Parents urged to broach topic of marijuana – Edmonton

A new initiative aims to help parents talk to kids about the upcoming legalization of marijuana, a conversation experts say is one that should be happening in Canadian homes.

The latest campaign from Drug Free Kids is focused on giving parents the tools and strategies they need to initiate what many consider to be a tough conversation—and make sure it’s effective.

Marc Paris, from Drug Free Kids, told the Alberta Morning News that it’s important for parents to educate themselves on cannabis use and its effects before broaching the subject at home. He said many parents are stressed about how to approach the topic of marijuana.

“Do your homework, prepare yourself, be in the right frame of mind,” said Paris. “Put yourself in your kid’s shoes.”

It’s important parents get a jump-start on the conversation before cannabis is regulated, or Paris warned that kids may get their information elsewhere.

Canadians have a long way to go to meet new marijuana use guidelines

“We want to provide ample time for parents to prepare for this,” said Paris.

He added that it’s also important for parents to know the risks involved in marijuana use in youth.

“Science has been very clear, there is significant danger for young teenagers who engage in regular consumption of cannabis. It may affect the development of their brain. The human brain is not completely developed until the ages of 21 to 25.”

Paris said the conversation could also help parents understand why their child may want to try smoking marijuana; like managing anxiety, for instance.

Drugs Free Canada offers a free brochure to help parents talk to their kids about drugs. It’s available for download at https://www.drugfreekidscanada.org/.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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