Marijuana is becoming legal in states across the U.S., and not only for medicinal purposes anymore. So what does this mean for your teen? Here are some ways you can talk to your kid about the growing legalization movement.
It is important for you to educate yourself on the legalization movement before you talk to your kids about it. It will be hard for them to take you seriously if you aren’t well informed. Do a quick internet search to find out if marijuana is legal in your state and read some news articles on the the current regulations.
Legal Age Limits
Just like alcohol, the legal age requirement to purchase marijuana is 21 years. Warn your kid against people selling “legal” marijuana on the streets—there’s a high chance they are looking for young, vulnerable kids to sell to who will believe the product is legal. Another danger of this is that the weed could be laced with other dangerous substances.
Negative Health Effects
Marijuana may be legalized in some states, but just because you can buy it at a store doesn’t mean it’s good for you. There still exist negative effects of smoking weed—as is the case with alcohol, another a legal substance—so educate your child of the risks of smoking marijuana.
What Will They Lose
A technique found to be more beneficial than talking about the health risks of smoking marijuana is to tell your teen what they might put in jeopardy if they smoke a joint, such as their success in school. Framing the conversation this way makes it easier for the teenage brain to comprehend and makes the risks seem more real for teens.
We all have our opinions on whether marijuana should be legalized or not, so let your kid know where you stand on this issue and explain why. Be open to their opinions and those of others when it comes to discussing this movement. Just because someone has a different opinion than you does not mean they are wrong.
Make sure to be calm and respectful when talking to your teen about the legalization movement. If you have questions or concerns, talk to an expert, doctor or drug specialist for more information.
Feature image Brett Levin