is good.
Posted by Skye Blu on December 12, 2013 at 9:53 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 40
this drug sounds terrifying. we should look into banning its use.
Posted by Max Solomon on December 12, 2013 at 10:23 AM · Report this
The celebration this past spring at West Lake downtown sure had lots of cannabis use mixed in with the kids and NO ONE seemed to mind. Pete Holmes spoke though a haze of reefer smoke while looking at toddlers on the playground in their midst.....

"Get on with it... you won!!!" That is what I heard the City Attorney say once before....
Posted by pupuguru on December 12, 2013 at 11:22 AM · Report this
BTW, I am have some acquaintance with Center School, the staff, their students and the students cannabis use..... I think a lot of their students are tokers, based on the ones I personally know....
Posted by pupuguru on December 12, 2013 at 11:30 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 43
@35: We're all embarrassed for you as well.
Posted by undead ayn rand on December 12, 2013 at 12:08 PM · Report this
NaFun 44
The response should be to allow consumption rooms, aka bars, where adults can gather to use their drug of choice together, safe from the eyes of our precious naifs.

Sure, kids should wait until they are older to use pot. Just like they should wait to drink, drive, operate heavy machinery, fuck, get married, have kids, move out, go to college, etc etc ad nauseum. We celebrate all of these choices, frequently. Theres a thing called being human that kids will witness us doing and will need to learn to deal.
Hey kids, if you are going to get fucked up once in a while as adults, please do it with pot instead of alcohol or other drugs.
Posted by NaFun on December 12, 2013 at 12:52 PM · Report this
My daughter had this teacher at Nathan Hale, and felt that she was a really good teacher...understanding, progressive in her thinking, and not knee-jerk in her reaction to things. She also told me that NH is known as "Inhale", vs Roosevelt/Boosevelt.
I have no idea what this has to do with the discussion, just thought I would throw it out there.
Posted by alexandria on December 12, 2013 at 4:34 PM · Report this
Teacher’s response to comments 1-45

This is the only response I will make on this as I believe it to be the only valid argument against what I was trying to say about the effect that public marijuana use may have on teenagers - not alcohol use - marijuana use. Don't try and change the topic or argument just because you can't counter argue your point. Find me a valid study that says that American teens that live in pro-marijuana communities where there is widespread public use by adults are LESS likely to use marijuana and we'll talk. I'll buy the coffee!

Here are some sources which support my argument (BTW, thank you Alexandria #45 I try very hard to be honest with my students, give them all of the information they may need to make healthy choices for themselves and encourage them to think critically about all studies including the studies I discuss in class.) I have listed my sources by date except for the first one as it supports the thrust of my argument.

Social norms and marijuana use – Columbia University, summer 2011…
Results indicated a significant and strong effect of birth cohort disapproval of marijuana use in predicting individual risk of marijuana use, after controlling for individual-level disapproval, perceived norms towards marijuana and other characteristics. Compared to birth cohorts in which most (87-90.9%) adolescents disapproved of marijuana use, odds of marijuana use were 3.53 times higher in cohorts where fewer than half (42-46.9%) disapproved (99% confidence interval: 2.75, 4.53).
Individuals in birth cohorts that are more disapproving of marijuana use are less likely to use, independent of their personal attitudes towards marijuana use. Social norms and attitudes regarding marijuana use cluster in birth cohorts, and this clustering has a direct effect on marijuana use even after controlling for individual attitudes and perceptions of norms.
© 2011 The Authors, Addiction © 2011 Society for the Study of Addiction.

Over Easy: Marijuana and the Teen Brain
Thursday, December 5, 2013 21:41…

Marijuana more risky for teens than previously thought
Adolescents face increased addiction, mental health risks, study suggests
CBC News Posted: Aug 28, 2013 11:26 PM PT…
As the debate about legalizing marijuana heats up in Canada, a new study suggests the drug might be riskier for teens to consume than had been previously thought.
Researchers from the Université de Montréal and New York's Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital conducted a review of 120 studies examining cannabis and teenage brain development, and concluded there is strong evidence early cannabis use puts some teens at risk of developing addiction and mental health problems as adults.

Adolescent Marijuana Use Affects Brain Development
August 28, 2012
Read more at…
Researchers recently found that, for those who use marijuana in a persistent and dependent manner before 18 years of age, there will be lasting harm to the attention and memory of that individual.
The long-range study was conducted by scientists from Britain and the U.S., along with assistance of a cohort of over 1,000 New Zealanders in a 40-year period. These participants began to use cannabis when they were young children and used it consistently for years afterward. The researchers determined that there was an average drop of 8 points in IQ when IQ tests at age 13 and age 38 were compared. They also believe that quitting the habit didn´t reverse the loss.
“It’s such a special study that I’m fairly confident cannabis is safe for over-18 brains, but risky for under-18 brains,” Terrie Moffitt, a psychology and neuroscience professor at King´s College London´s Institute of Psychiatry, told Reuters.
The results, recently published online edition of PNAS, show how an important factor is the age at which the participants´ starting using marijuana and the brain´s development in relation to the drug use. Participants who didn´t start using marijuana until after they were adults with fully formed brains didn´t show the same mental decline as individuals who used marijuana early on. The researchers believe that, before age 18, a person’s brain is still developing and can have greater damage from drugs.
“Marijuana is not harmless, particularly for adolescents,” commented lead researcher Madeline Meier, a post-doctoral researcher at Duke University, in a prepared statement.

