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Even though marijuana possession is now legal in Virginia for adults over the age of 21, it comes with risks that can affect a person's health:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • suicidal thoughts
  • psychotic episodes
  • trouble paying attention or concentrating
  • loss of memory
  • permanent IQ loss
  • decreased reaction time
  • lessened alertness
  • increased reaction time
  • decreased coordination

These effects can be even more pronounced in children, because their brains are still developing. If you haven't yet talked to your child about marijuana use, NOW is the time!

Talking with your child about marijuana can help keep them safe, and it's never too early. Here are tips for your conversation:

  • Plan to have many short talks
  • Choose informal times to have conversations, such as in the car or during dinner
  • Continue talking as they get older
  • Clearly state what you expect regarding drug use
  • Create family rules together, such as expectations when hanging out with friends
  • Let them know you are always there for them.

Help your child develop an "exit plan" in the event they are offered marijuana. Peer pressure can be powerful among youths, and having a plan to avoid drug use can help children make better choices. Talk with your children about what they would do if faced with a decision about drugs, such as texting a code word to a family member. Be sure to practice the exit plan in a safe environment.

– Source:

More resources:

Smart Approaches to Marijuana
Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact