Teacher explains how he educates students about marijuana

Heartland schools teach students about marijuana

CHARLESTON, MO (KFVS) - With more states passing medical marijuana, many schools are figuring out new ways to educate students about the dangers of the drug.

Justin Hutchings, a health teacher here at Charleston High school, said talking about marijuana with his school isn't by the old textbook ways

"You have to get away from the old school, 'Don't do it because it's bad for you!'" Hutching said.

Hutchings said in his classes, students are asking for a better understanding about the dangers of drugs

"They want to know why," he said. "Kids want to know why are you doing this why are we doing that, but I try to give them the most information I can."

One program that helped students understand is D.A.R.E.

Many schools across the Heartland have canceled the program in favor of lessons in health classes.

A few states have passed medical marijuana laws, Illinois being the closest to Charleston.

Hutchings said that's changed the way he talks to his students about "just saying no."

"We're kind of getting away from the alcohol tobacco again," he said. "Now all three of these are legal and they're all leading up to more dangerous things, so they need to be covered as more of a gateway drug even more, then to explain a harder drug like cocaine, heroin and things like that."

Hutching said he plans to continue educating his students to not fall victim peer pressure.

"You never know they might move somewhere and choose to do this," Hutching said. "We're trying to prevent them from not by informing them to make the right choices."

Hutching also said he encourages parents to have serious talks with their children as well.

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