Protect Your Kids
A report published by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) in partnership with the Colorado School of Public Health, released in 2018, states that the marijuana public education and awareness programs aimed at influential or trusted adults are working. The number of adults prepared to talk to their children about the risks of using marijuana increased 12 percent since the campaign began in 2014. With retail marijuana being legal for adults 21 years or older in Colorado, using has become a social norm, which is why today it is more important than ever to prevent and deter youth use.
We are working with CDPHE to bring marijuana youth prevention efforts to our community. We’re reaching out to parents, guardians, educators and other youth-serving professionals in our community. These trusted adults can use their influence to lead kids’ to make smart decisions about their future and we’re helping remind them that youth are listening.
The Healthy Kids Colorado Survey demonstrates the power and influence of trusted adults on the kids in their lives:
- Kids who know their parents think underage use is wrong are 72 percent less likely to use marijuana.
- Kids who think their teachers notice they are doing a good job are 28 percent less likely to use.
As a trusted adult your words are powerful and can encourage kids to make the healthy choice not to use marijuana underage. By having these honest, positive and effective conversations about underage marijuana use early and often, adults can help kids make choices that will lead to their best future.
We understand that for many adults, talking about marijuana or starting the conversation can be challenging. To address that, CDPHE has developed resources, found at ResponsibilityGrowsHere.com/talking-with-youth to provide you with the information and educational tools you need to start critical conversations with the kids in your life.
These resources have several key topics to get the conversation started, including:
- Talking Tips for Parents and Youth-Serving Professionals: Age-specific recommendations on how to talk to kids about marijuana and how to start that conversation.
- Health Effects: Information about how underage marijuana use can have a negative effect on kids’ brain development, impair learning and memory, affect physical and athletic performance and can become addictive.
- Legal Consequences: Details on the legal consequences of underage marijuana use including the potential loss of financial aid, a job or a driver’s license or a Minor in Possession charge, which could result in hundreds of dollars in fines or expulsion from school.
We encourage you to spread the word about these resources throughout your community. Together, we can help to create a culture of non-use among kids by encouraging them to prioritize and value their goals and dreams, through positive, informed and effective conversations.