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‘Good to Know’ Parent Resources for Marijuana Education & Prevention

Being a parent of a teenager has and always will be a challenge. As they grow, learn and attempt to discover who they are, they inevitably make some bad decisions along the way. It’s hard to know when to step in and take over or let them learn from their mistakes. Like past generations, they are going to experiment with jobs, relationships and maybe even drugs or alcohol. This isn’t anything new, but with states like Colorado legalizing marijuana, it definitely creates more challenges for parents.

‘Good to Know’ Parent Resouces for Marijuana Education & Prevention

Even though it’s technically illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to smoke marijuana in Colorado, some kids still do. Just the other day, I was in the Wendy’s drive-thru with my windows down when the distinct smell of pot engulfed my car. I looked over and sure enough, there was a parked car full of high school kids smoking with their windows down. Even my son, who is almost 14 and in 8th grade, says kids his age smoke weed all the time at the park by his school. It’s easy to point fingers and say “it’s all because the state made it legal” or “it’s the parent’s fault” or “the schools and law enforcement need to crack down on it.”

‘Good to Know’ Parent Resouces for Marijuana Education & Prevention

When it comes down to it, knowledge is power and our kids need to be taught that marijuana usage at a young age is not healthy. Parents, it starts with you. Regardless of whether or not you smoke pot, you need to proactively teach your kids that it is not only illegal for them to smoke it, it is also not healthy for kids and teens. It may be easy to say “no” as an adult, but it is much harder for kids. They may not know or understand the effects, so it’s important that you become educated and learn how to talk to your kids about it.

‘Good to Know’ Parent Resouces for Marijuana Education & Prevention

Health Effects of Underage Retail Marijuana Usage

  • Brain development is not complete until age 25. For the best chance to reach their full potential, young people should not use marijuana.
  • Youth who use marijuana regularly are more likely to have difficulty learning, memory issues and lower math and reading scores.
  • THC in any form will likely impair ability to drive, play sports, play video games, bike, or do other activities.
  • Youth who use marijuana—even occasionally—may be more likely to do risky things later in life. This may include use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
  • Marijuana is addictive. It is harder to stop using marijuana if started at a young age.

‘Good to Know’ Parent Resouces for Marijuana Education & Prevention

Legal Consequences of Underage Retail Marijuana Usage

  • Marijuana charges can cause loss of financial aid for college, even outside Colorado.
  • Getting caught with marijuana means getting charged with an MIP (minor in possession).
  • Breaking work policies can result in loss of employment.
  • Breaking school policies can result in removal from sports teams and extracurricular activities, school suspensions, expulsions and drug counseling.

Talking to youth about marijuana can be challenging! With this in mind, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment has launched a new resource portal on Good to Know Colorado. This is a place where you will find everything you need to know about the health effects, academic consequences and legalities of marijuana so that you can confidently talk to your kids about it. You’ll also find resources and tools that rely on facts rather than fear tactics, and tips on how to be approachable and easy to talk to.

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Do you want to be a positive influence on today’s youth? Start by teaching them that retail marijuana usage isn’t healthy for young people. Get the facts, know the laws and access the resources at This is a great resource for all parents, whether you live in Colorado or not!

This post is sponsored by Single Edition Media on behalf of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. All opinions are my own.

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