With all the recent talk in Illinois about making recreational pot legal, what are we as parents to think?
Teens might well get the impression that if something is legal it must be safe. SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and Liberty Mutual Insurance conducted a large study showing that in states where recreational use is legal, about a third of teens think it’s legal to drive while under the influence of marijuana. They also think it’s safer than drinking alcohol and driving. But science disagrees on this an other effects of marijuana. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states on its page on teen use of marijuana: “Research shows that marijuana use can have permanent effects on the developing brain when use begins in adolescence, especially with regular or heavy use. Frequent or long-term marijuana use is linked to school dropout and lower educational achievement.” There’s more on that page and elsewhere…so get educated so that you can educate your teen. It wouldn’t be surprising if Illinois finds that the tax revenues from legalizing marijuana are just too tempting for a state in the fiscal mess we’re in…and worth the risks.
For “Part 1,” on Medical Marijuana, click here.