Board of Trustees Meeting Co-Sponsored by the League of Women Voters November 2014

We had a fabulous collection of voices at our recent November Board of Trustees Meeting which was Co-Sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

The meeting was an opportunity to come together and talk about local issues affecting our community, underage substance use, being high on this list for both organizations. Our Chair, Brad Fincher, Coordinator, Cynthia Stark-Wickman, Vice Chair, Court Bell and Recording Secretary, Boyd Pratt shared some of the data from the Healthy Youth Survey completed from 2006-2012. Meagan Gable, our new Prevention Intervention Specialist working at the FHMS/FHHS also spoke to the way we can help support our local youth and encourage healthy choices. As well as some of the programs we have going on in the schools.

We also used the Audience Response System to poll those attending the meeting (anonymously) on various questions about substance use and the “perceived” behaviors of youth and adults in our community. It’s immediate feedback on how people are thinking and offers a great starting point for the much needed conversations to help create positive change.

Interested in hearing more? We have the privilege to air this meeting on San Juan Access Channel 19 at 9pm, in Friday Harbor, for the immediate future. Here are some photos from the meeting, too.

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In their own words…Articles from our Youth

Recently, we had an amazing experience at Camp Orkila. The first San Juan Youth Leadership Conference happened, bringing youth from Lopez, San Juan and Orcas Islands. Here are two accounts from our local youth on how the weekend unfolded:) Enjoy!

Camp Orkila was an amazing experience, and I will always remember it. Before the leadership conference, my friends would talk about it all the time, and I would always listen intently at the stories of mud pits and giant swings, wondering what it was like. When I got invited to come, I was so excited, I spent the rest of the day pondering about how the trip would be.

On the way there, somewhere along the ride we picked up Orcas in a big, bulky, Camp Orkila bus. It was an old bus, with clear signs of paint chipping. There were silver rungs above our heads, making me tempted to swing on them, though we probably weren’t suppose to. I enjoyed swinging on them anyways. Orcas and Friday Harbor didn’t mind any attention to each other. It was long, quiet and awkward. When we got to camp, we were greeted by Anika, Steve, and Jenny, the three Orkila counselors. There were small whispers rippling around the room, but it was only conversations between our own islands. Lopez hadn’t arrived yet, so there were a lot of empty chairs.

Eventually Lopez came, but by then I felt like there was a thick, long line splitting us into three groups of civilization. There was Lopez, Friday Harbor, and Orcas. Three separate islands that seemed like strangers to each other. We were separated into three cabins, one for each island. The tension was so thick I felt like I could cut it with a butter knife.

However, Camp Orkila had us play games that made us all interact with each other. We started to make small conversations, and we made a few acquaintances here and there. It wasn’t much, but it was better than nothing. Some people already knew each other to begin with, which probably made the transition easier. We played games that taught us to ask for help when we needed it, to lean on each other, and to work together as a team. We learned how to be leaders, but how to also to follow. In the world of Camp Orkila, nothing was ridiculous. Nothing was boring.

By the second day, I felt more comfortable with everyone. At night, we watched a movie (lots of ranting involved) and played games, and ate marshmallows around the campfire. Everyone split off between the groups of activities, wandering around from section to section. I fell asleep thinking that maybe we weren’t as different as I thought we were. Except the fire alarm went off three more times. Someone suggested, “We should, like, totally invade Orcas and be like ‘hey there’,” but we didn’t think they would really appreciate that.

It turned out one of our fire alarms were broken, which lead a chain reaction to the rest of them, creating a harmonic symphony of an ear-piercing, high pitched cacophony. One of my friends came over from another cabin and offered, “Jump into my arms! I’ll definitely catch you!”, but I wasn’t so sure I would survive the jump.

