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Talking To Your Kids About Medical Marijuana?


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Because of the legalization of medical marijuana across a number of states in the U.S., many parents around the country are finding themselves having the dreaded “drug talk” with their children much earlier than they had expected. This important conversation is actually not so much a problem, but rather a challenge and opportunity for parents to educate their children wisely.


Before the legalization of medical marijuana, parents were often expected to simply tell their kids to “just say no to drugs,” marijuana of course, being one of them. Now however, parents have to explain to their children that marijuana is actually a plant that really helps people, and not just a drug to say no to. At the same time however, these parents also have to urge their children not to experiment with the drug.


For these "just say no" parents, this issue involves overcoming their own fears about marijuana based on their own inexperience. It also involves partially disregarding the information the media has given them over the years, which has not always been accurate. Now, parent’s attitudes need to change so they can give their children a more objective view of the situation.


Legalization and the medical use of marijuana have “created a perception among kids that this is no big deal,” said Stephen Pasierb, the president of the Partnership at Drugfree.org, an organization that provides resources for parents concerned about their children’s drug use. “You need a calm, rational conversation, not yelling and screaming, and you need the discipline to listen to your child,” he goes on to say.


Whereas in the past, many parents never even brought up the drug topic, Boulder, Colorado councilwoman KC Becker says, marijuana legalization now “does force you to talk about it and explain it — but that’s not necessarily bad.” Becker states that when it’s time to explain what a medical marijuana dispensary is to her four year old son, she will say, “That’s a store where people can get medicine to help them when they feel sick, but you have to be responsible in using it, and old enough.’” Her statement is a perfectly simple, objective, and unbiased way of explaining the issue.






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