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Talking to Your Kids About Legal Cannabis

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Whether you’re a parent who smokes, or the spouse/partner of one who does, eventually you’ll have to talk to your kids about legal cannabis.

Although how and when you approach the subject with your kids may be influenced by their age and maturity level, the basics of the conversation will largely remain the same. Before you get started, sit down with your spouse/partner to ensure you’re both on the same page about how the conversation should go, when it should happen, and the message you want to send to your kids.

First, explain what cannabis is and how it is legal in your state. The level of detail you go into will depend on the age of your child(ren). Older children won’t need as much explanation about what cannabis is but will likely need more insight as to the legalities of the herb within the state, while younger children will be more curious as to what it is and what its particular benefits are to you personally.

Next, discuss what responsible cannabis consumption should look like. This is especially important with older children. Remind them that, while it may be legal, there are age restrictions that are important to be followed. Consumption of cannabis in minors can have adverse affects on brain development and impair learning. Be open to questions they may have about your consumption. Try to answer them honestly, and try not to get defensive. Be aware that opening up discussion about legal marijuana might bring up questions about other controlled substances.

Then, practice what you preach. Be a responsible legal cannabis consumer. Follow the law to the letter. Know your state’s particular DUI/DWI laws with regard to cannabis consumption. Don’t smoke in the same room with children present. Ensure children cannot get to your cannabis accidentally or purposefully. Don’t overindulge when children are present. Following these guidelines will ensure that you set a good example for your child(ren) for when they come of age to consume legal cannabis themselves.

Finally, understand that one conversation may not be enough. Children are, by nature, inquisitive, and may have follow up questions down the road. Understand that legal cannabis is still relatively new and difficult for some to accept. Your children, their friends, or friends’ parents may have a difficult time with this concept. Be open, be honest, be consistent. Doing so establishes, and maintains, a trusting relationship, one that will benefit both parent and child for years to come.

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If you’d like to read more, check out these stories:

How to Be a Responsible Parent Who Enjoys Marijuana

Marijuana DUI’s: Are You Driving While Impaired?

Community Creation: Cannabis Consuming Moms Connect

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