I'm so confused with all of the conversation and battling between the industry and the non-industry advocates.

Is there one good location to get information on how to teach my children to socially, emotionally and physically manage the effects of marijuana?

Thank you for your feedback and requests for clarity. More specifically I am questioning:

How do I handle the situation that my son's friends' parents use edibles, should I worry about my son's safety?

My children's ages are 8, 10, and 12. What should I tell them about the use of marijuana? I drink wine most every night, but I would never want someone to judge me as a result of that use. I also wouldn't drive after drinking under any circumstances.

I would like to find a community of parents who can start a "chat room" or ongoing dialogue related to real life scenarios that play out in different parts of our lives -- in the schools, in hospitals, in legal cases, in the community in general.

  • 1
    I'm not sure where you can find such advice, but if you ask for that information, instead of how to find that information, then the community can likely provide the advice you seek. Then, your answer to this question would be "On Parenting.StackExchange!"
    – user11394
    Mar 18 '15 at 20:20
  • There was a VTC for this being to broad, but historically questions asking where to find information or items are acceptable on Parenting.SE.
    – user11394
    Mar 18 '15 at 20:25
  • @CreationEdge I didn't VTC, but "too broad" isn't necessarily related to that particular issue; that would be the "recommendation" off topic reason on some other sites but doesn't exist here. I could imagine this being too broad, because it's too large of a topic necessarily to have a single source; I won't VtC right now because I'd rather wait and see if there is a good answer instead of assuming there isn't.
    – Joe
    Mar 18 '15 at 20:34
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    @Lisa I do think you need to clarify some things in your question, though. In particular, are you looking from the point of view of someone who expects her children to be interested in using marijuana and want to help them make intelligent adult decisions (such as we do with alcohol and tobacco), or are you looking to specifically discourage them from using? And how old of children are we talking - teen, pre-teen, etc.? I notice in your profile you have a 10 and a 22 year old - those are quite different and might have different needs (given the law and such).
    – Joe
    Mar 18 '15 at 20:36
  • @Joe That was the reason I saw (when I could see it). However, there are many similar questions requesting places to find information, such as this and this and this and more. I agree that we also need more info from Lisa.
    – user11394
    Mar 18 '15 at 20:43

Marijuana has serious long lasting effects. This study and several other articles based on the same data have shown without any ambiguity that it has long term serious effects. As an epidemiologist I attended a conference in July 2014 where a study was presented on this same cohort. This study followed 1000 new-zealand young middle-class for 20 years from 10 to 30. Accounting for parents family situation, family income, school grades etc. they show unambiguously that use of marijuana is linked to:

  1. increased occurrences of mental health issues such as depression
  2. lasting mental deficits
  3. deteriorated relationships (couple, friends)
  4. lowered feeling of happiness in life
  5. lower professional success (typically lower incomes at same age than their parents, the opposite is true for non marijuana users)
  6. poorer financial situation (lower credit scores in particular)

In addition, higher consumptions are linked with worse outcomes.

It is also well acknowledged that the onset of schizophrenia is very connected to marijuana use. It's difficult to know which way this is working but probably both ways.

A fairly synthetic description of the impact of marijuana can also be found on this University of Washington page.

Finally, I have two personal anecdotes that I will make sure to tell my kids before they come of age.

I had a girl friend who smoked a lot of marijuana for from 17 to 19. I met her when she was 20, she had completely stopped for a year. She told me that was 2 lost years in her life, she did basically nothing and feels like she will never completely recover. She was brilliant in school and was now painfully getting the minimum done to finish her studies.

The cousin of a friend had the worse experience of all: he smoked once, got high and never got down, he will likely be unable to do anything in life due to severe hallucinations. He for sure had specific genetic predispositions but who knows his or her genes?

Given all that, my message to my kids is clear: you cannot afford to take the risk.

  • I've never understood this panic about marijuana. If used beyond reasonable limits, alcohol or tobacco (or anything, really) is at least as damaging, if not more so.
    – Socob
    Mar 23 '15 at 3:06
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    @socob please understand that I'm not panicking about marijuana more than about alcohol or tobacco. Tobacco killed my grandfather and I've very compelling alcohol issues around me. I'm not even saying marijuana should not be legalized. But I'll always be very clear with my kids about the dangers of the three. By the way note that in the study I mentioned they also compared with alcoholism and for heavy users marijuana was actually linked to same or worse issues.
    – cmbarbu
    Mar 23 '15 at 8:39

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