The last day was the best day. Yet it was the worst day. The giant swing was our last stop at Camp Orkila. I was totally pumped up. We geared up with our lovely blue bouffants (stylish) and suspenders that gave you wedgies, and split into two groups for the two swings. The swings were high up in the air, with a ‘Y’ shape to keep you from crashing sideways into the trees. You could decide whether to go all the way up or choose to go lower. I decided that I would go all the way up in a split-second decision and chose to go second. Everybody else in line would pull you up with rope, and you had to pull a purple string to let yourself go.

Going up was easy, but letting go was hard. I know that if I didn’t make a snap-decision, I would never have been able to pull the rope. So I pulled it (without thinking), and my stomach flipped and I was falling faster than I had ever fallen before. I swung in a huge ark, my voice falling in and out with the velocity I was speeding at. It was extremely nerve wracking, but I have no regrets. When I got off and it was my turn to join in with the pulling, I laughed and talked with my group the whole time. We got sidetracked a little, sometimes forgetting to pull the rope, but it was fun getting to know everybody. The worst part, though, was leaving. I had just experienced a taste of Camp Orkila, and I wanted to eat the whole cake. But I didn’t have that luxury. I left my email to my newfound friends and left for good. I realized it isn’t about Orcas, Lopez, or Friday Harbor. It’s about the San Juan Islands, the amazing community we are. We can choose to think of ourselves as separate. But I like it better when we’re one of the same, three parts of the same whole. I will never forget Camp Orkila, or the marks that it left on my heart.

Aida Must, 7th grader from Friday Harbor

Another youth shares his experience, too….

Did you hear over 40 local youth from San Juan, Lopez and Orcas Islands commenced at Camp Orkila for the FIRST San Juan Youth Leadership Conference? I should know, I was there! Meeting, mingling, and movement got us to know each other quickly. Team-building games, skills and discussions were part of this experience. I also got an opportunity to share some of the Strategic Prevention Framework I learned this summer at a National Conference. We looked at Environmental Strategies and how we can effectively be a change agent for our communities. Each and every participant enjoyed, appreciated and rejoiced in this full weekend of learning, bonding and sharing. It really was special.

Without the support of the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition, Camp Orkila, and the other Prevention Groups and Clubs from Lopez and Orcas, this educational and highly impactful experience wouldn’t have happened. I say Thank you! And, sharing it with teens from Lopez and Orcas made it that much more fun and effective. We talked about ways to keep coming together to share ideas and work together on projects for our communities.

I learned that people are born with leadership styles and they can change through the years.  Are you a Lion, a Monkey, an Owl or a Koala?  And, we  should try to honor each person’s strengths and weaknesses.

Thank you to Rick Hughes for giving an informative talk on what he does as a County Councilman and offering his support to us.

We rode a very tall swing built in the tree tops! Our teammates pulled us up by a long red rope. The thrill of soaring through the trees was exhilarating! Natural highs for this guy. We also enjoyed a rope course, where we needed the help of others to be successful. And, we also did a trust walk were we were blindfolded and walked in a conga line through the forest only navigated by the sound of a teammate’s voice, who wasn’t blindfold. We were pushed to our “challenge zone” at times and it felt good to achieve new levels of confidence when doing so. But it was also okay to check oneself and step down, if needed. This was about knowing yourself and peer pressure never came into this. In fact, I recall only words of encouragement being shouted. We left our mark by planting Daffodil bulbs for next spring as a service project for the camp. Overall, it was a super fun trip and looking forward to using the new skills I gained.

Zach Fincher, 9th grader, Friday Harbor


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Election Results from FLA. NO on Amendment 2


Reposted from The Inquisitr


Posted in: Politics 

Florida’s Marijuana Legalization Fails In The 2014 Election Results, Amendment 2 Supporters Vow To Try Again


Florida: Medical Marijuana Legalization To Be Limited To Only Five Pot Dispensaries Chosen In Lottery


Florida’s marijuana legalization effort went to pot in the final 2014 elections results. Although Amendment 2 supporters are sorely disappointed, they vow to try again in the future.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, the race to legalize medical marijuana in Florida was quite a close one. The requirement for Amendment 2 to pass was 60 percent but only around 57.5 percent of voters believe weed should be used for the sick and the disabled. But already, Washington D.C. is assumed to be a shoe-in and the polls for Oregon and Alaska are still calculating their numbers.

