Rock Solid Flash Mob Video 2017

It’s Another Day of Fun with Rock Solid Youth at the Fair! This year’s Flash Mob, Another Day of Sun from La La Land was a crowd-pleaser. We thank Francie Hansen, Coordinator of the Trashion Fashion Show, as she welcomes our youth leaders to share healthy messages during this event. The crowd is always amazing! We also appreciate everyone’s support of our youth, as they seek to find fun and creative ways to share their healthy messages for the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition. DANCE 4 HEALTH! We thank Madrona Jameson and Zach Fincher for leading the team, too!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

DANCE 4 HEALTH Flash Mob at the Fair 2017-Join us!

Watch the video, learn the moves. Don’t want to get up and dance, stand in the crowd and wave your hands to the beat! Thanks for supporting our youth messages for healthy choices! Dance 4 Health!

Saturday, August 19th at 5pm during the Trashion Fashion Show on the Main Stage at the San Juan County Fair!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The science of THC potency of pot.


July 21, 2017

It’s a challenge that has tested parents for generations:
How do you warn your teens about risky behaviors that you may have engaged in when you were their age? When it comes to marijuana, the key may be the science of THC potency.

Smart Colorado has launched an educational campaign focused on Facebook, a social media site that’s likely to be used by both parents and their teen children.

“The scientific research is clear that marijuana can permanently harm teens’ developing brains,” said Henny Lasley, executive director of Smart Colorado.  “These skyrocketing THC potencies raise the stakes considerably for adolescents. Our educational effort is designed to give parents – including those who have used marijuana – the tools to start a conversation online or in person with their teen children about the very real dangers of today’s ultra-potent marijuana.”
Levels of THC, the chemical in marijuana responsible for most of its psychoactive effects, have been growing exponentially as marijuana has been commercialized in Colorado. THC potency averaged just 3.7% THC in the early 1990s.  Parents may recall the nicknames for the low-potency pot of earlier eras: ditch weed, schwag, brick weed. Average potency of flowers/buds in Colorado is now 17.1 percent, according to state research. But marijuana industry websites say strains can reach 30 percent. Concentrates average 62.1 percent but potency rates of up to 95 percent have been recorded, the state reports. Dabbing – heating nearly pure THC concentrates known as wax or shatter with a blowtorch and inhaling the vapor through a dab rig – is increasingly popular. It’s been called the “crack” of pot and “for the first time it seems possible to ‘overdose’ on cannabis,” says marijuana industry website Leafly.The Smart Colorado campaign features a compelling new video that describes the risks ultra-potent marijuana poses to teens.  It specifically highlights dabbing and features insightful interviews with a high school student, his mother, a prosecutor and an adolescent addiction specialist, among others. Watch the video below or view it on Youtube.

Smart Colorado notes that Gov. John Hickenlooper this year told a reporter for “When you’re a teenager, your brain is growing very, very rapidly. The high-THC marijuana we have is so intense in the way it affects your synapses and those parts of your brain that literally every brain scientist I’ve talked to feels there’s a very high probability that, even if you only smoke once a week, this high-THC marijuana, if you’re a teenager, it will take a sliver of your long-term memory forever. That doesn’t come back in two weeks or three weeks. Your brain is growing so fast that the synapses don’t connect so you can’t retrieve information that you remembered.”

We encourage you to check out this campaign and give us your feedback.  Does it provide new information that you find useful in talking to teens, parents or others about today’s highly potent marijuana?


Support Smart Colorado

If you believe in Smart Colorado’s mission, please donate today to support our work. Thousands also have liked Smart Colorado on Facebook to get the latest news about our efforts to protect youth.  You can also engage with us on Twitter.

About Smart Colorado

Smart Colorado is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting the health, safety, and well-being of Colorado youth as marijuana becomes increasingly available and commercialized. Smart Colorado is a project of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center. To learn more about Smart Colorado, please visit:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coalitions in Action: Youth Create a “Keep Your Focus” Marijuana Awareness Campaign

In south central Connecticut, the Durham Middlefield Local Wellness Coalition created the “Keep Your Focus” marijuana awareness campaign, pioneered and steered by youth in conjunction with a marketing company partnership.

“This project was very much youth-driven. They felt there was a need to change social norms in their high school around marijuana use,” said Haley Shoop, Prevention Coordinator at Durham Middlefield Local Wellness Coalition. “Their voice was crucial in planning every detail of this campaign.”

