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Talking to Teens About Marijuana

Marijuana has become legal in more states and more socially acceptable across the nation. These laws are becoming more lenient for adult use, similar to other substances like alcohol. But like alcohol, marijuana is still not legal for youth. 


While marijuana addiction rates are lower than other illicit drugs, it is still possible to become addicted. The idea that marijuana is entirely non-addictive is a big misconception. Addiction is a disease that depends on various factors like family history, other drug use, peer relationships, and the age a person starts using. Approximately 9% of marijuana users become addicted. 


That addiction rate increases to 17% for those who start using marijuana as a teen. Youth ages 13-18 are at significantly higher risk for cannabis use disorder (CUD) than those aged 22-26. The developing adolescent brain is at a much higher risk for substance abuse. The longer your kids wait to try any drug, the less likely they will develop an addiction.


Talking to your kids is the best way to prevent drug use and addiction. 

Children are more receptive to talks about harmful substances than teenagers. Don’t wait until they are “old enough” for these topics. You can start covering harmful substances at ages 3-5 regarding dangerous substances in their environment like bleach or tobacco. Have an ongoing conversation about drugs and the harms of use with your child as they grow up. Learn how to start these conversations at

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How to talk to your teen about cannabis:

  • Be self-aware about your own beliefs and views on marijuana. Your child will likely not agree with you on all your beliefs. Find resources on it all. Cannabis has changed. Know how.

  • Start early by having conversations on other difficult issues. Creating a family habit of discussing hard topics makes it easier to bring cannabis. 

  • Stop talking and listen. Don’t correct your child. Learn what they think and believe about marijuana. Start with, “Tell me all you know about cannabis.” Ask clarifying questions that begin with “how,” such as, “how did you learn that?” Avoid statements like, “You are wrong.”

  • Talking with teens can be difficult. Asking questions and listening is the key. They need to feel in control, so let them lead some conversations.

Learn more in this comprehensive guide on talking to teens about cannabis:


If you or your child would like to talk about the dangers of substance use, call the Hopeline at 1-800-567-4673. Call 211 for mental health and community resources. You can also go to the We Care Crisis Center in Lima at:

797 South Main Street, Lima, OH 45804


If you have concerns about substance use like vaping or marijuana, register your child for the I Mind program. I Mind is a voluntary one-day weekend program that gives adolescents tools to avoid substance use. Learn more and register at

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Emotional Poverty Training in all Demographics
Presented by Dr. Ruby Payne

Monday, March 14, 2022
8:30 am - 3:30 pm
Veterans Memorial Civic & Convention Center
7 Town Square, Lima, OH 45801

Please join us for this professional development opportunity designed for educators, behavioral health, and medical professionals working with children in our community.

Attendance for the event is Free! All participants are REQUIRED to purchase Dr. Payne's book, Emotional Poverty in all Demographics, in advance. Once you have registered for the conference, you will be emailed a link to purchase the book at the discounted rate of $21.

Registration Deadline: March 1, 2022

Event Contact: Natalie Schoonover


Lunch Break 11:30-12:45 p.m.

(Lunch will not be provided)

Registration Link: 

Event Sponsor: Mental Health Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize, & Hardin County

Location Sponsor: St. Rita's Mercy Health

If you are in crisis call 1-800-567-HOPE (4673) or text 741 741.

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