April 20, 2023
Marshfield Clinic Health System's Northwoods Coalition has launched a new statewide initiative called “THC is Changing" to educate youth influencers about the potential health hazards the substance may cause while youth are targeted with the newest THC-infused products.
Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the chemical in the cannabis plant that is responsible for psychoactive qualities when consumed. A loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill allows the sale of products containing a certain level of THC in Wisconsin. These products can be purchased by anyone, including youth, in most Wisconsin counties.
In response to growing concerns about youth use and availability of THC, Marshfield Clinic Health System's Northwoods Coalition formed an ad-hoc workgroup derived from the Northwoods Coalition Advisory Board to tackle the issue. Northwoods Coalition, which includes more than 45 local substance use prevention coalitions in Northern Wisconsin, provides training, technical assistance, funding and networking opportunities to member coalitions.
“The campaign is aimed at influencers of youth and encourages them to know the risks and get the facts about novel THC in Wisconsin," said Meagan Barnett, Community Health Manager. “THC is truly changing. Currently, there aren't resources out there for coalitions to start this conversation and there are many different factors and terms such as hemp, CBD, THC, marijuana, and Delta that can be confusing for some people."
Marshfield Clinic Health System and Northwoods Coalition are committed to preventing THC use amongst youth in Wisconsin through the THC is Changing public awareness and education campaign. The public will begin to see campaign messaging throughout northern Wisconsin as substance use prevention coalitions begin to implement. The goals of the THC is Changing campaign are to educate youth influencers of the rapidly evolving substance available to youth and start talking to youth about the dangers of use. Social media posts, informational handouts, advertisements and billboards are among the resources that will be used by coalition members to educate audiences in their community.
“Although novel THC products may be legal to consume right now, kids do run the risk of testing positive on a drug test because we don't really know what is being consumed as these products are not regulated," Barnett said. “In addition, the potential short- and long-term effects on young, developing brains are extremely concerning."
To learn more about the THC is Changing public awareness campaign and to get facts about the evolution of this substance and its dangers to Wisconsin youth, contact Barnett at 715-221-8422 or email@example.com.
For questions regarding Northwoods Coalition, please contact Marshfield Clinic Health System – Center for Community Health Advancement at 715-221-8400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.