Cannabis Legalization Is Changing the Way Parents Talk to Their Kids (Guest Post)

Cannabis legalization is forcing parents to talk more openly with their children.

This article will discuss the importance of reevaluating how many parents discuss cannabis with their children. The rapid legalization of marijuana in the USA is posing challenges for parents who do not use cannabis or who are not keen on its use. On the other hand, with respect to parents who advocate for medical and/or recreation cannabis legalization and use, it’s probably not a great idea just to say: “Go for it!”. Therefore, let’s see what to bear in mind when discussing cannabis legislation with children.

It’s almost always much better to discuss the topic of cannabis openly than to give a short and blunt statement of prohibition. A strict, non-negotiable prohibition on cannabis use often acts as an invitation in disguise. Many teenagers are inclined to do just the opposite of what their parents prohibit simply to spite them, gain attention, or even out of sheer curiosity. Parents wishing to discourage their children from using cannabis should talk not only about its “cons”, but also its “pros”.

In order to do so, it is essential for parents to become informed about both the benefits and disadvantages of cannabis. If you plan on doing the “cannabis talk”, don’t focus on the strictly informative and “serious” studies, but also try to get their attention with some lesser known facts on the topic.This will make an impact by showing them you possess some in-depth knowledge outside the “things that everybody knows”. If you really want the best education for your children, you should provide it. Parents are becoming increasingly informed about cannabis in order to explain to their children whether and how cannabis should be used. This is a positive development.

One of the very first things parents are now teaching their kids about cannabis usage is to be responsible. Cannabis is becoming as common as alcohol, and its usage more widespread. (We will likely see even more in the years to come). Children should realize that you cannot take ingest as much as you wish without it affecting some of your functions. What is more, studies have shown that the level of THC has dramatically increased compared to marijuana samples from some twenty years ago. Moreover, children are being taught that each person is different, each strain is different, and there is no uniform response when it comes to cannabis use. Although cannabis is often used to relax, not everybody experiences the same sensations, nor does the effect last for the same period. For example, there are certain differences in the way men and women react to cannabis use. Generally speaking, men tend to feel hungrier after cannabis consumption, but they also experience greater pain relief as opposed to female consumers. In other words, the effects and benefits for which cannabis consumption are often used cannot to be taken for granted, even though the ubiquity of its use may encourage many parents and their children to think otherwise.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, cannabis legalization can help improve communications between parents and their children. Apart from increasing parents’ and children’s knowledge about cannabis, its legalization is increasing the trust between them, too. Those parents who have been using and hiding marijuana can finally be completely honest about it without the danger of seeming unreliable to their children due to the general cannabis restrictions and stigma. Above all, children value honesty, and they are extremely susceptible of hypocrisy. For this reason, it is essential that parents who have been consuming cannabis “come clean” and tell their kids more about their responsible usage of it.

Speaking of responsibilities, parents should be careful about where they keep their cannabis supplies. Children should be aware that their parents use cannabis; however, it shouldn’t be lying around the house, either. There have been instances of little ones ingesting marijuana that was within easy reach. For this reason, it’s important to store cannabis in the same way you keep your medicines, namely, out of children’s reach, and preferably locked away, until they come of age.

Cannabis legislation is creating firmer bonds between children and their parents. All those mothers and fathers who have tackled the “cannabis talk” successfully have increased the bonds of trust with their children. It’s also likely that they have made them more responsible and educated, too. Even those parents who are opposed to cannabis use have been challenged to discuss it in a different way and thus enticed to create a better relationship with their children. And, who knows, having been informed about the many benefits of cannabis, it is almost certain that some of those parents have changed their minds about it, too.

February 9, 2019

This is a guest post by Cristine Felt, a former nurse and medical cannabis enthusiast who is passionate about writing.

Rod Kight is an attorney who represents lawful cannabis businesses. He speaks at cannabis conferences across the country, drafts and presents cannabis legislation to foreign governments, is regularly quoted on cannabis matters in the media, and maintains the Kight on Cannabis legal blog, where he discusses legal issues affecting the cannabis industry. You can contact him here.

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