Talking to your teens about drug use can already be a little uncomfortable. But what if you live in a state where using recreational marijuana is legal for adults? That can certainly make the conversation a little bit trickier, especially considering such laws make many teens believe the drug isn’t harmful.
Washington is one of the states where recreational marijuana use is legal for adults over the age of 21 (Although, keep in mind, marijuana use is still ILLEGAL on the federal level no matter where you live). “A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Underage Marijuana Use,” a publication produced by Seattle Children’s Hospital and the UW Social Development Research Group, provides good guidance for parents on how to talk to teens about marijuana, the effect of the drug on the teenage body, and the answers to some commonly asked questions about marijuana such as:
Isn’t marijuana natural and therefore OK for teens to use?
There are many natural things that are not good for our bodies. Regardless of it being “natural” or not marijuana can harm youth health.
Isn’t it better for my child to consume marijuana at home where I can make sure they stay safe?
Research shows that teens who use alcohol at home are actually more likely to abuse alcohol when not at home. The same holds true for marijuana.
What about marijuana brownies and cookies? Aren’t they safer than smoking marijuana?
Marijuana, no matter how it is used, is harmful to teen health. Some marijuana products that are eaten or vaporized are more potent than smoked marijuana.
I smoked when I was a kid, why deny a rite of passage?
Keep in mind that most teens do not use marijuana, so it is not really a rite of passage. Today’s marijuana is more potent than the marijuana that was available in the past. In addition, some marijuana products being sold are “concentrates” and are even more potent and dangerous to teen health.
Read more in “A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Underage Marijuana Use.”