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Re: 'Heavy drinking and March Madness celebrations' [Village News, 3/9/23]

Your article was a timely reminder that allowing or including minors in celebrations where minors have access to alcohol or marijuana can have deadly consequences.

The California Health Kids survey report found 40% of 10th grade Fallbrook Union High students reported both alcohol and marijuana were easy to get (40% and 46% respectively). Although many teens believe marijuana is safer than alcohol, the truth is neither is safe for teens with still developing brains, which is why addiction is a pediatric onset disease.

Underage drinking raises the risk of aggression, sexual abuse, alcohol poisoning and vehicle crashes. Today’s high potency THC can impair driving, damage a young brain, impair memory, compromise decision making, and lead to mental health problems. Heavy marijuana use before age 18 lowered IQ’s by eight points.

Adults are failing our young people today. We need to do better. The County of San Diego adopted a Social Host Ordinance along with nearly every city in the county to raise awareness about the risks of underage drinking and marijuana use.

Please do not host or allow underage parties where youth have access to either alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs. Report such parties to the Sheriff’s office, 858- 565-5200. Party hosts (person in control of the property) can be cited or arrested, fined $1,000 or more, sent to jail for up to six months, be required to do up to 32 hours of community service and or be billed for law enforcement services.

Kathleen Lippitt, MPH


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