Cannabis Can Hold Your Teen Back


You are the number one influence on your child. It is never too early or too late to talk to your kids about the risks of cannabis use. Research shows that having a strong relationship with parents significantly influences children’s decisions.


Key tips for talking about marijuana with young people

1. Plan to have many short talks.

2. You do not have to cover everything at one time.

3. Keep it light and informal; have talks while driving or going for a walk.

4. Make your expectations and feelings about drug use clear.

5. Let them know you are always available to talk.

6. Be sure to keep the conversations going; issues facing children change as they get older.


Health impacts

1. Cannabis use impacts the way teens think and can harm their health making it harder to do well in school or sports.

2. Marijuana is not a benign drug for teens. The teenage brain is still developing, and marijuana may cause abnormal brain development.

3. Teens who use marijuana regularly may develop serious mental health disorders, including addiction, depression, and psychosis.

4. There are no research studies on the use of medical marijuana in teens, so actual indications, appropriate dosing, effects, and side effects are unknown. The only data available on medical marijuana in the pediatric population are limited to its use in children with severe refractory seizures.

5. Recreational use of marijuana by minors and young adults under the age of 21 years is illegal and, if prosecuted, may result in a permanent criminal record, affecting school, jobs, etc.

6. Never drive under the influence of marijuana or ride in a car with a driver who is under the influence of marijuana. Adults and teens regularly get into serious and even fatal car accidents while under the influence of marijuana.

7. Marijuana smoke contains 50-70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke  The use of vaporizers or hookahs does not eliminate the toxic chemicals in marijuana smoke. 

8. For parents: It is important to keep all marijuana products away from children. As with other medications and toxic products, containers that are child-proof and kept out of reach should be used. For small children, marijuana edibles and drinks can be particularly dangerous.

9. For parents: Remember that intoxication and euphoria are predictable effects of using marijuana products. Being “high” from your own recreational or medical marijuana use may alter your capacity to function safely as a parent or to provide a safe environment for infants and children.

10. For parents: You are role models for your children, and actions speak louder than words. So if you use marijuana in front of your teens, they are more likely to use it themselves, regardless of whether you tell them not to.

11. For Parents: Legal for adults doesn’t mean safe for teen.

Marijuana: Talking Points for Parents and Teens | AAFP
Cannabis Laws for Adults 21+ | Be in the Know CT