What makes the teenage brain different from all other brains? Why is Ventura County treating teens differently
than other residents when it comes to marijuana? Is using marijuana really more dangerous if you're a teenager?

Let's Talk About Teens.

Why is How High so fierce in its mission to safeguard the teen brain? Marijuana affects teens differently than adults. Why should we work together to protect the health of your youth? Aside from the obvious fact that today's teens will be tomorrow's adults, it boils down to simple science. New research reveals the teen brain doesn't complete its full development until the mid 20s. The decision to invite an outside substance (marijuana, alcohol, opioids, etc.) can disturb, disrupt and hijack the brain's normal development process.

How High Ventura County is a health initiative designed to teach parents and youth that marijuana affects teens differently. It's not about politics. It's not about being 'for' or 'against' usage of marijuana. It's about uniting as adults to teach kids that this particular substance affects them differently and can lead to harmful outcomes.

How High is dedicated not only to the science behind what happens when a teenager smokes weed, but also to the social science behind why teenagers begin to smoke weed. Let's face it. It's hard to talk about issues like "self esteem," "identity" and "peer pressure" without sounding like a dated textbook from 1956. But these issues are at the core of the How High educational initiative. Why? Because the majority of teenagers who smoke weed in Ventura County say they practically need it to fit in. Other teen users turn to it to "cope" with challenging emotional issues and circumstances.

The technologies may have changed since we were teens - from Instagram to Snapchat to Spotify - but the underlying emotional landscape has not. How can we adults transcend the inevitable walls a teenager erects? How can we slice to the core of what inspires the desire to smoke marijuana in the first place?

How High exists to give adults the data you need about weed, and the tools and tips you might need to help you begin that conversation with your teen. Our team of educators descends into the community to teach high school and middle school students about the health harm caused by marijuana.

Need help commencing the dialogue with your teen? Take our quiz, What's Your HighQ to uncover how much you already know. Read our FAQs. Learn the nuances of smoking, vaping, edibles, potency and wax (butane hash oil).

If you have further questions, check out Ventura County Behavioral Health's partner site mjfactcheck.org. But the most important question is one we pose to you: Will you talk to your son or daughter about marijuana? We are here to support you in initiating this dialogue. For guidance or help, please contact us at: howhigh@ventura.org.


TIME: source.        New York Times: source.

NPR: source.         USA Today: source.

CNN: source.         Boston Globe: source.