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Talk to your teens about marijuana


         The discussions about marijuana are heated. There is a lot of misinformation, some call it “propaganda,” and some believe it is harmless. In the interests of educating yourself, you will be in a better position to have important discussions with your teens. You love them and you want what’s best for them. With that in mind, our marijuana discussion continues.

            In the white paper, “What Will Legal Marijuana Cost Employers,” ( National Families in Action located in Atlanta, are poised “to educate employers about how marijuana laws are changing, how these laws will affect employers’ ability to conduct business, and what employers can do to protect that ability.”

            The document advises that “Today’s adolescents are tomorrow’s workforce,” thus making this discussion even more important. “If legalization results in increased marijuana use among adolescents, it will also result in increased brain damage among those who use the drug heavily. This interference with mental and intelligence capacities has grave implications for future workforce readiness and productivity.”

The white paper quotes Mitchel Rosenthal, MD, founder of Phoenix House, “Marijuana does a bad thing to the brain, and to judgment, and to memory and to working memory. People who are using marijuana, kids, especially, don’t think well.”

Consider the impact and how does it affect competitiveness in the global workforce. And take a look at advertising. The legal marijuana industry is employing the same tactics the tobacco industry uses to lure children into marijuana use with marijuana products like Gummy Bears, chocolate chip cookies and brownies, “Ring Pots” and “Pot Tarts.”

            The earlier someone begins to use marijuana, the greater is the risk that they will become addicted to marijuana. More teens are in treatment for marijuana than alcohol and other drugs together. Children are being targeted to become customers for life.

            “Teenagers who initiate use before age 14, for example, are eight times more likely to become addicted to alcohol,” according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which states that more than 80 percent of all adult smokers begin smoking before age 18 and more than 90 percent before leaving their teen years.

            In Colorado, the number of calls to the state’s poison control centers have taken a huge jump with complaints including hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and great anxiety. Too often the children involved are toddlers, ages 1-3 who are having trouble with the edibles.

            “But this is Ohio,” you say.

            Well, published reports about the Youngstown region say that high grade marijuana is extremely easy to get. Law enforcement reported that it is being shipped from wherever it is grown legally: Michigan, California, Colorado, to name a few.

            You need to begin a dialogue with your adolescent, especially if you have never had “the talk.” Visit for help to understand the issue, the problems associated with the issue, and how to talk to your kids.

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