Now that adults are starting to gain a better understanding of cannabis and its benefits, many parents and teachers are facing their next challenge: How do I talk to kids about marijuana? California has been tasked with establishing new education programs to effectively prevent children from consuming cannabis, while making them aware of the choices they will have to make as an adult in a post-legalization world. As such, we are seeing the classic “Just Say No” campaigns shift to a new message: “Delay.” According to an article from Brit + Co, the new strategies focus on lifelong health and good decision making.
Marijuana legalization has had major effects on the lives of adults across the country, with 30 states and the District of Columbia allowing for medical marijuana, and about a third of those states permitting recreational use. Many of the results of this legalization have been expected, including relief for debilitating medical conditions, such as chronic pain, epilepsy, and PTSD. Cannabis also has become an alternative to alcohol in social situations, without the same negative long-term health effects as alcohol. Also expected has been the boost for government coffers with an influx of marijuana tax revenue. The way legalization would come to effect the way we educate children was a bit unexpected. It makes a lot of sense, though, considering the way marijuana functions in our lives is entirely different than it was even 10 years ago.As our Riverside marijuana attorneys can explain, the “War on Drugs” shaped the way everyone spoke about cannabis. The propaganda being fed to adults trickled down into hardcore anti-marijuana education campaigns for children, as well. It’s true cannabis should not be consumed by kids, considering early research indicates it can stunt cognitive development in children. The answer, however, is far more complicated than outright prohibition. For example, the first cannabis derived drug approved by the FDA is Epidiolex, which is a liquid CBD formula specifically designed for children with severe seizures.
Furthermore, there have been no recorded deaths caused by marijuana overdose, so it is necessary to teach children about the drug in a similar way to alcohol. Instead of teaching solely about the dangers, the focus is on the proper time and place for consumption by equipping students with the facts. If we continue to try to convince children and teens that cannabis is evil and dangerous, they only need to look at the world around them to know they are being lied to. It is essential that they know why early consumption could be harmful to them specifically and how to make good decisions that will sustain them through adulthood. In other words: safety over scare tactics. As tax money continues to flood states and local governments from the sale of marijuana, funds will be flagged for more comprehensive drug education programs in schools. In the meantime, teachings are a bit inconsistent and unclear during this transitional time period.
Our legal team is supportive of all measures of education that expand understanding of marijuana while still keeping everyone safe. We have tried to demonize this beneficial plant for far too long. It is time for a common sense approach based on facts so that we can all move forward into a healthier future.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients, defendants, workers and those facing criminal marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
Just Saying No to ‘Just Say No’: Drug Education is Evolving as Marijuana Becomes Legal, July 16, 2018, Marijuana.com
More Blog Entries:
Students Who Need Medical Marijuana Deserve Easier Access, Feb. 28. 2018, Cannabis Law Group