A PARENT'S PLEA: DON'T MAKE MY JOB HARDER

Helping public officials understand why parents, who are trying to raise healthy kids, cannot vote for those who commercialize marijuana or support policies that advance the marijuana industry over kids.


Here’s why.

 

  • States with legal marijuana have the highest use rates among 12-25 year olds (1). States without it have the lowest rates.

  • Not one recreational legal state has reduced youth use.

  • The largest group of marijuana users are ages 18-25. Half (18-21) are underage. None (18-25) have reached full neurological development (age 26). All are more vulnerable to the neurological damage marijuana causes.

  • No amount of marijuana is safe for adolescents or pregnant women, warns former Surgeon General VADM Jerome Adams.

  • Marijuana can cause psychosis, paranoia, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression and a 7-fold increase in suicide attempts among adolescents (2). This is not okay for my kids.

  • Advertising, marketing, promotion, and widespread distribution contribute to the “normalization” of marijuana use. Limited access and high perception of harm are two environmental factors that protect kids from underage substance use. 

  • Marijuana is addictive. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates 30% of marijuana users have a Cannabis Use Disorder (3).

  • Addiction is a childhood onset disease. Research shows 90% of adult addicts started using some addictive drug (like marijuana) before age 18 (4).

  • An expanding user-base equals more marijuana addicts, which equals increased profits for the marijuana industry and increased costs to families as well as communities.

  • Two addiction-for-profit industries – alcohol and tobacco - are enough.

  • Adolescents must acquire real life-skills for coping, social interaction, stress reduction, and intimacy-building for the best possible adult outcomes. Adolescent marijuana use can delay or compromise entirely the 5 development of these critical skills (5).

  • I need political candidates who share my goal of raising the healthiest kids possible. Otherwise, I’m voting against my kids.

 

As a grandparent or as a person who doesn’t have kids, I support this plea.

Link to PDF

References:

1. 2018-2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health State Prevalence Estimates. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, Maryland.

2. Nora D. Volkow, et al. “Adverse health effects of marijuana use.” New England Journal of Medicine, June 5, 2014, 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4827335/ Also, Sven Andreasson et al. “Cannabis and schizophrenia: A longitudinal study of Swedish conscripts.” The Lancet, Vol 330, Issue 8574, December 26, 19087, https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(87)92620-1/fulltext. Also, Edmund Silins et al. “Young adult sequelae of adolescent cannabis use: an integrative analysis.” The Lancet Psychiatry, Vol 1, Issue 4, September 2014, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2215036614703074?casa_token=uhCyfHrl6J4AAAAA:BFrLf G6OETypI23dRYgH6mPGoERjGs33u7kw6FjPLUmSBjq2MMpFVwS7vir9E1g8XRoaB9UAlA Also, Christine Miller. “Q&A with a neuroscientist about adolescent marijuana use, mental illness, and suicide: What every parent needs to know.” Johnny’s Ambassadors Webinar, July 10, 2020. https://johnnysambassadors.org/ja200710/

3. Deborah S. Hasin et al. “Prevalence of marijuana use disorders in the United States between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013.” JAMA Psychiatry, December 2015, https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/2464591

4. “Report: Adolescent substance use: America’s #1 public health problem.” National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, New York, 2010

5. MD Newcomb & PM Bentler. “Impact of adolescent drug use and social support on problems of young adults: A longitudinal study.” Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol 97, Issue 1, 1988, https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-843X.97.1.64. Also, KE Scholes-Balog et al. (2016). “Developmental trajectories of adolescent cannabis use and their relationship to young adult social and behavioral adjustment: A longitudinal study of Australian youth.” Addictive Behaviors, Vol 53, 2016,https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.09.008