On Jan. 21, YDAPP held a press conference in Koreatown to report survey findings and announce their #WEEDecide pledge and social media campaign, which encourages youth to live a marijuana-free lifestyle.

Gilbert Mora, Prevention Coordinator from Behavioral Health Services, and Dikran Melkonian, Senior Lead Officer from the LAPD-Olympic Division, joined three YDAPP youth—Paul Kim, Esther Yu and Robert Camacho—to discuss the growing trends and negative effects of marijuana on the community. “We’re making sure we have a spotlight to cure this problem and pay attention to our youth,” Mora said.

In their 2012 survey of Koreatown, Pico-Union and Westlake youth, 26% reported that they have used marijuana—four times the national average. “I want to start the conversation on marijuana with my peers so we can all work towards a more balanced lifestyle,” says Paul Kim, age 17, from Pacific Palisades High School, and co-President of YDAPP.

With the discussion of marijuana legalization in California, rapid openings of new dispensaries in Los Angeles, and the increase in marijuana use by youth, KYCC’s YDAPP members hope to encourage youth in their community to change social norms that influence engagement in illicit drugs. Through multiple social media channels (Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook), YDAPP is seeking to build dialogue with their peers on youth marijuana use.

Since 1996, YDAPP has raised awareness on the risks of substance abuse to Koreatown youth through creative projects, surveys and education on tobacco and alcohol trends. KYCC is working in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Substance Abuse Prevention and Control Division, in addressing underage druguse.

Check out YDAPP’s second VLOG here!