As buzz about recreational pot intensifies across the state and marijuana use edges closer to the Island’s mainstream, David Caron wants to hit the pause button. The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital pharmacist has begun to assemble a group of community leaders concerned about potential negative effects of marijuana use on young people.

Mr. Caron is calling it the marijuana task force.

“This is not an anti-marijuana task force. I like to look at it as more of an educational task force,” he said. A medical conference in the spring prompted him to take action when he attended a presentation about the effects of marijuana use by youth on brain development. “I want to make sure there’s a balanced discussion out there about where we see the use of marijuana in our community,” he said.

So far, the task force includes Island leaders from the Dukes County Health Council, Community Services, the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, and a handful of Island selectmen including Melinda Loberg and Tristan Israel of Tisbury and Cynthia Mitchell of West Tisbury. Christine Todd and David Holway of the Dukes County Commission have added their support along with high school principal Sara Dingledy and vice principal Elliott Bennett.

County manager Martina Thornton was in charge of circulating the message from the task force among selectmen. She said it’s important for community leaders to be engaged with the issue.

“It helps if there is more involvement from the people who are the public face of this Island,” she said. Mr. Caron said signature gathering is ongoing.

Mr. Caron said the group has been meeting each month since April and plans to publish an open letter in Island newspapers detailing their concerns about rates of marijuana use among young people aged 12 to 24. In the fall, Mr. Caron said the group hopes to make a presentation to the high school on the potential negative effects of regular marijuana use on developing brains.

Meanwhile, while use of marijuana has been legal for those over 21 in Massachusetts since 2016, the marijuana economy on the Vineyard remains unofficial. A medical marijuana cultivation facility is under construction in West Tisbury, and a corresponding dispensary is expected to open in North Tisbury next year. Recreational marijuana is farther off. Some prospective business owners have indicated interest, and marijuana accessories are sold in Island stores, but few formal steps have been taken toward establishing actual businesses on the Island. No applications for licenses to sell recreational pot have been completed in Dukes County.

For Mr. Caron, this window of time before the arrival of commercial cannabis vendors is the time to have some serious discussions. In addition to being a pharmacist, he is the parent of three children who have been students at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. He emphasized that he is not opposed to use of the substance outright, but said there needs to be a nuanced understanding about when it is appropriate.

“Yes, there is a time and a place medically to use marijuana, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay for everyone to do it, or for kids to be doing it before school,” Mr. Caron said. “There is also a population of folks on this Island who are getting the wrong idea.”

Theresa Manning, head of Youth Task Force, an organization that promotes healthy life choices for Island teens, has signed onto the task force said she welcomes new momentum in the crusade against teen substance use.

“In any community where you are faced with legalization, ... you need to have a counter voice to give people information about youth use,” she said. “And I think that message isn’t very strong in our community right now.”

Mr. Caron said in the effort to change that, time is of the essence.

“You never want to be a community that’s looking in the rearview mirror saying we had an opportunity,” he said. “It’s a moment to pause in the community and have a conversation.”