Marijuana is legal, and the world just got a bit more complicated for parents.
Everyone has a lot of questions. Parents, we are here to help.
Truth is, marijuana is still a terrible idea for teens. No vote is going to change that.
Yes, marijuana is now legal for adults. But for those under the age of 21, marijuana remains illegal and potentially dangerous.
Just like alcohol, marijuana can hurt the still-developing brain of teens. Parents, when you consider your children’s future, it’s easy to see that marijuana could limit their potential.
So how can parents navigate the conversation when it comes to marijuana?
The first tip: Remember that parents have the most influence when it comes to their children’s temptation to experiment with alcohol, marijuana and other drugs.
Parents: What you say matters!
That’s why it’s so important parents be armed with the facts, not political rhetoric.
The Health Consequences
Marijuana has been shown to be potentially hazardous to a person’s physical and emotional health. This is even more true for teens.
Marijuana slows reaction time and alters attention and perception. There is drowsiness and lack of coordination which increases the risk for injury. Marijuana increases the heart rate, blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms.
The most frightening: The younger users are most at risk.
“These results suggest that marijuana has its strongest long-term impact on young users whose brains are still busy building new connections and maturing in other ways,” according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse in its report on health effects of marijuana.
Marijuana and Addiction
People argue whether marijuana is addictive, but there are some frequent marijuana users who have trouble quitting. That sounds like addiction.
The actual physical symptoms of withdrawal may go unnoticed, but for those who use marijuana daily to handle the stress of life… yes, that’s substance abuse.
Read this article from a psychologist whose patient smoked marijuana all day long: “He told me, “Marijuana is my life, family, my girlfriend and my hobby.” He’d vowed and tried to quit multiple times without success. His marijuana use ended up isolating him from family and friends. So, despite the fact that he never experienced any dramatic physiological withdrawal symptoms when he tried not to smoke, this individual was addicted to marijuana.
We invite you to learn more about the physical and mental health implication of marijuana use here, as well as learn more about the new law that made marijuana use legal for adults.