[UPDATE: The election results for Oregon's Measure 91 have come in. Alaska's recreational marijuana legalization results have just started pouring in.]

During the summer, the fight for Florida’s marijuana amendment also seemed like it was a shoe-in. Polls showed that around 88 percent of Floridians supported the idea, but then $6.5 millions dollars came in from Vegas casino tycoon Sheldon Adelsen to buy negative campaign ads. The “No On 2″ political ads had a leaked party video showing the primary backer of medical marijuana, millionaire personal injury attorney John Morgan, shouting profanities during a drunk party full of campaign staffers.

Florida’s marijuana legalization effort began to face more scrutiny and opponents attacked the language that would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for any major medical condition. Some opponents even claimed that the amendment would allow minors to get hold of marijuana through loopholes. The negative campaign ads had the effect of dropping polls to an average of 57.3 percent — even before the early 2014 elections results even began streaming in.

But John Morgan is already vowing to try again during the 2016 elections. His Morgan and Morgan law firm spent $5 million campaigning for Amendment 2, but he believes that older voters were the reason that Florida’s marijuana legalization effort failed in the 2014 election. Younger voters are more likely to vote in favor of marijuana, and the voter turn out is typically higher during presidential elections like the 2016 election.

“That’s why this turnout is so key. If the young people turn out and vote, we win. If they don’t, we could potentially lose,” Morgan said, according to WFTV. “Millions of dollars have been floated into this state for the purpose of defeating medical marijuana, but Florida is not for sale.”

John Morgan believes so strongly about the issue because it’s personal for his family. Morgan’s brother uses chocolate-infused marijuana twice a day to deal with spasms and the pain of paralysis. But if it helps Florida’s marijuana legalization effort, Morgan says he’s willing to change the wording of a future attempt in order to get it passed into law.



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Graphics show the relationship between money invest by pro-pot groups and those in prevention…

Florida Medical Marijuana Initiative Fails–For the first time since legalization began in California in 1996, opponents raised almost as much money as proponents to prevent the legalization of medical marijuana in their state. They were able to create and air TV commercials to present other viewpoints to voters, also for the first time. The case opponents presented included the views of the Florida Medical Society whose 20,000 doctors understand what medicine is—and is not. This time around, once they had a chance to hear it, voters took their doctors’ advice.
Alaska Legalizes Recreational Marijuana–You might think the 23 states that have legalized marijuana were responding to citizen demand. You would be wrong. The Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijauna Policy Project, their funders George Soros and the late Peter Lewis, a by-now burgeoning marijuana industry, and an estimated $200 million are behind the drive to legalize marijuana. Imagine a Congress where all 435 Representatives and 100 Senators belong to just one party, and you can begin to understand how one-sided marijuana initiatives have been.
So Does Oregon–Proponents raised $7.6 million to opponents’ $169,000 to legalize marijuana for recreational use, a ratio of 45 to 1. Opponents in Alaska and Oregon could not afford to present other viewpoints in TV commercials. Mean-while, after just ten months of legal marijuana, five Colorado cities passed amendments to ban the sale of recreational marijuana within their borders. The Republican gubernatorial challenger ran on a platform calling for the repeal of legalization. As citizens’ anger mounts over outsiders sweeping in, getting what they want, and leaving behind a mess for taxpayers to clean up, we are likely to see more of that.
E-Highlights features important news coverage posted to The Marijuana Report.Org each week. It is sponsored by National Families in Action, ProjectSAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), and the Treatment Research Institute. Check The Marijuana Report.Org often to keep up with daily marijuana news. Subscribe to E-Highlights. Like us on Facebook and Twitter.
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San Juan Youth Leadership Conference 2014 Recap

