It's being talked about everywhere. The recent legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington and Colorado is a hot topic. We see it on the news, online, and in the paper. We hear about it on the radio. Teens as well as adults are talking about it, and many have strong opinions for or against legalization; but, are they talking about it together? Marijuana legalization can bring questions to the minds of parents and can cause confusion for our children. Frighteningly, it can also cause the misperception that marijuana is not a harmful drug. Marijuana potency has increased significantly since the 1970s, putting people at greater risk for both addiction and adverse effects. Studies have shown that teen marijuana use can aggravate depression and affect the pre-frontal cortex of the brain, which is not fully developed in teens. The list of negative affects is long, but that message can be challenged in the minds of our youth with marijuana legalization. It is important that parents keep talking to their kids about the harmful effects of marijuana and educate themselves on marijuana facts. Keep the message straight with your child: despite legalization, marijuana is still a dangerous drug.
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