Recovery High School Principal says legalizing medical marijuana sends wrong message

Recovery High School Principal says legalizing medical marijuana sends wrong message

Things like question 3 send the wrong message.

Decriminalization sends the wrong message.

Legalization of medical marijuana sends the wrong message.

“Our kids are going into treatment, getting clean and getting sober and when they come out they’ve nowhere to go. They go back to their old people, places or things, their old schools and they were relapsing at really high rates.” — Roger Oser, Principal of  Ostiguy Recovery High School in Boston.

Recovery high schools started 7 years ago with North Shore Recovery High School, William J. Osterguy High School in Boston, and Liberty Academy in Springfield.

Our fourth opened in Brockton last year and we are working hard on opening others on the Cape and in Worcester to provide environments of positive peer and academic support for kids after rehab.

“The young people around them and the messages in society about marijuana, about alcohol, push them away from recovery and sobriety.  But they’ve made the choice to go forward with sobriety, get help, get treatment, have each other as support, and develop a peer group.

“Recovery High Schools have been successful because of that peer aspect. They are all quality schools, all run as public schools where the focus is on academics, but everything is built on a foundation of recovery culture.

The students are drug tested randomly, with mandatory drug testing once a week.

They have to work outside plans of recovery, but most important of all they have each other, support each other in groups outside of school, because things like Question 3 send the wrong message to them.

The decriminalization of marijuana sends the wrong message.  You can’t walk downtown through Downtown Crossing without smelling weed.  You can tell that gets me a little bit angry.  You have to walk outside and be exposed to this which, for some of them can be a trigger.

So whether its decriminalization, legalization of medical marijuana, the science, as Dr. Knight said, shows the negative impact it has.   We want more and more young people accessing treatment if they need it and as long as young people are accessing treatment Recovery High Schools are a place for them to go afterwards, so they can continue their recovery, continue their academics.”


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