Medical marijuana has changed the life of many. If you have a child, though, you probably care the most about how it impacts him or her. Below are eight things you should discuss about medical marijuana with your child.
1- It’s a Big Deal
Let your child know that medical marijuana is relatively new and might be controversial. Let him or her know that not everyone gets to use it. Give him or her the information necessary to understand that there will be arguments about it and that some people think it is a very big deal.
2- Why it is Used
Let your child know exactly why you are using medical marijuana. Tell him or her about your illness and your symptoms, and how using medical marijuana makes you feel better. It’s very important that your child understands that you are using medication to help yourself become more functional. This can be as easy as telling a young child that the medicine makes you feel better, or as in-depth as explaining to a teen exactly what it does for your body. The more information you share, the better your child will understand.
3- The Debate
There is still a huge debate on medical marijuana. Doctors aren’t sure about the effects on children, for example, and many refuse to concede the idea that medical marijuana has any valid purpose. Your child will likely hear many different points of view, so it’s important that he or she is informed before making any kind of real decision. Let your child know what you think, but also give your child the ability to look up information on his or her own.
4- Medical vs. Recreational
It’s incredibly important that you discuss the difference between medical marijuana and recreational use. You don’t have to take a moral stand on recreational marijuana, of course, but you should take some time to differentiate the medical usage from what people do for fun. If you’re using marijuana, for example, you want your child to know that you’re attempting to treat a medical condition. This is a discuss that probably requires a bit of delicacy, but it’s nonetheless something that should be done as early as possible.
With all the debates in mind, it’s important to reassure your child that what you are doing is legal. It is, however, also important to discuss legality with older children. Even if marijuana is legal in your state, it’s still illegal on a federal level. This doesn’t mean that you are doing anything wrong, though it does mean you might have to have hard conversations with your children about what might happen in the future.
It may be a good idea to discuss transportation issues around medical marijuana with your child. You may, for example, want to let him or her know that you can’t bring it with you on a plane or to certain places. You may also want to discuss that you cannot bring it with you when you visit certain states or countries. The more your child knows about why and when you use medical marijuana, the better it will be for your entire family.
It’s also important to discuss with your child what might happen if they are in a situation where a police officer finds medical marijuana. In states where marijuana is legal for medical purposes, it’s still possible to be in trouble for possession. Let them know that if you are pulled over by the police, you’ll have to show them that you have a valid prescription. It’s also a good idea to let your child know that what your doing is okay – but that you still have to follow the rules.
8- The Future
It may also be a good idea to discuss the future of medical marijuana with children. While everything that you’ve discussed thus far will let them know about the situation today, it’s important to remind them that things are always changing. Medical marijuana is something that could easily be rendered illegal in the future, or marijuana might just as easily be legalized across the board. Children deserve to know that this treatment, like so many others, may or may not always be around.
No matter what you discuss, make sure that you’re open in your conversation. This is one talk that’s happening around the country, so make your voice part of it. The more you discuss, the more your child will know.