What Colorado Parents Need to Know About This New Youth Marijuana Education and Prevention Campaign
posted by: Amber Johnson
When retail marijuana became legal for adults 21+ in Colorado on January 1, 2014, Mile High Mamas had a huge surge in traffic. I didn’t make a connection until I realized the reason: people were finding out how to get stoned and thought our name Mile “High” Mamas was funny.
No matter where you stand on the issue, our kids + drugs = no laughing matter.
In the state of Colorado, preventing and deterring youth use has never been more important. That’s why I feel so strongly about Good to Know, a new campaign from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. It helps parents so we are prepared to have informed, open and honest conversations that will help our youth make healthy decisions.
I’ve assumed most people would be opposed to exposing our kids to this drug but I’ve been surprised by some of the feedback I’ve received that includes “Kids will be kids,” “It’s a rite of passage and everyone’s doing it” or “It’s OK because the tax money will go back to our schools.”
We know that the brain is still developing until age 25 and that marijuana, as well as other substances, impacts brain development. The most recent Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS) data indicates that in 2013, one in five high school and middle school students reported using marijuana in the last 30 days.
The bad: one in five students is using. The good: four out of five students are not so let’s hope that number has not risen since its legalization in 2014.
Talking to youth about marijuana can be challenging for many adults. With this in mind, the health department’s new resource portal, GoodtoKnowColorado.com/Talk, gives adults the information and resources they need to feel confident talking about marijuana with the young people in their lives. This tremendous resource includes information on the following:
- Health Effects – Information about how underage marijuana use can impair learning and memory, coordination, judgment and brain development.
- Legal Consequences – Details on the legal consequences of underage marijuana use including potential loss of financial aid, job or driver’s license.
- Marijuana 101 – Information on common slang terms for marijuana, methods of consumption and details on safe storage
- Talking Tips for Parents and Youth-Serving Professionals – Age-specific recommendations on how to talk to youth about marijuana.
Please become a part of Good to Know’s important campaign that takes on the task of speaking to youth directly, empowering adults to inform and give our youth the tools they need to succeed. Our kids are smart and have promising futures so let’s give them all the tools they need to succeed!
This post is Sponsored by Single Edition Media on behalf of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. Opinions are our own.