How to Talk to Kids about Cannabis
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 03/30/2015 in Medical Marijuana
We hear every single day on mainstream media the “What about the kids” argument. Essentially they claim that by legalizing cannabis we will ‘send the wrong signals’ to kids and would encourage them to smoke it themselves.
While this argument is absolutely idiotic in nature due to the fact that ‘kids are already smoking pot’ despite it being illegal. The current system does not educate kids on the effects of cannabis, the uses of cannabis and why kids shouldn’t be smoking it at all. It leaves cannabis education in the hands of street dealers and their peers and in turn, perpetuates the under aged use of cannabis.
Rather, by not trying to make the subject of marijuana taboo, we can effectively reduce under aged consumption through educated talks and not resorting to scare tactics.
Look at what happened to Tobacco
Since the 1990’s there has been a steady decline on tobacco consumption due to advertising restrictions, informed campaigns about the health risks of tobacco use and much more. As a result, fewer kids are smoking.
Unlike the prohibition approach, they did not outlaw tobacco use but rather engaged into a dialogue about the risks of tobacco consumption.
What about Cannabis?
While some teens are still smoking, the numbers have been gradually declining. In regards to Cannabis, there is no dialogue.
“It’s ILLEGAL and BAD FOR YOU” are the arguments adults use to justify their stance on cannabis use. However, the moment a teen tries it for the first time; all the arguments go up in smoke.
That’s because when teens try it for the first time, most of the ‘alleged fears’ do not manifest during the experience. Thus, kids go and say “It’s not that bad…they lied to us about the effects”.
What we should be doing instead!
I think it’s about time we really start to open up a national debate over the use of cannabis. While no one is arguing that kids smoke pot, it is important to educate them on use. We need to make them realize that recreational use is an adult activity…like driving a car or drinking a beer.
Through an educated conversation, letting them know of the medical benefits, the recreational applications and even the potential risks involved with cannabis consumption, they will have the tools in hand to make informed decisions about their own lives.
Fear does not convince and once the teen sees that the ‘perceived fears’ instilled by prohibitionist rhetoric is hogwash; they will begin to apply the same logic on other substance…potentially harmful substances.
Thus marijuana isn’t a gateway….rather…the prohibitionist thinking is a gateway to harder drugs.