Almost half of mothers would prefer that their kids dabble with marijuana than alcohol, so more women are talking to their children about cannabis, according to a new study. The women surveyed in the study reportedly feel like they're stigmatized for their use of cannabis, but they're not alone in having conversations with their children about it. These conversations include everything from how to safely consume recreational cannabis to its medical benefits, according to the Georgia Straight, Canada's largest urban weekly.
The study was conducted by Van der Pop, a cannabis blog and lifestyle brand. It found that 70 percent of the more than 1,500 North American women polled feel like they're criticized by friends, family, and colleagues for using cannabis, but 89 percent of women said they are talking to their children about cannabis anyway, the Georgia Straight reported. But they're not talking about it telling their kids not to try it — there's less cannabis shaming and warning, and there's a lot more pro-cannabis talk.
Using marijuana during adolescence could have a long-term impact on a teen's memory, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking, according to CNN. But while many parents are therefore adviseaczxcd to talk to their kids about what they might lose if they use marijuana during their teenage years, evermore are talking to their kids about how to safely consume it and about its health benefits.
Many kids are going to try it at some point anyway, according to Very Well Mind. Among those aged 18 or older who reported lifetime marijuana use, almost 53 percent reported first using marijuana between the ages 12 and 17 — and about two percent reported that they first used marijuana before age 12.
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia now have laws that legalize marijuana in some form. And the legality of marijuana use seems to have affected how kids perceive cannabis. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently issued new guidelines for doctors and parents to talk to teens about the risks of using marijuana because changes in the legal status of marijuana may lower teen perceptions of the risks, the organization said in a statement. In fact, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found a decrease in the percentage of 12- to 17-year-olds who said they believe there is a "great risk" in smoking marijuana once a month or one to two times per week.
So women might as well be open with their kids about usage.
We already know that mothers are more lax about marijuana use these days. More pregnant are smoking pot, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Among pregnant women 18 to 24, 9.8 percent smoked pot in 2009 and 19 percent smoked pot in 2016. While the increase in marijuana use for older age groups was still evident, it wasn't as steep; it rose from 3.4 percent to 5.1 percent among women 25 to 34 years old and from 2.1 percent to 3.3 percent among women older than 34.
And 38 percent of parents in the recent Van der Pop also added that they feel like cannabis helps them be more playful and patient as parents.
"Cannabis is not the enemy anymore, the way it was when I was growing up," April Pride, founder and CCO of Van der Pop (and mother herself) reportedly told the Georgia Straight. "Parents are closer to their kids and they have a much more transparent relationship surrounding cannabis."
The more open parent-child relationships are, the safer children will be; so maybe more moms should be having "the weed talk" with their kids —without scaring them.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.