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Wake Up to the Risks of Marijuana: A Guide for Parents

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2007
2 pages
This brochure provides information to parents on the adverse effects of marijuana use and provides practical advice on how parents can assist in preventing their children from using it.
In informing parents about the potential exposure of their children to marijuana, the brochure notes that many more children and youth use marijuana than any other illicit drug, and young teens are trying marijuana at a time when their bodies and brains are still developing. In the past decade, the number of 8th graders who have used marijuana has doubled. Regarding its adverse effects, marijuana use can contribute to a number of health, social, and behavioral problems at a critical developmental period. Even short-term marijuana use has been linked to memory loss and difficulty with problem-solving, which contributes to lower academic achievement compared with nonusers. If parents are to have a protective and positive impact in preventing their children from using marijuana, they must practice parental behaviors and interactions that have proven effective in drug prevention. These include monitoring their children's friends and where and how they are spending their free time outside the home; setting a firm rule for no drug use in the family; and being a role model for a drug-free lifestyle. The brochure concludes with information and advice on how parents should respond when their children make positive or neutral statements about marijuana use and its effects.