Federal health officials are saying that states with legalized marijuana programs can use the tax revenue to deter youth usage. According to Marijuanamoment, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Assistant Secretary Tom Coderre, made clear that he believes that youth marijuana consumption is something to be worried about. SAMHSA recognized the inevitability of legalization within the coming years and said they need to focus on stopping youth consumption of the drug.

“We have to figure out what to do to grapple with how to best regulate this new market, and there are several evidence-based prevention approaches that that our stakeholders—local, state and federal government—can consider for preventing marijuana use,” Coderre said.

The two main things Coderre explained that should be implemented is no selling of cannabis products to those under 21 and imposing taxes on cannabis sales. Although these are already being done in each legalized state, Coderre used these examples as a bare minimum, explaining that this should be the way cannabis sales work.

Coderre also explained that the revenue generated from cannabis sales could and should be used to implement programs that teach the youth about the drug and why they shouldn’t use it until at the proper age. SAMHSA and the National Institute of Drug Abuse have both sent letters to lawmakers around the country asking them to think about these programs as legalization comes to fruition around the country.

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