Teachable Moment – Marijuana

IMG_1793This week presents a wonderful opportunity for a teachable moment you can have with your teen regarding marijuana. Why, you ask? Well this Wednesday is April 20th or 4-20. That is a significant date to marijuana users. It is a day they celebrate by smoking marijuana. There are many stories on how it got started. Here are a few:   The police code for Marijuana Smoking in Progress. It’s the number of active chemicals in marijuana. It’s teatime in Holland. It has something to do with Hitler’s birthday. It’s those numbers in that Bob Dylan song multiplied. The alleged real story is as follows: 420 started somewhere in San Rafael, California in the late ‘70s. It started as a group of five San Rafael High School friends known as the Waldos – by virtue of their chosen hang-out spot, a wall outside the school and would meet at 4:20pm to smoke marijuana. Click here to read an article on the origin of 420.

This is a great opportunity to ask your teen if they know what 420 is? Remember, let them talk. If you get no response, let them know what you know about the day. Hopefully this will start the conversation. Here are a few arguments teens give in support of marijuana use with some comebacks for you.

  1. Marijuana is natural – so it can’t hurt me. Response – so is poison ivy, hemlock, snakes, tarantulas and sharks – all natural all can hurt you
  2. It’s medicine – Response – What does it cure? How come the AMA, Cancer Society, Glaucoma Assn and basically every health related organization does not endorse it. What other medicine do they know is smoked, putting a ton of other bad chemicals into their lungs.  And why hasn’t the FDA approved it. NB There are other forms of marijuana in pill and nasal spray that can give relief to patients.
  3. It’s not addictive –Response –  THC (the buzz factor in marijuana) in the 80s & 90s was between 1 to 3%  – now it can be up to 28% – Plus, medical research has shown that a teen who smokes weed every day  – 1 in 2 will become addicted  and 1 in 6 who regularly smoke
  4. Well it’s not as bad as other drugs like cocaine or heroin or Molly –Response –  that’s like saying its not as bad if you jump out of a window from the 4th floor than from the 8th floor.For some more great information on marijuana and how to have that conversation with your teen Click Here