Young Children Starting Pot Habits - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Young Children Starting Pot Habits

Jim Cameron, P.R.I.D.E. Jim Cameron, P.R.I.D.E.
Bill Leonard, APD Juvenile Division Bill Leonard, APD Juvenile Division

Some children in our area reportedly start smoking marijuana as young as six.

The Potter Randall Drug Intervention and Education program has children ages ten to 17 come through its doors.

Children often tell them they started at a very young age because it was cheap to get. But they also fall into a dangerous trap. Jim Cameron of P.R.I.D.E. says, "a lot have the mistaken concept that it's safer than cigarettes which it isn't. In Texas, the average joint is equal to seven cigarettes."

Cameron says that is three times the potency marijuana had back in the 70s. He says that means it is also three times more addictive.

The Amarillo Police Department prosecutes children for marijuana possession starting at the age of ten.

Police say the drug is readily available. Bill Leonard of the Juvenile Division says they get it "generally from friends, school, maybe family and friends in the neighborhood where they're residing."

During the school year, Leonard says they make arrests at least once or twice every week in schools around the area.

He says most kids are honest with him, admitting they began their habits very young.

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