Legalization of Marijuana: What About the Kids?
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Legalization of Marijuana: What About the Kids?
Posted by CN Staff on December 03, 2014 at 05:49:13 PT
By Marsha Rosenbaum 
Source: Huffington Post
USA -- Last month Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia joined Colorado and Washington as voters approved initiatives to legalize marijuana. Other states,including California, are likely to follow in 2016.Voters passed these initiatives not as an endorsement of marijuana per se, but as an effort to undo the damage done by its criminalization: out-of-control youth access, massive numbers of arrests, and the crime, corruption and violence that comes with a multi-billion dollar illicit market. Tax revenues derived from sales, meanwhile, can provide local and state governments with badly needed funds for education and other critical services.
Today, the end of marijuana prohibition increasingly seems inevitable, with a majority of Americans favoring legalization, and three-fourths believing marijuana will eventually be legal nationwide.While none of these new laws allow sales to minors, parents like me are understandably concerned about the potential impact of these reforms on teenagers.Many worry that legalization might "send the wrong message," leading to an escalation in teenage use.As a federally funded researcher, I regularly check survey data and am reassured by the annual Monitoring the Future survey of high school students' drug use, which found recently that a majority of teens say that even if marijuana was legal, they would not try it. Preliminary data from the post-legalization 2013 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey revealed that high school marijuana use in Colorado had actuallydecreased.This has also been the case in states where medical marijuana is legal. Research published in prestigious journals such as the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Adolescent Health generally show no association between medical marijuana laws and rates of teenage marijuana use. In California, where such laws have been in place for 18 years and are perhaps most lenient, marijuana use among teens is less prevalent now than before medical marijuana was legalized, according to the recent California Student Survey.Even if legalization for adults does not affect teenage use, it does present an opportunity to re-think our approach to drug abuse prevention and education -- both in school and at home.Teenagers have used marijuana, along with alcohol, pharmaceuticals, and a host of other intoxicants, for decades. Parents and educators have consistently advocated abstinence, but despite our admonitions and advice, significant numbers of teenagers have continued to "experiment." Legalization presents just one more challenge, as marijuana becomes a normal part of the adult world, akin to alcohol.It's time to get realistic -- to devise innovative, pragmatic strategies for dealing with teens, marijuana, alcohol, and other drug use in this new era.That's why, in an effort to help navigate this new territory, I have updated Safety First: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens and Drugs. Since its original publication in 1999, this 35-page resource has been distributed, in print and online to countless parents and educators, including PTAs, government agencies, and schools all over the world.Schools have a unique opportunity to use legalization to enhance civics lessons, in real time, about the process by which laws are made and how and why they are changed. Surely this will capture students' attention. Drug education should provide honest, science-based information, rejecting the ineffective scare tactics that characterized now-outdated programs such as DARE. "Just Say Know" should be our mantra.Abstinence, of course, would be the best choice for teenagers. My bottom line, however, as a parent, is safety -- and drug education that emphasizes personal responsibility, knowledge, common sense and moderation. Students must understand that legalization applies only to adults, and the legal and social consequences of marijuana use remain mostly unchanged for them until they reach the age of 21.Parents should approach the "marijuana conversation" by learning all they can about the influences in their teen's life, from the internet and social media to music. They should read up on marijuana, using balanced, credible sources, rejecting any source that is completely one-sided. And parents need to listen, non-judgmentally, to what their teens have to say. Advice is most likely to be heard when it is requested, and threats of punishment can backfire.Many parents today have direct experience with marijuana and are in a quandary about how much to reveal to their kids about their past or present use, fearing honest admissions might open the door to their teen's experimentation. In states where it's legal, some wonder whether it's appropriate to consume marijuana openly, modeling responsible behavior, as they would with alcohol.As a mother myself, I know that there are no easy, simple answers to these questions. Ultimately, sound science, education, openness, loving communication, and most important, safety, should guide our approach to teens, marijuana, and other drug use -- whether these substances are legal for adults or not.Marsha Rosenbaum, PhD, is a former National Institute on Drug Abuse researcher with extensive expertise about drug use, abuse and treatment. She is the author of numerous, books, scholarly articles, opinion pieces, and most recently, Safety First: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens and Drugs.Source: Huffington Post (NY)Author: Marsha Rosenbaum Published: December 2, 2014Copyright: 2014, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite:   -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on December 04, 2014 at 10:16:52 PT
She's been out front
And solid as a rock for a very long time now.She's a superhero. She saves people.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on December 04, 2014 at 10:06:25 PT
Marsha Rosenbaum
I admire and appreciate her so much.