We are happy to report, our First San Juan County Youth Leadership Conference went fantastic and was well-received by the 40 youth from Lopez, San Juan and Orcas Islands who attended! Having a resource like Camp Orkila in our community is also a blessing, the camp counselors/facilitators were outstanding, too. Certainly, we had everything going for us and we are grateful…

Let’s share some photos, as we know, a picture is worth a thousand words:) October 3-5, 2014 we made new friends, learned new skills and got empowered to make the positive change we want for our schools and communities!

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United Way: Letter to Editor

Dear Editor,

Why is the support United Way provides for our County’s youth so invaluable?  United Way has their finger on the current education “pulse”, evidenced by their choices when allocating funding for youth programming.  San Juan Island Prevention Coalition’s (SJIPC) Youth Leadership Initiative is a fortunate example, partnering with United Way to develop skills youth need to be community leaders in the 21st Century !

United Way supports SJIPC to help youth acquire skills for navigating our globally competitive information age.  Learning and Innovation skills are what separates students who are prepared for increasingly complex life and work environments in today’s world and those who are not.

Through the SJIPC Youth Leadership Initiative, creative, hands-on “Challenge” experiences for children in grades K-12 help youth rediscover their own strengths and leadership skills and to identify and acknowledge the gifts of others. Challenge develops Learning and Innovation skills through team-building activities that focus on group connection. Objectives to instill essential skills of Communication, Creativity, Collaboration and Critical Thinking (Four C’s) are applied during problem-solving scenarios, based in metaphor, which assist youth in enhancing these attributes for success in today’s world.  Yoga Calm, a unique component of “Challenge” offers children “Four C’s” tools to manage stress and develop school and home habits that improve their physical, emotional and mental well-being, and ultimately, enhance their academic achievement.

 Through these experiences, young and older Teen Leaders are taking charge of the direction of their lives and their community, while supporting younger youth to do so, too.  The health of our community climate as well as the health of our natural environment are benefitting from our Young Leaders.

 Community organizations have partnered with San Juan Island Prevention Coalition to bring this critical education to youth- San Juan Island Library, XYZ Movement Arts, San Juan Island School District, Island Rec, San Juan County Conservation Corps, WSU San Juan County 4-H, Spring Street International School, San Juan County Fair, San Juan Island Community Foundation, and others.

 Please join the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition in thanking United Way for its vision to create a healthy community through the conscious education of our children.

 Alice Hibberd
Challenge Coordinator
SJI Prevention Coalition

Students were “Challenged” to listen to cues from their partner, as they were blindfolded, they had an obstacle course to traverse, meanwhile all teams were doing the same thing! The youth really had to listen and those speaking really had to give clear directions.


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Colorado Voters Turning Against Marijuana Legalization

