Our youth, along with adults, conduct “environmental scans” at local stores, where we document, through photos and surveys, the availability, placement and pricing of drug paraphernalia, as well as what types of advertisement, advertisement placement and the amount of advertising for these products.
The data gathered by our youth is then compiled and shared with local government officials and other key stakeholders in our community in hopes of bringing about change in policy.
Target Area 1: Local gas stations/convenience stores
Due to the lack of grocery stores in the area, many of our young people shop at these stores daily due to the vicinity to their homes, churches, schools and parks. It is imperative that we point out the dangers of flaunting marijuana paraphernalia at these businesses, which may encourage young people to believe that use of this drug is acceptable.
Some common instruments purchased for the intent of smoking marijuana include:
- Bong. A long tubular water pipe with a metal bowl attached, users fill the tube in part with water and pack the bowl with marijuana. Users light the bowl and breathe through the tube, filtering the smoke through the water before inhaling. These come in all sizes and colors.
- Bowl. A “bowl” is a stem pipe with a metal bowl at the end where marijuana is packed for smoking. This is one of the most common ways for teens to smoke marijuana, and when a chronic marijuana smoker has a bowl, they often carry it with them most of the time.
- Hookah. A Middle Eastern ornate brass or metal pipe with rope-like inhalation tubes attached, the hookah functions much like a bong. Teens may remove the tubes and disguise it as a vase or a lamp.
- Rolling papers. Used to roll a joint, rolling papers are white and square and come in a small rectangular cardboard pack. They are thin like tissue paper, and users roll loose marijuana in them to make marijuana cigarettes or joints.
- Blunt. A blunt is made when marijuana users purchase a cigar or other pre-rolled tobacco product and replaces the tobacco with marijuana before smoking it. Parents may find bits of tobacco, whole cigars, or the paper from a cigar.
- Roach clip. When a joint is smoked, the THC – the active ingredient in marijuana – becomes concentrated nearest to the mouth. Many marijuana users smoke their joints down until they cannot hold them with their fingers any more without getting burned and save the “roaches” or butts of the joints and smoke them later, often using a paper clip, hair clip, or other roach clip to hold them in order to keep from getting burned.