The Massachusetts Prevention Alliance is a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that advocates, educates and collaborates to protect young people from addiction and substance abuse.
We educate. We advocate. We collaborate. We build partnerships.
The Massachusetts Prevention Alliance serves to protect young people in the Commonwealth from addiction and substance abuse. We are committed to implementing and sustaining statewide measures that prevent alcohol and drug use and promote health, wellness and safety for all youth in the state. As a statewide organization we provide educational resources and advocate for sound drug and alcohol policies.
Founded in 2011, we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization. We deliver up-to-date information and develop initiatives that serve the immediate needs of those working to prevent substance abuse throughout the Commonwealth.
We bring together over 100 coalition groups in Massachusetts, and form partnerships with health and medical professionals, businesses, municipal groups, policy makers, law enforcement, education leaders, faith-based groups, parents and youth to prevent drug addiction and substance abuse. We are also plugged into a national network of organizations doing the same type of education and advocacy work in individual states across the country.
While protecting youth is our primary goal, we engage in efforts to promote healthy lifestyles for everyone in the Commonwealth.
Substance abuse and addiction is a public health crisis affecting virtually every community in the Commonwealth. State and local leadership is needed to address the epidemic effectively. Through partnerships, community engagement, and proven best practices, the Commonwealth can make a real difference to address this crisis. Every individual has a part in protecting the whole. We change culture and society by first changing our understanding and knowledgebase and then working together to address the problem with solutions that work.
CURRENT PRIORITY INITIATIVE
Educating and advocating for sound public health policies remains essential work in preventing substance abuse and addiction. Focus and efforts must prevent drug use and addiction at the source – where addictive products flow into our neighborhoods and communities. On that premise, MAPA understands a growing threat to our youth is the normalization of marijuana use, and the commercialization of another giant industry profiting off addiction to harmful, potent drug products.
The marijuana industry is currently seeking government protection to engineer, market and sell high-potent addictive pot products in every community and neighborhood in the Commonwealth. Observations and details that are troublesome about the current proposal on the table can be found here. There are many reasons to be concerned about this political movement that would serve to increase access to and acceptability of marijuana. No matter what happens with our marijuana law and how politicized it is, people need to have all the information to make good decisions that protect our families and communities from drug use and addiction.
We encourage our network to stay informed and make certain to continue to educate their local communities, stakeholders and partners with facts that feature the science and the evidence needed to fully understand marijuana – its harms; the outcomes in states that have changed marijuana law; the industry marketing tactics that work to promote use; and the measures that work to reduce drug use based on the public health model.
Here is a document that may help your educational work on this important issue for Massachusetts: Marijuana Policy Fact Sheet September 2016
To learn first hand about some of the issues Denver is currently challenged with, here is a short video of a prominent Colorado businessman testifying in front of the Denver City Council on March 20th, 2016.
LOBBYING AND ADVOCACY
We are in the midst of a great deal of state-level action working to prevent youth marijuana use in the Commonwealth. At the same time, marijuana policy is being heavily debated. For advocates and prevention specialists tied to public funding streams it is challenging to navigate this serious public health issue as it becomes so politicized. How do we have permission to talk about marijuana and changing drug policy with people?
The movement to change marijuana law makes it a critical time for coalitions and public health officials to educate and advocate for sound policy that protects youth from marijuana use and addiction. People need to be fully informed in preparation for making important decisions on current, very important policy issues. If you are uncertain about what you can and cannot do or say, CADCA’s guidelines on Lobbying and Advocacy may be helpful.
Let’s Talk About Marijuana! Learn about the most recent activities and action in the state on marijuana education and prevention in the May 2016 MAPA Update.
MARIJUANA RESEARCH AND POLICY ISSUES
JUST RELEASED: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine offers a rigorous review of scientific research published since 1999 about what is known about the health impacts of cannabis and cannabis-derived products. Read Report
Marijuana Use: Detrimental to Youth: American College of Pediatricians – April 2016
ABSTRACT: Although increasing legalization of marijuana has contributed to the growing belief that marijuana is harmless, research documents the risks of its use by youth are grave. Marijuana is addicting, has adverse effects upon the adolescent brain, is a risk for both cardio-respiratory disease and testicular cancer, and is associated with both psychiatric illness and negative social outcomes. Evidence indicates limited legalization of marijuana has already raised rates of unintended marijuana exposure among young children, and may increase adolescent use. Therefore, the American College of Pediatricians supports legislation that continues to restrict the availability of marijuana except in the context of well controlled scientific studies which demonstrate medicinal benefit together with evidence-based guidelines for optimal routes of delivery and dosing for specific medical conditions. Read Full Statement
There is a large, growing push within Pueblo County, Colorado to “opt-out” of commercial, recreational marijuana. The medical community held a press conference on October 20th, 2016. Here’s what they had to say.
MASSACHUSETTS RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA LAW
The details of MA Ballot Question 4: One pager
Marijuana Reports | Powerpoints | Documents
In the News
MAPA Joins Rotary District 7910 for a Meet and Greet with Governor Baker. October 17, 2016. Read >>
Should Massachusetts Legalize Marijuana? Statement by Senator Jason Lewis. September 22, 2016. Watch Below >>
Legalizing marijuana will increase our opiate epidemic. New Boston Post. March 3, 2016. Read >>
Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Prescription Opiate Deaths? October 3, 2016. Read >>
Coalition Unites Against Legalization of Marijuana: Read About Why and Who. Massachusetts Medical Society. October 4, 2016. Read>>
Marijuana follows Big Tobacco’s lead. Providence Journal. Mar. 13, 2014. Read >>
Today’s marijuana is 300 percent to 800 percent stronger than in the past: Ruling – TRUE. Politifact. March 14, 2014 Read >>
Catholic Bishops of Massachusetts Urge Rejection of Marijuana Legalization. The Boston Pilot. October 4, 2016 Read >>