Just like any medication in your home, you’ll want to keep medical marijuana products safely out of curious little hands. If you are using medical marijuana or, more importantly, if your children are using it to control seizures or any of the many other conditions it might help, you may want to explain exactly what marijuana is and how it works. You may even want to explain why you have to go to a special doctor and a special pharmacy to get cannabis products.
It’s essential to approach this topic carefully and with a clear understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of cannabis. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss how to talk to your kids about medical marijuana use and ensure they understand that recreational use is for adults, while medical marijuana can be used for many other conditions.
Choose the right time and place
When discussing sensitive topics like medical marijuana, it’s crucial to choose the right time and place. Find a quiet, comfortable setting where you can have an open and honest conversation with your child without distractions or interruptions.
Be honest and open
Being honest and open is the key to a successful conversation about medical marijuana. Share your personal experiences, explain why you use it, and outline the benefits it provides for your specific medical needs. Your honesty will help build trust and understanding with your child.
Use age-appropriate language
Tailor your conversation to your child’s age and comprehension level. For younger children, use simple terms and concepts. For older children and teens, you can provide more detailed explanations and discuss the legal aspects surrounding cannabis. There are several books that explain medical marijuana that are written just for children.
Explain how medical marijuana can help manage chronic pain, including conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, and neuropathy. Emphasize that it can be a safer alternative to opioids, which can be highly addictive and have dangerous side effects.
Anxiety and PTSD
Discuss how medical marijuana can help treat anxiety and PTSD by reducing stress, promoting relaxation, and improving sleep quality. Make sure your child understands that it’s not a “cure-all” but can be an effective tool for managing these conditions.
Other medical conditions
Inform your child about other medical conditions that can be treated with cannabis, such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn’s disease. This will help them understand the wide range of therapeutic uses for medical marijuana.
Address the “gateway drug” myth
Explain to your child that marijuana is not a “gateway drug” and that using cannabis does not automatically lead to the use of harder drugs. Emphasize the importance of making informed choices and avoiding peer pressure.
Clarify addiction and dependency concerns
Discuss the difference between addiction and dependence, and explain that while some people may develop a dependence on marijuana, it is less addictive than alcohol or tobacco. Reinforce the idea that moderation is key to responsible use.
Tackle the stigma
Acknowledge the social stigma surrounding marijuana use and explain that public opinion is gradually shifting as more people become educated about its medical benefits. Encourage your child to keep an open mind and make informed decisions based on facts, not stereotypes.
Keep up-to-date with research
Stay informed about the latest research and developments in medical marijuana. This will help you provide your child with accurate, up-to-date information and maintain a productive dialogue.
Keep an eye on changes in cannabis laws and regulations, both locally and nationally. This will help you and your child stay informed about the legal implications of marijuana use. Louisiana has a searchable database of laws and bills being considered.
Keep the lines of communication open by regularly checking in with your child about their thoughts and feelings on marijuana. Encourage them to share any new questions or concerns they may have.
As your child grows older, adjust the conversation to reflect their changing needs and understanding. Continue to provide age-appropriate information and support.
In conclusion, honesty, empathy, and education are key when talking to your kids about medical marijuana. By fostering a supportive environment and encouraging open communication, you can help your child understand the benefits of medical marijuana while emphasizing responsible use and the distinction between medical and recreational consumption.
If you’re an adult interested in becoming a part of the Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program, click the button below to get started.