Durham and Middlefield are two Connecticut towns with a combined area of 37 square miles and combined population of 11,797. While the area has great school systems, the large farm and wooded areas give youth opportunities to use substances in hidden locations and some parents are unaware that their children are using at all. With the legalization of marijuana in Connecticut looming, the youth decided that there needed to be an important and educational message campaign about the harmful effects of marijuana.

The students wanted a message with a direct quote from them, feeling that their friends and peers would be more receptive. They felt strongly that many of their peers did not think marijuana was harmful and fewer thought driving while under the influence of marijuana was dangerous. Many students stated that they were bombarded with social media advertisements favoring the consumption of marijuana-related products and that the legalization for recreational use of marijuana has given the impression that it is “safe” to use.

“The students felt strongly that they were not being well-informed on all of the negative or harmful effects of marijuana, specifically drugged driving,” said Shoop. “Miranda Creative, a marketing firm, listened to their concerns and helped develop graphics to make their message stand out among their peers and throughout the community.”

The initial launch of the campaign began with two large vinyl banners in high traffic areas at the local high school. During National Prevention Week (May 14 – 20), both middle and high school students promoted the campaign by putting magnets on all the lockers with the “Keep Your Focus” tagline and Instagram account handle. They also participated in lunch activities, read drug facts for announcements, hosted a school assembly, and put window clings in the high school classrooms.

The youth used social media as a platform to promote the campaign, above the influence messages and other positive images to combat ads favorable to substance use and other risky behaviors. The students plan to create a Snapchat filter with the tagline “Keep Your Focus” to promote at the high school graduation.

In May, the youth presented their campaign to members of the coalition, parents, teachers, key community leaders, and local media. The campaign also gained recognition from neighboring communities, one of which requested to use the driving-themed message to display on a billboard in their community.

Following the campaign, almost three-fourths of the students (74 percent) agreed that they are more aware of the risks around driving while using marijuana and 72 percent of the students are more aware of the impact marijuana use has on motor skills and reaction times.

“The students are very proud of what they have accomplished and feel they have a voice among their peers. They do not want to see their friends make poor or uninformed decisions,” said Shoop. “This campaign has brought new momentum to the group and allowed them to feel like they are starting to make a difference.”



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New WA. State Distracted Driving Laws go into effect July 23, 2017

Our SJIPC Chair and San Juan County Probation Officer, Brad Fincher, shares “Essentially the new infractions for distracted driving become more broadly defined to make it easier for law enforcement to write tickets and keep people safer out on our roads. The old laws were repealed to pave the way for new.”

Attached are the AOC law table updates related to the 2017 Legislative Session.

Of interest may be the new traffic infractions created in SSB 5289 DISTRACTED DRIVING–ELECTRONIC DEVICES–DANGEROUSLY DISTRACTED DRIVING.  Until the State Code Reviser had codified the new laws, the session law number will be used in the law table:


Effective Date

Session Law Number



Total Penalty Amount

July 23, 2017


Per Electronic Device While Driving

Traffic Infraction


July 23, 2017


Per Electronic Dev Drive 2nd/Subseq

Traffic Infraction


July 23, 2017


Drive Dangerously Distracted

Traffic Infraction



Once the above laws are codified, this message will be updated with the RCW number information.


The RCWs below were repealed in SSB 5289 and will be end dated July 22, 2017:
46.61.667(1)(a) Cell Phone Use While Driving Repealed
46.61.667(1)(b) CMV Cell Phone Use While Driving Repealed
46.61.668(1)(a) Text Messaging While Driving Repealed
46.61.668(1)(b) CMV Text Messaging While Driving Repealed



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

E-Cigarette Use Linked to Greater Risk of Subsequent Cigarette Smoking in Youth

E-Cigarette Use Linked to Greater Risk of Subsequent Cigarette Smoking in Youth

E-cigarette use has risen among teens since the product was introduced to the United States in 2007. Now, e- cigarette use exceeds the rate of cigarette smoking amongst young adults.

As e-cigarettes are fairly new to the market, extensive research has not been conducted to determine the long- term health and environmental impact. However, a new study from Dartmouth College shows that the potential harm of e-cigarettes should be taken very seriously.

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, focused on the question: Does e-cigarette use increase the risk of future cigarette smoking among youth? The results showed evidence of greater risk between initial e-cigarette use and subsequent cigarette smoking initiation.

