Help for parents

Now that marijuana is legal for adults in Colorado, it may be the right time to talk to the youth in your life about marijuana. But you need the right information. Of Colorado high-school seniors who have used marijuana, more than 1 out of 3 started before age 15. It’s important to start the conversation before they first try marijuana.

Talk to youth about marijuana to help them better understand the risks. Only about half of Colorado high-school students think that regularly using marijuana is harmful. Those who think marijuana is risky are much less likely to use it regularly. Youth surveys show that youth are 4 times less likely to use marijuana when their parents communicate that underage marijuana use is wrong.

When you talk with youth, listen carefully and stay positive. Keep the conversation open so youth can come to you with questions. Knowing they can ask questions helps youth make good choices. 

Talking with youth about their dreams helps them feel more connected to caring adults. Be honest with them about the health risks and legal consequences. Explain how staying out of trouble and doing well in school can help them reach their goals.
Starting the conversation  
When talking to children or youth about marijuana, what you say may depend on how old they are. Speak Now has resources for parents about preventing youth substance use. The campaign provides resources to talk to your child about alcohol and other drugs at different ages. It includes information on mixing alcohol and marijuana. This campaign is also available in Spanish

Encourage the youth in your life to engage in positive alternative activities with groups like the Colorado Boys & Girls Clubs. Help them to learn more about drug abuse prevention through resources like Rise Above Colorado.
Download shareable resources about youth and marijuana, tips for parents and tips for youth-serving professionals.