Legalization of Marijuana and Its Impact on Children

Marijuana-Impact-on-Children

When we completely legalize marijuana, how will this affect our kids? It does seem like that question has been around for quite some time now, mostly because we constantly ask the same question across an array of issues. We still haven’t answered it regarding alcohol. Anyway, as more and more countries start joining Colorado, Alaska, Oregon and Washington D.C., this question is more important than ever. Marijuana has a stigma that immensely scares parents – to begin with, it is considered to be a gateway drug. Now that it is becoming widely and easily available, parents and those who feel it is their moral duty have started imagining their child smoking a joint today and inserting a needle tomorrow. From where we are now, the end of marijuana prohibition seems inevitable, but still, the concern remains the same; what will be the impact of these reforms on children?

What Kind of Message Are We Sending To Our Kids?

Isn’t everything we do just that – a message to our kids? A mother having a cigarette is communicating to her child that smoking cigarettes is OK. A father who occasionally drinks is doing the same thing. We might declare everything a message to the kids. So, could it be that kids might see this whole legalization thing as an invite to start consuming marijuana? All those years it was a bad thing and now all of the sudden, there are attributes such as “medical” and “recreational” standing next to it. Surely, a teenager on the loose might think this calls for a joint? This argument smells like a logical fallacy, if you ask us. Maybe not logical, but some kind of fallacy definitely is. The thing is that marijuana has always been here and it was always easy to find. Millions of generations have welcomed it, tried it (or not), and then sent it home. There is simply no compelling reason to be afraid of an escalation in teenage usage of marijuana. Teenagers are not cueing for marijuana like it is a new iPhone. Surely, there will always be irresponsible folks around, but the new laws regarding the consumption of marijuana can’t affect the level of responsibility with those people. And lastly, none of the new laws allow sales to minors.

New Approach to Drug Abuse Prevention

If history has taught us anything, it is that we need to re-think our approach to drug abuse in children. Surely someone has noticed by now that marijuana is not the same as heroin, yet we keep classifying it like it is. The legalization is our chance to change this. And what about education? Adults are now able to consume marijuana without breaking the law, which means they will have it at home and that means easy access for the children. Obviously, parents bear great responsibility here, as with alcohol and any other substance. Schools have to join this conversation too, but with completely different approach, using scientific facts to provide honest information, unlike scare tactics they used before (without success).

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