The study did not address why e-cigarette use increases risk of transitioning to cigarettes, but the reason could be that e-cigarettes mimic smoking behavior through similar hand-to-mouth movements, or puffing and exhalation. E-cigarette aerosol also contains nicotine and use of these devices could enhance exposure and eventual addiction.

“The finding is very consistent across studies. That along with the strength of the association makes it probable that e-cigarette use is one cause of cigarette smoking,” said James Sargent, a co-author of the study, in a news article. “E-cigarette use could affect population trends in youth smoking if use becomes more common, and that is the big public health concern.”

Future studies plan to continue to evaluate the risk posed by e-cigarette use for cigarette smoking with newer generations of cigarettes.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Project Grad Night 2017 – Soars to New Heights

Project Grad Night takes off and offers our graduating seniors a night to remember. The idea is to provide a fun-filled evening, without drugs or alcohol involved, as a way to promote celebrating life’s milestones without feeling like you have to be “under the influence” to have a good time.

This community sponsored event starts in the planning phases at least a year before these new grads get their diploma. Parents and community members alike, support this program with fundraising efforts and perfecting the right combination of activities for their upcoming seniors. Part of the success of this event is to keep it all a surprise for the soon to be grads, so it adds to the “natural high” and excitement they’ll experience on their big night with their classmates. Students look forward to this evening and this year we had 62 out of 64 seniors attend!

Thanks to our Executive Coordinator, Cynthia Stark-Wickman, Project Grad Night was implemented on San Juan Island in 2010. Cynthia had heard of this national program when her daughters were seniors in Hawaii and we had some concerned parents of soon to be grads in 2009, express their worries that the youth would just create “their own fun”. Perhaps alcohol would be served and what is suppose to be a big night of celebrating is often cut short, either parties being broken up by police or worst, someone driving under the influence and a car crash is involved. Project Grad Night quickly became something the youth looked forward to and the buzz around it outweighed the “party circuit” on Graduation Night.

Recently, Sheriff Ron Krebs spoke at our Board of Trustees meeting about the success of this event and how his Deputies thanked the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition for supporting this innovative program. He commented that we have not had any car crashes involving youth on Graduation Night since this program started over 17 years ago! We are grateful the community rallies around the youth and helps support the costs to offer such cool and exciting adventures! This year, the Class of 2017 took flight…soaring to new heights with a 45 minutes flight around the islands. The weather couldn’t have been better!

Thank you to all whom contribute to making Project Grad Night a resounding success each year! Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ROCK SOLID Youth Win GRAND PRIZE at WA State Prevention-Spring Youth Forum 2017

Zach Fincher shares a little information about his Community Project at FHES and how it led to their opportunity to present at the State level in Prevention.

 “Last year, at the WA. State Prevention Summit, we learned about Tucker the Turtle and his Turtle Techniques. Tucker is an evidence-based program to help kids by teaching them to reduce stress and to manage their emotions, particularly, if they get mad. I worked closely with my mentor, Cynthia Stark-Wickman, Executive Coordinator, of the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition to research and implement these ideas into a script. I enlisted the help of some of my fellow actors from our International Thespian Society, Friday Harbor Chapter to perform the skit that I wrote based on Tucker’s Turtle Techniques. I also enjoyed meeting with the 1-3 graders prior to the performance to do a pre survey, so I could return after the performance to ask the same questions and see if the students learned any new skills from our skit. The results were encouraging! Kids reported an increase in skills to deal with bullies and bullying behaviors across the three grades, in some cases by over 55%! We also reminded students, as part of the performance, that taking five deep breaths is scientifically proven to help reduce stress and allows time for us to think, before we just react. I’m grateful to Principal Ball and her team of teachers and counselors as they supported my efforts with this community project. If you haven’t seen the video recording, it’s on the website under the Tucker the Turtle tab. We also put a Tucker the Turtle book in the FHES Library for kids to check out. I truly enjoyed sharing some positive messaging with our younger community members. I know I looked up to the older kids when I went to FHES as a student. I understand the power of kids teaching kids. I hope one day, some of these students will be moved to do a similar project and return to share their positive messages with the next generation of FHES students.”

