LANCASTER — Rep­re­sen­tatives from the An­tel­ope Valley Mar­i­jua­na Al­cohol and Phar­ma­ceu­tic­al Pre­ven­tion Coal­ition asked mem­bers of the Lan­caster Criminal Justice Com­mis­sion on Wednesday to con­sider recommending the addition of marijuana to the city’s social host or­din­ance.

The Nuisance Gath­er­ings and Social Host Ac­count­a­bility ordinance, passed in 2015, holds any­body who provides a space where underage drinking takes place accountable for the underage drinking as well as any unruly conduct that may occur at the location. The or­din­ance provides for an ad­min­is­tration citation with a penalty of $500 for the first citation, followed by a $1,000 penalty for the sec­ond or any subsequent citation.

“We’re looking at adding the cannabis piece now know­ing that Prop. 64 passed and cannabis use is legal for anybody over 21,” Ruth Morales, a health educator at Tarzana Treat­ment Center, said dur­ing a presentation to the com­mis­sion. “It’s not legal for youth, so that’s why we’re looking into am­end­ing the current social host ordinance.”

Morales cited data from the 2016-17 California Heal­thy Kids survey, con­duct­ed through the An­tel­ope Valley Union High School District, which showed that 27% of high school juniors do not be­lieve there is any harm as­so­ciated with smoking mar­i­jua­na occasionally. In addition, 42% of high school juniors reported it would be easy to obtain mar­i­juana if they wanted it. Another 13% of 11th gra­ders indicated they smoked marijuana in the last 30 days.

“Obviously we know that youth are using,” Morales said.

To address their con­cerns Morales said the group is using a well-round­ed approach that not only includes education for adults and youth, but also a change in policy to reduce ac­cess among youth.

According to Morales, 54% of youth admissions at Tarzana Treatment Cen­ter is for marijuana use for residential treatment. Youth comprise another 85% of the center’s out­pa­tient treatment.

Tarzana Treatment Cen­ter’s Jessica Morales up­dat­ed the commission on actions taken by Los An­gel­es County and Marin County supervisors re­gard­ing social host ordinances.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Feb. 26 voted to per­man­ent­ly enforce a social host or­di­nance — after a one-year pilot program — to hold parents responsible for parties with underage drink­ing or marijuana smok­ing in unincorporated areas of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

In June 2017 Marin Coun­ty supervisors amend­ed the county’s social host ordinance to include pro­hib­iting gatherings where al­co­hol, controlled sub­stan­ces, and marijuana are served to, ingested by, or in possession of un­der­age persons. After the pass­age of the county or­di­nance three cities in Marin County — San Raf­a­el, Mill Valley and No­va­to — adopted similar or­di­nances.

Ventura County also has social host ordinances, passed in 2006 and 2007, that do not include mar­i­juana but do apply coun­ty­wide.

“There was a study done on Ventura County’s social host ordinance with youth and law enforcement that found that simple citations are easier and faster to pros­ecute because they require less of a standard of proof,” Jessica Morales said.

In addition, cases are pro­cessed more quickly outside of the criminal justice system through an administrative judge.

Health educator Steph­en Updyke said the group advocates for local laws and policies to reduce ac­cess to marijuana, al­co­hol and other drugs.

“This then helps us to shift social norms away from acceptance of the use of these substances by the underage community tow­ard a social norm that em­pha­sizes safe, healthy youth community and can so­cial­ize about the need for sub­stance use,” Updyke said.

Updyke said the AV Mar­i­juana Alcohol and Phar­maceutical Pre­ven­tion Coalition’s proposal to amend the social host or­din­ance to include mar­i­jua­na would help the city in its goals as well.

Bryan Anguiano, field representative for As­sem­bly­man Tom Lackey, read a letter of support from Lackey on behalf of the AV Marijuana Alcohol and Pharmaceutical Pre­ven­tion Coalition and Tarzana Treatment Center’s goal to amend the city code to include marijuana and its derivative products to the social host ordinance.

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