Although controversial, the topic of medical marijuana is one that I believe is important to discuss.
As a teen and family therapist running a teen substance abuse program this topic is fairly familiar for me.
Through available research and client report, it has become clear to me that the use of marijuana is not only becoming increasingly common but has become quite a debated issue.
Due to the debate, what I have found tricky to manage is the perspective that many teens maintain on the risks and benefits of marijuana.
I once had a client bring me a stack of research articles nearly an inch thick supporting his argument of why he should be allowed to continue his use as he described that there were no risks but only benefits to his use.
I, too, could provide a teen like this with counter research an inch thick of the harm and risks associated with marijuana use, however, ultimately this example portrays the struggle and bind that today’s parents, communities and helping professionals face regarding marijuana and our youth.
From young ages, teens become exposed to individuals using medical and recreational marijuana, they become familiar with the availability of medical marijuana cards and dispensaries, while gaining clarity on the legal jargon of marijuana use.
From this exposure, today’s teens end up battling an internal debate about the topic, unfortunately a debate that some lose due to their confusion, lack of clear understanding and ultimate decision to use.
On some level, I try to empathize with today’s youth on this issue. Back in the day, marijuana was illegal and that was that. If teens smoked, they knew it was illegal. Today, however, youth face a different decision, a decision that can be blurry as result of the debate around medical marijuana.
Considering that this is an ongoing and growing concern, I am curious to know “How do you address and support your teen to make healthy decisions regarding marijuana use?” Or, if you are not yet a parent of a teen, “How will you offer prevention to your child regarding marijuana use?”