 Upon completing his community project, Zach and other Rock Solid Youth, Chiara Power and Luke Fincher, submitted their application to present their prevention project at the Spring Youth Forum. Chiara and Luke were actors in the performance and also attended the November 2016 WA State Prevention Summit with Zach. There were 43 teams, with over 400 students from across our state selected to compete and share their prevention projects at the Spring Youth Forum. The youth always enjoy attending this Forum as they hear directly from other youth about their community prevention projects and are often inspired by their ideas to return and do another prevention project for our community. Chiara Power shares, “ I want to personally thank the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition for supporting us and making it possible to attend these youth leadership training programs. During this trip, we saw some amazing students (of my own age) present projects they did in their own communities. It was nice to see my generation take problems into their own hands and act upon the problems facing their communities. I definitely saw things that inspired me and things I want to take back to our community. One group of girls did a female self and body confidence workshop that was moving and poignant. After their presentation, I turned to one of my friends (a member of HOTS Jr. from FHMS) and said, “We should do that on the island.” It was really a pleasant experience and I saw my leadership skills bloom a little more with each presentation we gave.”

Luke Fincher shares, “we were separated by room for the first round of presentations, with six-seven teams in each room. After each presentation, we were critiqued on impact, innovation, collaboration, and sustainability. Afterwards, the top seven teams were chosen to present their presentation again for the the entire Forum, over 400 people! Rock Solid was first in each of our group presentations, which really tested our confidence. When the judges read off the Grand Prize winners name…ROCK SOLID, we were all in a state of shock. We are very grateful and feel very honored, as we saw some amazing youth share some very powerful projects. I want to thank the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition and all the community members that invested in us. I want to stay involved and do more prevention projects for our community.”

As Grand Prize winners, Rock Solid won $ 5,000 towards their next Youth Leadership Training Program, which takes place in Washington DC in February 2018. CADCA, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, offers their NYLI (National Youth Leadership Initiative) where the students will learn more of the strategic prevention framework model and environmental strategies to help implement positive change in their community. They will also go to Capitol Hill and meet some of our state’s leaders and learn ways to advocate for change at a different level. This national conference will help build upon the skills they have learned attending these state and local youth leadership programs. Investing in youth leadership training has always been a hallmark of the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition as the youth then participate in policy, environment, and system changes that target their peer group and other youth. This is Zach’s seventh year in prevention, as he started in 2011, attending his first WA  State Prevention Summit in Yakima. This is where Zach got the idea to start Rock Solid while a student at Spring Street International School, offering a prevention club open to all youth from the private, public and home school communities.

As you may know, the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition (SJIPC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to reduce substance abuse in youth and to create a community culture supporting healthy choices and responsible behaviors in youth and adults. If you would like to get involved, our next Board of Trustees meeting is Friday, June 16th. Please RSVP at 370-7516 Rock Solid will share more of their presentation at 12 noon at this meeting.

The SJIPC applies for State grants to run these programs. Currently, SJIPC is a Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative supported community coalition funded by the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) with the WA Department of Social Health Services.  As budget cuts continue, we always welcome the support of private donors and organizations to help support more youth in youth leadership training opportunities and project development and implementation. These bright and capable students are helping to bring positive change to our community. We are grateful to our community for all their support of these young leaders!

Thank you… Debbi Fincher, Rock Solid Team Advisor

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Marijuana Use and School Performance

Marijuana use increases risk of academic problems. Marijuana’s effect on learning, memory and motivation can lead to difficulties in school. Help youth choose health and let their brain continue to develop for their best outcomes. The adolescent brain continues to develop until age 25 or so.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tobacco and Environmental Strategies to Reduce Smoking

Oklahoma Cigarette Price Increase is a Big Win for Kids and Health

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Jun. 1 2017


WASHINGTON, DC – The $1.50-per-pack increase in the price of cigarettes that Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law today is truly a win-win-win solution for Oklahoma. It’s a health win that will reduce tobacco use and save lives, a financial win that will help raise revenue and fund state health initiatives, and a political win that polls show is popular with voters. We applaud Gov. Fallin and legislative champions for siding with kids over the tobacco industry in supporting a significant increase in cigarette prices.

The evidence is clear that raising the price of cigarettes is one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking, especially among kids. Nationally, studies show that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by about 7 percent and overall cigarette consumption by about 4 percent. The $1.50 price increase will:

  • Prevent more than 28,000 Oklahoma kids from becoming smokers
  • Spur more than 30,000 current adult smokers to quit
  • Save 16,700 Oklahomans from premature, smoking-caused deaths
  • Save $1.2 billion in future health care costs.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Oklahoma, claiming 7,500 lives each year and costing the state more than $1.6 billion annually in health care bills. In Oklahoma, 14.6 percent of high school students still smoke (among the highest in the nation) and 2,400 kids become new regular smokers every year. Today’s action can help turn this unfortunate situation around.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment