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Advancing Lessons Learned in Child Welfare and Recreational Use Marijuana Legalization

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Butler Institute for Families

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In Spring 2019, CW 360, printed by the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare at the School of Social Work, University of Minnesota, published Advancing Lessons Learned in Child Welfare and Recreational Use Marijuana Legalization, an article co-written by Meredith Silverstein (Butler Institute), Carole Wilcox (Butler Institute), and Jade Woodard (Illuminate Colorado).

This article provides an overview of Colorado’s child welfare experience with legalized recreational use marijuana, including a need to reexamine perspectives, partnerships, policies and practices on behalf of families and children. The authors offer strategies to strengthen the system’s capacity to respond to child safety concerns and outline the impact on reporting, screening, and assessment of child maltreatment concerns. System improvements are shared that support preparedness in responding to the evolving implications of legalized recreational marijuana use on the constantly changing child welfare landscape.