July Newsletter– New Research and How to Protect Kids During Summer

Hello and thank you for reading this month’s One Chance to Grow Up newsletter! Please read on for important updates on research, community partners, summer youth use data and our federal policy work. 

Summer & Youth Marijuana Use

Research shows that youth initiation of drug use, including marijuana, is higher during the summer months. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health  has indicated that first use of marijuana (including vaping THC) peaks in June and July. Additionally, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that in May, June, July, and August, drunk and drugged driving claimed nearly twice as many teen lives compared to the rest of the year. 

This data highlights how important it is to talk to your teen about marijuana (including the risks of driving) and how to navigate potentially difficult situations with peers. 

One of One Chance’s early partners, Be the Influence, created this informative resource with talking points of what to say during this conversation. Know that listening, engagement, summertime structure, and setting expectations provide protection for your kids. Look for opportunities to start talking about the risks and dangers of marijuana use. Find One Chance resources on our website and be a reliable source of information. And for more tips, visit

Our deepest appreciation to Be the Influence and SAMHSA for creating these great parent resources.

New Study from CDC

Please view this recent study from the CDC  about the number of youth (<25) visits to emergency rooms related to marijuana before and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study found that emergency room visits were significantly higher during the pandemic than in previous years, especially among children ages 10 or younger. Previous studies already have shown that cannabis-involved emergency room visits increased for ages 0-14 before 2019, as more states legalized marijuana. 

The implications of this study are that more households improperly stored the drug, therefore, allowing youth to inadvertently come in contact with it. This is an ongoing issue as more states legalize marijuana.

Federal Update

One Chance continues to engage and educate lawmakers in Washington D.C. regarding the critical importance of including protections for youth in the bill that would grant banking privileges to the marijuana industry. The SAFE Banking Act would be a monumental win for access to capital for the industry and this should not come without safeguards for kids. We will continue to keep you updated and encourage our supporters to ask their friends and neighbors across the country to sign up here to stay informed on this issue. 

One Chance is also hard at work to correct the availability of dangerous and unregulated intoxicating THC products derived from hemp. We support tightening federal regulations including recommendations on an age limit of 21+ for any hemp products sold. Discussions in Washington are expected to start after Congress adjourns for the summer recess. Hemp- derived THC can be sold online and in retail outlets throughout the U.S. Learn more on our website about this threat to youth.

One Chance with Community Partners

Left to right: Crissy Groenewegen(Parent Action Network, Director) Crystal Collier, PhD, LPC-S (author of The NeuroWhereAbouts Guide Book) Julie Dreifaldt (One Chance to Grow Up, Community Liaison), & Kelley Lyons (Caron, Coordinator of Student Assistance Programs)

Earlier this month, One Chance attended and spoke at our coalition partner Johnny’s Ambassadors Youth Marijuana Prevention Conference and presented “How to Better Protect Youth from Marijuana Commercialization” to prevention and law enforcement professionals, parents, and other youth-serving organizations. We presented our successes, including parent  and youth protection resources and highlighted the blueprint of our work on achieving a 21+ age limit at Denver’s 420 event, HB21-1317, and our recent and ongoing educational campaign. We were excited to meet new partners from MD, AZ, MN, TX, NY and MT.

There are more and more champions across the country in this space and we thank Johnny’s Ambassadors for bringing us together, at such an engaging and important conference.

COSLI Students love One Chance!

Last week, One Chance’s Julie Dreifaldt and Alton Dillard collaborated with some of Colorado’s up-and-coming youth leaders at the Colorado Student Leaders Institute (COSLI). The highly engaged leaders discussed and learned what marijuana does to the adolescent brain, the incredible normalization and commercialization kids see in their communities, as well as the important protective factor of parent and trusted adult engagement. We appreciated the transparency and open dialogue shared with One Chance and these rising high school sophomores and juniors. 

A few insightful thoughts shared by the students include:

“Marijuana is plaguing our Colorado youth right now”.

“Sadly, you just get used to it {marijuana}.”

“It’s a business that is trying to get to kids”.

Thank you to One Chance’s Advisory Council members and COSLI Director Celeste Archer and COSLI alumni Ge’Swan Swanson and One Chance youth leader Isabella Garwood for sharing insights, data, and laughs with these incredible students and empowering them to use their voices for good–we so appreciate you all!

Thank you for reading and please share any of this newsletter, links and data with your networks. Remember to check out One Chance’s new Community Voices, our Know THC education series, and follow One Chance on social media. 

Thanks for your support,

The One Chance Team