Marijuana school suspensions more than doubled after legalization

Alaska’s legalization of marijuana got here with an enormous spike in suspensions of Anchorage college students for utilizing or carrying pot at college.

We voted in 2014 to deal with marijuana like alcohol. Alcohol destroys Alaska lives and households. Now authorized marijuana is beginning to do its injury.

In the meantime, the alcohol business is preventing exhausting and soiled to maintain an area tax off the poll that might handle a few of its injury. The Anchorage Meeting will vote on that Jan. 23. The municipality already levies an area marijuana tax.

Within the fall faculty semester of 2015, quickly after legalization, the Anchorage Faculty District suspended sixty nine college students for marijuana use or possession. The identical semester the subsequent yr, the quantity jumped to ninety seven. Within the semester that simply ended, 166 college students have been suspended for pot.

There is no analysis to say why this 141 % improve occurred, however it is not due to stronger enforcement or modifications in self-discipline coverage, stated Joe Zawodny, director of secondary schooling for the ASD.

“As a result of it is authorized locally, I feel, the stigma round marijuana use is reducing,” he stated. “The info would appear to say there’s growing use.”

I agree. By opening marijuana outlets throughout city, society went from saying marijuana was transgressive to saying it’s inspired. Youngsters heard that.

“Faculties are actually a microcosm of the group,” stated Superintendent Deena Bishop. “It was a group difficulty. It was voted on. It’s the place we’re as a society. However there are unintended penalties.”

For a lot of college students, one consequence is getting kicked out of faculty.

The district suspends college students for 10 faculty days — two weeks — the primary time they get caught with marijuana. A scholar can scale back that by doing an anti-drug program with Volunteers of America.

The aim of the coverage is to maintain college students off medicine, as a result of they can not study whereas they’re excessive, and to offer a drug-free faculty for different college students, Bishop stated. She additionally pointed to analysis that exhibits marijuana use in the course of the teenage years can injury mind improvement.

After marijuana was legalized, center faculty college students additionally started coming to high school excessive, one thing that rarely occurred beforehand within the sixth, seventh and eighth grades, Zawodny stated.

Suspensions in these grades went from only one through the fall semester of 2015, to 10 in fall 2016, to 26 final fall (I am utilizing solely fall semester numbers for comparisons).

Oddly, the state’s Youth Danger Conduct…

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