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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on December 04, 2014 at 06:53:56 PT
The Nixon Administration Knew the WOsDs Was Racist
Two articles from 2011 quote Nixon's chief of staff:Joining the fight. 
Not your grandfather's NAACP
 By Larry Gabriel{
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People passed a resolution calling for an end to the War on Drugs in no uncertain terms a couple of weeks ago during its national convention in Los Angeles. ...Anybody who thinks this is the wrong fight for the NAACP should take a peek at this note from the diary of H.R. Haldeman, President Nixon's chief of staff, referring to the launch of the war on drugs 40 years ago. "[President Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks," Haldeman wrote. "The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to."..."Look, we understood we couldn't make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure," Ehrlichman confessed. "We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue for the Nixon White House that we couldn't resist it."}They knew the health concerns were overhyped from the beginning.Nixon's Drug War - Re-Inventing Jim Crow, Targeting The Counter Culture - See more at:{
"Look, we understood we couldn't make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue...that we couldn't resist it." - John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs. "[Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks" Haldeman, his Chief of Staff wrote, "The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to." }"In Nixon's eyes, drug use was rampant in 1971 not because of grand social pressures that society had a duty to correct, but because drug users were law-breaking hedonists who deserved only discipline and punishment."In the face of national demonstrations in multiple cities against police violence, will we continue as a nation to ignore the social pressures and to blame the individuals who are also victims?Think of the kids, indeed!
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Comment #3 posted by Swazi-x on December 03, 2014 at 15:42:20 PT
It's refreshing to read an article by a "federal researcher" that's not chock-full of decades-old lies, but she still skirts the basics of the issue she raises. The basics are: 1. Our children will experiment with substances. We know this because we did it too when we were kids. Duh.2. The things they will likely experiment with have different levels of danger, unrelated to the substances legal status.3. We know the relative dangers of these substances so it is our duty as loving parents to TELL OUR KIDS THE TRUTH about them.Alcohol: DeadlyTobacco: DeadlyPharmaceuticals: DeadlyNyquil and OTC "medicine": DeadlyCannabis: Non-toxic to humans. Cannot kill by overdose at any level. Protects brain cells from alcohol and other chemical damage.Which of these possible party-drugs would you want your child to experiment with? If you're unsure of the answer - ask yourself if you want your child to live to maturity. If the answer is yes, then encourage them to experiment with cannabis.If you are scared of the social stigma of cannabis and would rather your child play with, say, alcohol - get ready for the late-night call from your local hospital or law enforcement with bad news about your child's health. Maybe very bad news.
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on December 03, 2014 at 15:11:47 PT
Cannabis prohibition perpetuated by the BAD people
"Many worry that legalization might "send the wrong message," leading to an escalation in teenage use."-0-One of the age groups which historically uses cannabis the most is teens. Every teen who wishes to use the plant already does. They already know it is relatively safe compared to many other substances which they are not allow to use, also. The knowledge is out there and the extent of contempt for the cannabis laws is astounding. Many many citizens have no regard for the fact that cannabis is illegal. Almost all the SMART PEOPLE know CANNABIS PROHIBITION IS A JOKE & WORSE!Further, smart people know cannabis prohibition is perpetuated by the undesirable / BAD people.If teens stay away from hard drugs, booze, cigarettes etc. they are arguably better off. And the message is out there that cig's are a killer, which in turn may lead more teens toward cannabis. -Do cannabis prohibitionists want to squelch the message of death regarding cig's so teens will not use cannabis???-0-And about that message. Do We really want the message to be that it's ok to cage humans for using a God-given plant, as described on literally the very 1st page???-0-It's commendable to help teens resist cannabis but caging responsible adults for using the relatively safe plant, is the wrong way to do it.-0-One more thing, We're aware that some people believe, RE-legalizing cannabis sends the wrong message to teens.We believe that's ignorant and proven so.And We're proceeding to change the laws regardless!!!
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Comment #1 posted by MikeEEEEE on December 03, 2014 at 11:02:20 PT
Man-made Fears
These fears were developed over years.Teenagers are more likely to sit at their computers or iPads and become obese, leading to cardiovascular problems and diabetes. What parents should be more concerned about is the spread of herion.
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