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Executive Summary

The King County Youth Marijuana Prevention and Education Program (KC-YMPEP) developed a five-year strategic plan to guide youth marijuana prevention efforts. This work is supported by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) via the Dedicated Marijuana Account and activities are directed by DOH's Regional Implementation Guide. KC-YMPEP is led by the King County Departments of Public Health and Community & Human Services and advised by community partners.

Youth marijuana use is a problem in King County

Youth in King County live in an environment of retail marijuana and are combatting multiple risk factors and complexities. Although use rates are trending down, fewer students perceive regular marijuana use to be harmful. In addition, there are disparities in rates of use by race, place and sexual orientation.

There is also a lack of clear, consistent and available educational materials. Evidence and research are emerging, but the science is not settled and messages are often conflicting and confusing. KC-YMPEP will continue to collect, analyze and report out findings to continue to increase awareness and motivation to tackle the problem of underage marijuana use in King County.

KC-YMPEP seeks to reduce 10th grade marijuana use rates by:

  • Increasing regional partnership, coordination and capacity;
  • Developing an evidence base to inform current and ongoing efforts;
  • Providing accessible educational information for youth and adults who influence them;
  • Promoting youth leadership, and
  • Supporting policies and procedures that keep kids in school and provide them with tools and resources to stay healthy.

KC-YMPEP applies the guiding principle of targeted universalism and focuses on the people and places where needs are greatest to ensure that decisions, policies and practices produce gains for all. Based on analysis of the Healthy Youth Survey and qualitative efforts, the communities of greatest need in King County include:

  • Youth who identify as LGBTQ,
  • Youth of color,
  • Youth who reside in Seattle and South Seattle and
  • Youth with multiple risk factors indicative of marijuana use; specifically, those who report using other substances, having close friends or household members who use marijuana, are at academic risk, are bullied and / or have easy access to marijuana.

Community partners provide strategic guidance and participate in activities

A 15-member Regional Network provided input to this plan and will continue to provide guidance for planning and implementation. Regional Network members represent the sectors, regions and priority populations in King County. KC-YMPEP will work with these and other community partners to implement activities.

For more information about KC-YMPEP, contact Robin Haguewood at

Statewide campaigns from the Washington Department of Health

Campaign Toolkits: the Washington Department of Health provides social press kits for each of their campaigns. The toolkits are password protected—contact Robin Haguewood at for access.

Purpose: To support King County youth to adopt healthy beliefs and behaviors that promote each to achieve their personal best.

The Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) is a coordinated group of youth leaders and adult facilitators who work to change favorable youth attitudes toward underage marijuana use. The YLI will work on changing favorable attitudes by increasing resilience planning in and amongst youth, building and strengthening leadership and communication skills with YLI participants, and empowering YLI participants to continually shape planning and implementation of YLI program initiatives.

For more information about this work or to get involved, contact Erin James at

In 2017, youth leaders developed a series of public service announcements to explain why youth marijuana use is concerning. View the videos to hear from the youth, in their own words, below.

Steer Clear of underage marijuana use
Youth—in their own words

View on YouTube

Don't ride with a marijuana impaired driver
With King County data

View on YouTube

Don't let marijuana
get in the way of your dreams

View on YouTube

Don't ride with a marijuana impaired driver
Short version

View on YouTube

Past trainings and webinars

About us

The King County Youth Marijuana Prevention and Education Program (KC-YMPEP) is a regional effort led by Public Health—Seattle & King County and the King County Department of Community and Human Services, with funding support from the Washington State Department of Health's Dedicated Marijuana Account.

We work with communities, partners, and priority populations to reduce marijuana initiation among King County youth by ensuring that all youth have the information and tools they need to make healthy decisions about marijuana. This page is designed to strengthen efforts by providing best practices, resources, and locally relevant information for youth marijuana prevention and education.

Contact us

Robin Haguewood, Program Manager

Phone: 206-263-1856
Reach us through our online form
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