Study Finds Regular Marijuana Use Damages Teenage Brains
Teenage brains are vulnerable to regular marijuana use.
Published on August 29, 2012 by Guy Winch, Ph.D. in The Squeaky Wheel…

Marijuana: Facts for Teens…

Marijuana is addictive. Of course, not everyone who smokes marijuana will become addicted—that depends on a whole bunch of factors— including your family history (genes), the age you start using, whether you also use other drugs, your family and peer relationships, success in school, and so on. Repeated marijuana use can lead to addiction—which means that people have trouble controlling their drug use and often cannot stop even though they want to. Research shows that approximately 9 percent, or about 1 in 11, of those who use marijuana will become addicted. This rate increases to 17 percent, or about 1 in 6, if you start in your teens, and goes up to 25–50 percent among daily users.

High doses of marijuana can cause psychosis or panic when you're high. Some people experience an acute psychotic reaction (disturbed perceptions and thoughts, paranoia) or panic attacks while under the influence of marijuana. This usually goes away as the drug’s effects wear off. Scientists do not yet know if marijuana use causes lasting mental illness, although it can worsen psychotic symptoms in people who already have the mental illness schizophrenia, and it can increase the risk of long-lasting psychosis in some people.

What happens if you smoke marijuana?
Some people feel nothing at all when they smoke marijuana. Others may feel relaxed or "high." Some experience sudden feelings of anxiety and paranoid thoughts (even more likely with stronger varieties of marijuana). Regular use of marijuana has also been linked to depression, anxiety, and a loss of drive or motivation, which means a loss of interest even in previously enjoyable activities. Its effects can be unpredictable, especially when other drugs are mixed with it.

What does marijuana do to the brain?
We know a lot about where marijuana acts in the brain and how it affects specific sites called cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are found in brain regions that influence learning and memory, appetite, coordination, and pleasure. That’s why marijuana produces the effects it does. We know much less about what happens to the brain in the long run when someone is a regular marijuana smoker.

Scientists use brain imaging techniques to study the living human brain, but we are still in the early stages of that research when it comes to marijuana. So, while we do know there are differences in the brains of marijuana users (versus nonusers), we do not yet know what these differences mean or how long they last—especially if someone stops using the drug. One reason is that it’s hard to find people who only smoke marijuana without using alcohol, which has its own negative effects on the brain.

Posted by amichaels-plumpe on December 12, 2013 at 6:04 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 47
@46: Are they "sources" or are they shitty articles that misunderstand/misinterpret very specific studies?

Instead of actually describing facts, we get the same unnecessary fearmongering.
Posted by undead ayn rand on December 12, 2013 at 6:40 PM · Report this
spaceapple 48
I think my problem with this letter is that the teacher is conflating "dabs" with all marijuana use. As a THC enthusiast, I have heard stories of these "dabs" from friends who are more connected to the medical MJ scene, and apparently these concentrated MJ formulations are qualitatively different than just smoking a hit of nature's own pot. Fine. But that's like saying, "You had a party where alcohol was openly enjoyed. Now kids are going to start chugging [insert nastiest, highest proof alcohol here]"

It's not a valid argument.

To be fair, this person may have a lot of direct, personal contact with young people who have been harmed by this, so maybe we should try to be nice to her, even as we talk her off the ledge. There's no way teen pot use could be as dangerous as teen alcohol use.
Posted by spaceapple on December 12, 2013 at 6:52 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 49
@48: I have no clue what "dabs" are but the "THC LEVELS ARE GREATER THAN THEY'VE EVER BEEN" sounds, again, like media fearmongering and not like actual objective discussion of marijuana use.
Posted by undead ayn rand on December 12, 2013 at 9:00 PM · Report this
Sounds like Nathan Hale has a good teacher who can teach Seattle a thing or two. Students are lucky to have a teacher that cares.
Thanks Stranger for posting an opposing letter to your sponsored event. That five year old's stare got to you didn't it?
Posted by Seattle Rain San on December 13, 2013 at 12:42 AM · Report this
Here's my anecdotal evidence: One kid I know has, for the past year, seen adults he knows using pot openly. He now has some reason to attach to the lack of motivation and career advancement in one of his older brothers, and he's 100% correct. Just like alcohol, if an adult choses to go live in the bottle or the grinder, they give up a lot of things. This particular kid has a much clearer view of what drug abuse (not responsible use) can do. It's really been a great thing for him.
Posted by ScreenName on December 13, 2013 at 5:51 PM · Report this

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