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December 01, 1995

HHS Secretary Sends Marijuana Information to the Nation's Schools

With the distribution of NIDA developed materials on marijuana to 16,000 U.S. school districts in October, the national Marijuana Use Prevention Initiative delivered a new wave of science based information to the Nation's school-aged children and their parents.

The materials were accompanied by a letter from Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Donna E. Shalala, who launched the Initiative at the end of last year in response to disturbing increases in teenage use of marijuana reported in NIDA's 1994 Monitoring the Future survey.

The school districts received a 13 minute informational video for parents-"Marijuana: What Can Parents Do?"

Two question-and-answer brochures accompanied the video: "Marijuana: Facts for Teens" and "Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know."

In addition, full-color posters bearing the messages "Drugs Have No Place in a Healthy Life!" and "Marijuana Can Mess You Up!" were distributed as supplements to "My Weekly Reader" and a number of other educational periodicals used in the school systems.

In developing the Marijuana Use Prevention Initiative, NIDA collaborated with the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, both agencies of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, a communications industry coalition to reduce the demand for illicit drugs.

NIDA Expands its Marijuana Research Agenda

In conjunction with the Marijuana Use Prevention Initiative, NIDA has expanded its marijuana research agenda. Its new Marijuana/Cannabis Abuse Research Program Announcement (PA 95-076) is encouraging research on the entire spectrum of marijuana abuse. Research areas of interest include etiology, epidemiology, prevention, treatment, and clinical and basic science.

Receipt dates for grant applications are February 1, June 1, and October 1 of each year.

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