MP Report – Talking to teens about marijuana

June 5, 2018

marijuana-leaf

Are you ready?

Whether we like it or not, recreational marijuana is going to be legal soon and parents are wondering if they are ready to handle the change.  Alberta’s usage rate is currently 8.9% while the national average is 10.5%.  At the same time, Alberta has the highest rate of lifetime use of all provinces.

Alberta will have the lowest age of accessibility of all provinces and Alberta parents are looking for additional information on how to discuss the legal use of recreational drugs with their children.

In the riding of Calgary Confederation, there are already applications for 29 marijuana stores filed with the City of Calgary.  (More information on this at www.lenwebber.ca/marijuana-store-applications/)

While drugs have been an issue that parents have tackled for decades, the situation will become all the more confusing for our youth.  If the government is selling it, it must be okay, right?  Health experts have warned that marijuana use under the age of 25 has many negative effects on the developing brain.

It’s very important to talk with teens about drugs because: they may hear wrong information about drugs from their friends, the media or other adults; they (or you) may be concerned about someone else who is using drugs; they may be using drugs and might need help to stop; they may be asking questions and it’s important that you provide them with the right information.

The federal government has an information page for parents online at www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/substance-abuse/talking-about-drugs/talking-with-teenagers-about-drugs.html.

The page has sections dealing with talking with teens, tips for talking about drugs, points about cannabis, slang term for cannabis, points about prescription drugs and getting help about problematic substance abuse.

It is important to talk with teens about drugs regularly, before there is an urgent need to do so.