PRESS RELEASE                                                  Contact: Kevin A. SabetSeptember 18, 2014                                                                                                            Colorado Voters Turning Against Marijuana LegalizationSuffolk University/USA Today poll finds support for legalization plummets 17% among Colorado votersDENVER- In the first indication of a backlash brewing in Colorado against legal pot, a Suffolk University/USA Today poll finds that now only 46% of likely voters support Amendment 64, the constitutional amendment legalizing and commercializing marijuana. 50% of likely voters oppose the measure entirely. That is a marked difference from election night 2012, when 55% of voters supported the measure.  Even fewer people – 42% of likely voters – approve with the way the state is handling the legal change. ”We have always believed that when voters were given the facts about marijuana, the marijuana industry, and the failings of commercialization, they would oppose legalization.  It is unfortunate Colorado has been the lab rat of the marijuana industry, but we’re confident legalization will only be temporary as opposition to legalization grows and our education of people across the state increases,” said Bob Doyle, Chair, Colorado SAM Coalition. Colorado has grown into a massive opportunity for marijuana businesses, who sell candy, chocolate, and other kid-friendly marijuana items. This has led to a rise in poison center calls and emergency room admissions. ”The theory of legalization looks a lot prettier than the policy in practice,” remarked Kevin A. Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). “Revenue numbers are low, the underground market is thriving, and health issues are mounting. And, it appears, the public is paying attention.” Project SAM, has four main goals:* To inform public policy with the science of today’s potent marijuana.* To prevent the establishment of “Big Marijuana” – and a 21st-Century tobacco industry that would market marijuana to children.* To promote research of marijuana’s medical properties and produce, non-smoked, non-psychoactive pharmacy-attainable medications.* To have an adult conversation about reducing the unintended consequences of current marijuana policies, such as lifelong stigma due to arrest.About Project SAMProject SAM is a nonpartisan alliance of lawmakers, scientists and other concerned citizens who want to move beyond simplistic discussions of “incarceration versus legalization” when discussing marijuana use, and instead focus on a “health-first” policy that neither demonizes nor legalizes the drug. SAM supports tackling mental health treatment and stopping the next “Big Tobacco” in the form of “Big Marijuana.” SAM is supported by a world renowned science advisory board and has affiliates in 27 states.
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FDA: Do Not Leave Childhood Depression Untreated




Every psychological disorder, including depression, has some behavioral components.

Depressed children often lack energy and enthusiasm. They become withdrawn, irritable, and sulky. They may feel sad, anxious, and restless. They may have problems in school and frequently lose interest in activities they once enjoyed.

Some parents might think that medication is the solution for depression-related problem behaviors. In fact, that’s not the case. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any drugs solely for the treatment of “behavior problems.” When FDA approves a drug for depression—whether for adults or children—it is to treat the illness, not the behavior associated with it.

“There are multiple parts to mental illness, and the symptoms are usually what drug companies study and what parents worry about. But it’s rare for us at FDA to target just one part of the illness,” says Mitchell Mathis, M.D., a psychiatrist who is the director of FDA’s Division of Psychiatry Products.

Learn More

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San Juan Youth Leadership Conference coming this October 2014!

Years in the making…Our local Prevention Clubs & Coalitions from Orcas, Lopez and San Juan Island are creating the FIRST San Juan Youth Leadership Conference! We are thrilled that over 40 local youth from San Juan County will converge for a weekend of learning alcohol and drug prevention strategies, team-building and, of course, fun at Camp Orkila. Skill building courses offered at the camp will help strengthen their friendships and remind them how capable they are. These youth are already amazing leaders, we just want to help hone these skills and offer some direction to go the course.

Local Prevention Clubs include: Rock Solid, H.O.T.S. (Helping Out Teens Society), D.R.E.A.M. Team, and Point Blank.

Come back to hear more about how this weekend went as we return in early October 2014! We have travelled to Yakima, WA. for years with youth to the annual WA State Prevention Summit and the conversations always came up with the Youth Advisors…”We really should do something like this in our community. We could bring more youth and focus on the issues facing our communities.” Well, thanks to Julie Pinardi, Orcas Island Prevention Counselor and Georgeanna Cook, Lopez Island Prevention Coalition, whom our SJIPC has been mentoring, they started to organize this year’s program, what is sure to be a powerful weekend of learning and bonding for these youth committed to helping make positive change in their schools and in their communities! Our SJIPC is supporting and assisting in this program. We hope it will become an annual event, too.

Photo 2012 WA. State Prevention Summit with San Juan County Youth & Team Advisors in Yakima, WA.

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Viewpoint: Medical marijuana doesn’t belong in state Constitution (FLA.)

