Is 4/20 Day influencing young people to use marijuana?

Kansas has some of the most restrictive marijuana laws in the nation, where even paraphernalia is prohibited. While 4/20 Day is not widely celebrated in the state for obvious reasons, it still influences

young people.

It has long moved past being counterculture protests to a significant commercial event in many states. It’s an opportunity for marijuana companies to promote the industry and its products. Overall, it

continues to remain a big business across the nation.

There is an influence on young people. Especially when celebrities, influencers and businesses push their brands and products to younger generations. This is something that parents should be aware of,

and they should have constructive conversations with their kids about marijuana and its risks.

“There are adverse effects when teens begin using marijuana, as age does matter. The teen brain is actively developing. THC has addictive properties, which a young developing brain is more susceptible

to,” said Marcel Gemme of Addicted.org.

In Kansas, around 6% of 12 to 17-year-olds reported using drugs in the last month. Among those teens, 75% had used marijuana in the previous month, according to the National Center for Drug Abuse

Statistics.

Early prevention and education efforts go a long way and have a real tangible impact on a young person’s decision to use drugs or alcohol. Consider some of the following goals and pointers:

  • It’s ok to show disapproval of marijuana use, underage drinking, and drug misuse. Parents significantly influence their child’s decisions on whether or not they use legal and illegal substances.
  • Be a reliable source of factual information about marijuana. If the answer is unavailable, search it out together.
  • Show genuine concern for their health, wellness, and success, reinforcing why they should avoid using marijuana.
  • Pay attention to their actions and let them see this, which helps to discourage risky behaviors.
  • Help build their ability to avoid peer pressure, practice what to say, and rehearse scenarios.
  • Avoid lecturing, threatening, and using scare tactics.
  • Lead by example, as actions speak louder than words.
  • Listen to their opinions and answer their questions. The conversation goes both ways.

The conversations change as they age, but the principles stay the same. Short and frequent conversations are more effective than one big talk in preventing drug use altogether.

Marijuana companies are directly involved in large 4/20 celebrations like The Cannabis Cup or Hippie Hill in California. There is a significant influence that parents of teens should be aware of; constructive conversations about marijuana are a good place to begin.

Jody Boulay is a mother of two with a passion for helping others. She currently works as a Community Outreach Coordinator for Addicted.org to help spread awareness of the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

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