The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

County receiving $21,000for marijuana program


August 30, 2018

Wahkiakum County will put some of Washington's tax on the sale of marijuana to work.

County commissioners on Tuesday approved a contract amendment with CHOICE Regional Health Network to increase funding for youth marijuana education and prevention.

County Health and Human Services Director Chris Bischoff and county Mental Health Program Director Julie Johnston said the county received $21,000 for its work under the Youth Marijuana Prevention and Education Program (YMPEP). The funding runs from July, 2018, through June, 2019.

Goals of the program are:

--Enhancing existing regional substance abuse prevention efforts;

--Strengthening community and regional networks, and

--Implementation of substance abuse training programs.

Much of the program involves educational efforts in schools, Johnston said. They've already placed 70 signs telling students "you can resist marijuana use."

Bischoff said the county will work with other groups such as the school's peer counselors and Wahkiakum Community Network.

They'll also have an educational component for parents, he said.

"Statistics show the biggest impact on kids comes from their parents," Bischoff said. "That goes for everything--marijuana, drugs, nutrition and so on."

"This is paid for, at least in part, by the taxes on marijuana sales," Bischoff added.

In other business at Tuesday's meeting of the board of commissioners:

--Commissioners approved an amended contract with Cowlitz Juvenile Detention for housing juvenile inmates, with a cost increase from $110 to $140 per day.

Increasing cost of service is the reason behind the new rate, said Scott Jacot, county juvenile officer. Costs haven't increased since 2005, he said, and the nearest other facilities would be at Aberdeen or Chehalis.

"We don't have a lot of juveniles in detention," said Sheriff Mark Howie. "It wouldn't be an increase for our budget, and we could account for it in next year's budget."

--Commissioner Dan Cothren said the county is making progress in its permit application that will lead to beach nourishment at Cape Horn this fall.

Commissioner Blair Brady commented via telephone that Corps personnel have told him that surveys show there will be sufficient sand for beach nourishment in other areas next year.


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