Article by CTV News
With the federal government unveiling a plan to legalize marijuana before July, 2018, many parents are wondering how to talk to their kids and teens about the drug.
Should they tell their kids if they’ve tried it? Can they use it in front of them? Or would it be better for parents to tell kids to stay away from the drug altogether?
Joanna Henderson, a clinician-scientist in the Child, Youth and Emerging Adult Program at CAMH, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, says parents do need to talk to their kids about marijuana, but with three key ideas in mind:
- Start the conversations early
- Be honest and open
- Model the behaviour you want to see in your kids
Studies show that Canadians are already among the highest users of marijuana in the world, Henderson says. So it’s not surprising that most children already have some knowledge or exposure to pot by the time they reach their teens.
“About 20 per cent of high school students… will report having used marijuana in the past year. By the end of the high school, it’s about a third to a half, depending on where you are in Canada,” Henderson told CTV’s Your Morning on Monday.
For that reason, she says, it’s important to talk to kids about marijuana when they’re young, before their friends and peers influence their views, because too often, parents wait too long to have those talks.