Pro-pot trend has anti-drug activists concerned: Presentation at Nyack Center to focus on danger marijuana can pose to teenagers

Our Communities Against Drug Abuse (OCADA) of the Nyacks and Valley Cottage will hold an event March 15, 6:30 p.m. at the Nyack Center that will cut against the societal trend toward acceptance of recreational use of marijuana, especially among the young.

The free event for parents and teens “Shattering the Myths: Marijuana and the Teenage Brain,” is cosponsored by the Nyack School District. OCADA says that research shows the use of marijuana by teenagers negatively affects brain development, leading to possible impairment of thinking, learning and memory. According to the research compiled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, youth who begin using marijuana before 18 are four to seven times more likely than adults to develop problem use.

The event will feature a panel of local experts speaking on the latest research, local trends and challenges parents face in a time that marijuana is one of the nation’s fastest growing industries. Speakers include local parent Chinazo Cunningham, MD, MS, professor of Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center;  Rashiah Elam, MD, medical director at Lexington Center of Dutchess County, St. Johns Riverside Division of Behavioral Health; Craig A. Vedder, New York State Police, Troop F, School and Community Outreach coordinator; and Dornzella Milligan, MA, CPP, Student Support Services Prevention coordinator at Nyack High School.

The Nyack Center is located at 58 Depew Ave, Nyack. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the panel presentation begins at 7 p.m. The panel will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience. Attendees will have time to visit resource tables before and after the panel. The event is free and open to the community. For more information, visit or email

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