It’s National Prevention Week. Day Four’s Focus: Marijuana and Illicit Drugs

Marijuana is perhaps one of the most polarizing substances we’ll discuss on National Prevention Week. Opinions around the country cover a wide spectrum. Should marijuana be legalized? Should it just be decriminalized? Should it be used only for medicinal purposes? (P.S. Contrary to popular belief, marijuana does not cure cancer, although it can make symptoms easier to deal with.)

While there are arguments to be made for the different opinions, one thing we can all agree on is that teens should not use marijuana. Even in the states where recreational marijuana use is legal, it is only legal for those over age 21.

“Marijuana is addicting, has adverse effects upon the adolescent brain, is a risk for both cardio-respiratory disease and testicular cancer, and is associated with both psychiatric illness and negative social outcomes,” according to research from the American College of Pediatricians. “Evidence indicates limited legalization of marijuana has already raised rates of unintended marijuana exposure among young children, and may increase adolescent use.”

Here is more information on the negative impacts of teens using marijuana from our previous blog post.

So what can we do to keep teens from using marijuana? First, if you are a parent, talk to your kids about your disapproval of them using marijuana or any other substance. Some parents say they would rather their kid smokes marijuana than use another substance, but you are within your rights as a parent to tell your child you don’t want them using any substances at all. Here’s another post from our blog on how to talk to your kids.

We know that when recreational marijuana is legalized, teens who use it start to use it more frequently.

If you don’t want marijuana to be legalized in your state, call your representative and let them know.

Youth live happier and healthier lives when they aren’t abusing marijuana and other drugs. Let’s do everything we can to ensure that they don’t.