Everyone, this article contains powerful reasons why seven Supreme Court justices in Florida are opposed to the medi-pot bill. The proposed constitutional amendment, that seeks to enshrine pot as a constitutional right, is extremely flawed and should be rejected by Floridians.
I’ve also attached a document which shows the projected number of pot shops in Florida (1,789) and how 121 of them would be distributed in the county of Hillsborough. It is worth looking at. Monte Stiles

Viewpoint: Medical marijuana doesn’t belong in state Constitution

12:16 p.m. CDT September 13, 2014

As former Florida Supreme Court justices, we once took an oath to protect the Constitution of the state of Florida. Today, we call on all Floridians to protect it by voting “No” on Amendment 2. This amendment, promoted as a compassionate effort to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, should be rejected – regardless of one’s position on the issue of medical marijuana.

Why should those who are both for and against medical marijuana vote No on Amendment 2? We offer five reasons.

First, the amendment is so broadly cast and vague, it will open the door to the general use of marijuana, not the carefully regulated medical use of a drug for those truly suffering. When proposed amendments are placed on the ballot, voters only see a ballot title and ballot summary written by the amendment sponsors. Most voters don’t have the time or inclination to read the full text of the actual amendment, much less study its impact. We have read the amendment and studied its impact.

And, we are troubled by what voters are being told about Amendment 2. Voters are led to believe that medical marijuana could only be used for “debilitating diseases.” But the full text of the amendment allows the use of marijuana for virtually any medical condition at the discretion of any recommending physician, and no actual prescription is required.

Second, Amendment 2 endangers Floridians by granting broad immunity from criminal and civil liability to virtually everyone involved in the chain of custody of marijuana. Today our criminal and civil justice systems protect citizens from harmful acts and compensate victims and families in cases of medical malpractice and negligence.

But under Amendment 2, those providing and using medical marijuana, including every “certifying physician,” would be immune from basic enforcement and accountability that protect our safety. This would make marijuana the only drug under Florida law for which providers, caregivers and users would be absolved from liability if someone is harmed from its use.

Third, Amendment 2 creates a right to use marijuana, coupled with a right to privacy for medical marijuana users, without regard to age. This could be construed to allow minors to obtain marijuana for purported medical reasons without the knowledge or consent of their parents.

Fourth, Amendment 2 creates the role of medical marijuana “caregiver.” There is only one requirement to be a caregiver – be at least 21. Amendment 2 requires no medical expertise, training or background checks for caregivers, who would have the authority to provide marijuana to multiple individuals. This caregiver provision could be used as a legal shield to protect drug dealers from prosecution. The Florida Department of Health estimates that if Amendment 2 passes, there will be approximately 250,000 caregivers and nearly 1,800 pot shops that would dispense marijuana. This calls into question the state’s ability to adequately regulate the distribution of marijuana, since it would not be obtained from traditional pharmacies, but from shops run by the marijuana industry.

Fifth, if Amendment 2 is approved, it would be almost impossible to fix its many flaws because it would be enshrined in the Constitution, rather than being a general law that can be changed or improved as needed to respond to inevitable problems.

Whether marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes is an issue about which reasonable people disagree and more study is needed. But anyone who reads the full text of Amendment 2 should readily agree that it is plagued by loopholes and vagueness that would lead to a myriad of unintended and undesirable consequences. Amendment 2 doesn’t belong in Florida’s Constitution. As former Florida Supreme Court Justices who love Florida and its great Constitution, we urge voters to protect Florida’s Constitution by voting “No” on Amendment 2.

Parker Lee McDonald, chief justice 1986-1988; justice 1979-1994; Leander J. Shaw Jr., chief justice 1990-1992; justice 1983-2003;Stephen H. Grimes, chief justice 1994-1996; justice 1987-1997;Major B. Harding, chief justice 1998-2000; justice 1991-2002;Charles T. Wells, chief justice 2000-2002; justice 1994-2009;Raoul G. Cantero III, justice 2002-2008; and Kenneth B. Bell, justice 2003-2008.

<Florida Hillsborough Pot Shots.pdf>

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