Sunday October 1st, 2023 7:12AM

Meeting Friday will explore the 'myths, facts, implications' surrounding marijuana

By AccessWDUN staff

"Marijuana: The Myths, Facts and Implications" is the title of a special training session scheduled this week, sponsored by the Hall County School System Student Services Department, the Drug Free Coalition of Hall County and Center Point.

It will be held Friday from 8:00-12:00 at The Oaks at Lanier Career Academy on Tumbling Creek Road. 

 Guest speakers are:

*Dr. Merrill Norton, a professor at the University of Georgia’s College of Pharmacy, and an expert on the developing brain and the damages incurred by it from the use of substances.  Dr. Norton will discuss the adolescent brain and how marijuana, alcohol and opioids alter its function often leading to the disease of addiction.  He will discuss the implications of what is happening with the latest research and what that means for those working with youth.  Dr. Norton will also review the effects of alcohol and opioids.

*Debbie Wiley, a Hall County middle school coach and health teacher, and her son, Martin Estes, who will share their story of Martin’s journey with his addiction starting in middle school.   Martin Estes is in recovery and is studying to work in the field of addiction.  

Across the United States, marijuana use among youth has increased over the past few years.  In fact, data shows that as perception of risk decreases use will increase.  As laws around the country continue to change, it has to be made clear that marijuana use amongst youth is a serious health threat.

According to the 2013 Monitoring the Future Survey, 22.7% of the nation’s 12th graders used marijuana in the past month, up from 19.4% in 2008.  Hall County students who participated in the 2012 Georgia Student Health Survey II report similar increases in 30 day use.  A little more than 17% of 12th graders who took the 2012 GSHS-II survey report using marijuana in the last 30 days.  Although most students are not using marijuana, the aim is to see these percentages of students using marijuana continue to decrease.

The training was originally developed for Hall County School coaches, PE and Health teachers, as well as school counselors and social workers in the middle and high schools.  However, registration is now open to Coalition members and the community. 

Registration is required and space is limited.  Please go to to register.

For further information contact JP Banks at 770-534-1080 x277 or [email protected].

  • Associated Categories: Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: marijuana, Hall County School System, Center Point, Drug Free Coalition of Hall County, addiction, substance abuse
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