“What’s the big deal anyway…it’s legal.”
Possession of marijuana is illegal in Canada. By law, anyone caught with marijuana can be fined up to $1000 and/or serve 6 months in jail.
“What can I do…kids will do whatever their friends do.”
You can greatly influence your child’s views and the decisions they make. Youth need and want their parents to be involved, although they may not show it. Stay involved, educate yourself, talk to them, and be a good role model.
“Hey I smoke pot…so what’s the big deal if my kid chooses to?”
The developing teenage brain is more vulnerable than the adult brain. Marijuana use during this time can cause brain changes that cannot be undone. It has been linked with higher risk for depression and anxiety, as well as problems with memory and attention span. This could impact achievement in school and at work.
"Sure I smoke…but it’s not like I can’t handle it."
Harms from any drug use can be physical, emotional, mental, social or economic. People who use marijuana can be at different points on a continuum of risk.
“It’s not addictive...I can stop anytime.”
Using marijuana can lead to physical and mental dependency
“It’s not like drinking…I’m not impaired.”
Marijuana affects many brain functions needed to safely drive a car, including reaction time. Studies show that people who drive after using marijuana are more likely to be involved in collisions.
"Most kids in high school try marijuana."
“Most kids in high school try marijuana.”
While true that marijuana is the number one illegal drug used by youth, almost three quarters of kids in grade 7-12 report that they have never tried it. In fact, marijuana use among these grades has declined by an estimated 5% since 1999.
“It is a natural plant…so it can’t be that bad.”
Marijuana smoke is similar to tobacco smoke. It contains more than 400 chemicals, and many of them are carcinogenic (cancer-causing).
“The stuff is all the same…weed is weed.”
THC is the main chemical that makes marijuana “stronger” or “weaker.” The amount of THC in marijuana can change depending on the plant type, weather, soil and time of harvest. It’s unlikely that users know the strength of their marijuana, which can be risky.