NCDA Partners With US Embassy to Launch Youth Ganja Awareness Programme

Photo: Contributed Executive Director of the National Council on Drug Abuse, Mr. Michael Tucker and Director of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement at the United States Embassy, Mr. Garth Hall address a JIS Think Tank on the partnership between the two entities on the Youth Ganja Awareness Programme.

Story Highlights

  • The National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), in partnership with the United States Embassy, has launched the Youth Ganja Awareness Programme.
  • The programme is a public education campaign that is geared towards discouraging ganja use among young people, particularly those between 13 and 18 years of age.
  • Executive Director of the NCDA, Michael Tucker, told a JIS ‘Think Tank’, on November 5, that the campaign is very important and timely, because many of the young people in Jamaica are getting into problems because of ganja use.

The National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), in partnership with the United States Embassy, has launched the Youth Ganja Awareness Programme.

The programme is a public education campaign that is geared towards discouraging ganja use among young people, particularly those between 13 and 18 years of age.

Executive Director of the NCDA, Michael Tucker, told a JIS ‘Think Tank’, on November 5, that the campaign is very important and timely, because many of the young people in Jamaica are getting into problems because of ganja use.

“Over 20 per cent of young people in Jamaica experiment with ganja…in fact, 95 per cent of the clients that we see at the NCDA are actually young people who have issues that result from the use of ganja,” he said.

Mr. Tucker added that ganja is associated with low academic performance and with behavioural problems in schools.

For his part, Director of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement at the United States Embassy, in Jamaica, Garth Hall, said the embassy is grateful for the opportunity to work with the Jamaican Government.

“This campaign is particularly inspiring, because no matter what the future holds for the legality of marijuana or where one stands on that debate, I think we can all agree that marijuana can be harmful for children and that we want to keep it out of children’s hands until they can make an informed decision,” he argued.

The Director said it is important to guide young people away from doing things that they will regret later in their lives that lead to them being disadvantaged as adults.

He pointed out that Jamaica’s continued development as a country is dependent on well-thinking young minds that have an opportunity to develop into productive adults.

“In discouraging children from using marijuana, we are not only doing the morally right thing, but also the right thing for Jamaica as a whole. The minds of Jamaican children and the intellectual capital are a resource like any other for Jamaica.  The children’s minds need to be protected the same way other resources like Jamaican water or reefs are protected,” he explained.

The Director said the NCDA should be commended for working tirelessly to help keep people away from drugs. “That’s why we are very proud at the US Embassy to be working with them on this project,” he added.

JIS Social