The legalisation of the use of recreational marijuana is making it increasingly difficult for parents to talk to their kids about drug use. Taking this new landscape into consideration Partnership for Drug-Free Kids has released a new resource that gives parents examples of how to start the conversation, answering teen’s questions about marijuana, and what not to say.
The new kit provides advice such as:
- Although marijuana is legal in some states, it does not change the fact that it is a mind-altering substance which can be harmful for the still-developing teen brain.
- Parents should engage their kids in conversation, instead of simply lecturing them. This shows a parent’s concern and promotes collaboration in thinking through healthy alternatives, like music, reading or sports.
- To answer the difficult question, “But it’s legal in some states; why would they make something legal that could hurt me?” a parent could use alcohol or cigarette smoking as examples, say something along the lines of “Let’s look at alcohol; it’s legal, but causes damage, including drunk driving, car accidents and other behaviour that leads to jail time. Alcohol can also cause major health problems, including liver problems and car accidents,” showing them that a substance being legal does not mean that it is harmless.
- Parents should also be aware of using language that could be shaming as it can accelerate marijuana use in teens who are already using it.
This new kit provides parents with the skills they need to handle any conversation and any questions their kids might have regarding marijuana use. Any parent can have free access to this resource.