The war on drugs has failed in the United States, just as the “Just Say No” campaign has failed to prevent young people from experimenting with marijuana. The Drug Policy Alliance points out that providing young people with realistic, honest education is a better, healthier method of preventing substance abuse. Still, many parents have questions, themselves, about cannabis, and struggle to find the best way to talk to their kids about it. This is why The Drug Policy Alliance is offering help on this issue in two big ways.
In 1999, Marsha Rosenbaum, PhD, authored a tool for parents to use in this matter called, Safety First: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens and Drugs. This week, an updated version has been released in seven different languages. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, topics covered in this literature include:
- Is it true that marijuana is significantly more potent and dangerous today than in the past?
- Is marijuana really a gateway to “harder” drugs?
- What about the impact of marijuana on the adolescent brain?
- How will legalization of marijuana affect teens?
In a recent press release, Rosenbaum explained the importance of using this tactic, “Drug education motivated by fear rather than facts weakens young people’s trust in law enforcement, educators, parents and other adults. Whether at home or at school, we need reality-based approaches to drug education that foster open, honest dialogue about the risks and consequences of drug use. Teens need drug education that respects their intelligence and gives them the tools to stay safe and healthy.”
In case parents would prefer a dialogue to supplement the reading material, the Drug Policy Alliance is, also, hosting a teleconference today for parents to call in and listen.
Thursday, December 4th at 1pm EST/10am PST
How to be included:
Dial 1-800-311-9402, and use the passcode, SAFETY to be linked into the call.
Who will be speaking during the teleconference:
- Marsha Rosenbaum, PhD, Director Emerita of DPA’s San Francisco office and author of Safety First: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens and Drugs
- Jerry Otero, MA, DPA’s Youth Policy Manager and former Assistant Director of Helpline and Family Services for the Partnership at Drugfree Kids
- Kassandra Frederique, MSW, Policy Manager, Drug Policy Alliance
- Amanda Reiman, PhD, Marijuana Law and Policy Manager, Drug Policy Alliance
- (Moderator) Stephen Gutwillig, Deputy Executive Director, Programs, Drug Policy Alliance
photo credit: Time