What Now for Our Children and Youth?
Recreational Marijuana is now legal for adults 21 and over in Washington since the passage of Initiative 502. Retail stores are open, media is a buzz, drug paraphernalia is readily available—often in sight of our children—and edibles are coming onto the market. What now for our children and youth?
How do we protect them, guide them, and provide positive adult role modeling when it comes to marijuana?
Across the state and in our own county, our youth’s perception of harm regarding marijuana has been on a steady downturn over the past few years. In the 2012 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey one of the results was that our youth feel it is more dangerous to smoke a cigarette than marijuana. That is good news for tobacco prevention but we have a lot of work to do to educate our youth.
Here are some ways you can help:
Stay informed on marijuana, alcohol and other drugs so you can be confident in your knowledge and ability to discuss these issues.
Talk to your children early and often. It is never too early to start talking about healthy choices—the basis for a strong foundation for success in school.
Connect with others in the community so we can have a united effort to support our children in positive choices. Join with other parents, educators, civic organizations, local government and GSSAC’s Prevention Center to make this a community solution.
Be a good role model. If you use, keep your marijuana including edibles secure—away from your children. Don’t use in front of your children. Never give youth marijuana.
Set and share your expectations with your children. Be steadfast in your commitment to helping them make the choice to be drug free from marijuana, alcohol and other drugs. Young brains grow through age 25—give them their best chance to be awesome.
Call us here at GSSAC at 509-922-8383 to request free materials, information about treatment/help resources, or a presentation to your organization or business. The more we know, the more we can be a part of a safe, healthy community in support of children and youth.