The former Crescenta Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition looked to the future on Friday with a new name, new website and renewed focus on a mission to provide resources to parents and teens grappling with drug use in La Crescenta and surrounding communities.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) spoke during the meeting, the first held under the organization's new name — the CV Alliance.

He spoke about federal and state laws regarding marijuana use, varying access to medical marijuana and the uncertain future of each state's stance on legalizing the drug.

While he said many of his constituents have told him they value accessing medical marijuana for their illnesses, he said there are “collateral impacts” that come with use of the drug, including incidents stemming from driving under the influence of marijuana.

“What will happen from here is hard to tell,” he said of the ever-evolving marijuana legislation in several states. “From a perspective of a parent, I have to say it's a frightening world out there…There is no safe harbor away from any of this.”

Lee Wochner, chief executive of the Burbank-based Counterintuity, debuted the CV Alliance's new website, www.
cv-alliance.org, which he helped create. The site provides links to local classes and discussions for parents and teens as well as links to county and state resources.

About four years ago, the group started forming when parents came forward to address drug and alcohol use by local youth, said Glendale Police Detective Matt Zakarian, who serves as president of the CV Alliance.

“When I grew up here, heroin wasn't a problem,” he said. “When I found out there was a kid using heroin, that's when I thought, ‘we've got to do something… I want to find out where this is coming from.'”

He met with local parents and began working with fellow Glendale police officer Joe Allen, who has received recent recognition for his narcotics work and is now vice president of the CV Alliance. The police, working side by side with local parents, marked the beginning of the coalition.

During Friday's meeting, outgoing Glendale Police Chief Ron De Pompa recalled when the group was established.

“It wasn't easy to accept the fact that there was a problem,” he said.

In September 2010, the coalition became official when it was awarded a five-year, $625,000 federal grant from the Drug Free Communities Program.

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Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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