The fight to legalize weed has won out in many states, but negative stereotypes of “stoners” still prevail in the media. If you are a parent who would like to use recreational marijuana, how do you talk to your kids about legal cannabis?
1. Dispel the myths.
Many drug education programs lump weed with illegal drugs that are incredibly dangerous. When kids learn that it is almost impossible to overdose on marijuana, they start to doubt that anything they have learned is true. Make sure that your children are clear on what is myth and what is fact. Share the dangers of abuse of all substances, legal and illegal, including alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs. Once your children understand what marijuana is and its effects, they will better understand your choices.
2. Explain your choices.
As with alcohol, at some point your child will question why you choose to smoke marijuana. Be candid. Explain that it is for recreation, and it is no different than indulging in a glass of wine. Your child needs to know that you do not have a “drug addiction,” and that you are not damaging your health in any way, as these are fears they may have based on media stereotypes.
3. Safety first.
When it comes to marijuana, make sure your children understand that it is illegal for them to use prior to the age of 18 (except for possible medical situations), and that if they choose to smoke, they should always purchase from a legal vendor, and never someone on the street. Whether or not you want your child to partake as an adult, opening the door to that conversation lets them know that you are on their side, and can help them steer clear of dangerous situations.
At the end of the day, your conversation with your child about weed will not be much different from a conversation about alcohol. The age you have these talks will vary with the child and his or her maturity level. Every family will approach these issues a little differently, but the above tips will help make sure your kids are educated and safe.
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