Legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington has aroused passion of stoners in other states of America as well. Suddenly, the marijuana craze has spread across the rest of the world with countries like Jamaica, Morocco, Mexico and Canada looking at ways to legalize the drug in controlled quantities. The South American nation of Uruguay became the first county to legalize nationwide pot smoking. American teens are aware of all these international movements calling for legalization of marijuana. The truth is that the idea of teenagers smoking weed is not new and your kid might already have had the pleasure of enjoying a few spacey drags. So how do you respond to the queries of kids when they say that Mary Jane is a good girl to hang out with?
Hopelessly in love with Mary Jane
A poll published by the Pew Center for Research showed that a majority of Americans favor legalizing marijuana in the US. According to the data, 52 percent of Americans presently say that weed should be legal (up from 45 percent in 2010). The highest percentage of support comes from young Americans. 65 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 to 32 believe that marijuana should be legalized for recreational use. It is times like this that can lead you to start a debate with your teen offspring about the pros and cons of consuming weed.
The White House responds
The White House is generally open to alternatives that can put an end to the expensive drug-wars. President Obama recently told The New Yorker magazine that he considered marijuana less harmful than alcohol. Still missing your pot smoking days, eh, Mr. President?
The downside of a buzz
Teens are mostly ill-informed about the dangers of marijuana consumption. No matter how little research has been conducted on the effects of weed on people, the bare fact is that it impairs judgment, decision-making, and alters normal functioning of the brain.
Parents need to be aware that the active agent found in marijuana and referred to as tetahydrocannabinol (THC), gets stored in the fat cells of the brain. In young people the pre-frontal cortex, associated with executive functioning and reasoning, is still developing and weed can disrupt the process altogether. Sadly, the center of the brain that allows people to reflect and evaluate their actions loses one too many screws.
God created grass, man created booze. Whom to trust?
The best answer – trust no one when it comes to addictives (except for the occasional advice of your parents, off course). Parents should start talking to their teens about the ill-effects of weed and provide an environment where open minded exchange of ideas is possible. Stress the negative impacts that long term use of marijuana has on the intelligence, judgment and motivation departments of youngsters.
The day you decide to speak to your teen about how uncool drugs are, check your own status regarding drug or alcohol use first. Abstain from getting high or drunk before your teen’s eyes. It’s all about confronting and discarding your own hypocrisy before lecturing your kids on the dangers of addictives. Yes, you heard it right! Shun hypocrisy and witness with your own hypocritical eyes the positive impact your words will have on your teen.