As various forms of Cannabis have been made available around the country, Fremont County Prevention and WASCOP encourage families, schools and communities to have honest and educated conversations about the risks associated with using Cannabis.
For the purpose of this discussion, Cannabis can be broken down into four categories. This includes FDA-approved prescriptions, Hemp products, CBD products and Marijuana products.
- What is legal:
- FDA approved Cannabis related prescriptions are available by written script from a license practitioner for Epidiolex, Dranabinol (Marinol or Syndros) and Nabilone (Cesamet).
- Hemp-related products that contain 0.03% or less of THC.
- What is illegal:
- Marijuana products that contain 0.03% or higher of THC.
- What is Uncertain:
- CBD Products – FDA Rules on consumption have yet to be determined.
“When it comes to Cannabis, there’s a lot to talk about,” Tauna Groomsmith, Fremont County Prevention Director said. “It is important to understand and know the various forms that Cannabis products come in, the potential benefit vs risk as well as any potential legal issues. That’s what we want families to talk about.”
Groomsmith understands that having these tough conversations can be challenging for parents and caregivers. Occasionally the adult having the conversation may have used various forms of cannabis without any repercussions, but it’s the two-sided nature of this issue that makes it even more important to discuss. As a parent, be sure to educate yourself so you have a fact-based response to speaking with your child. There are lots of great educational sites, including wywetalk.org that teach parents about the dangers and help guide them through communicating with their children.
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“Some parents have a hard time telling kids not to use marijuana, because they’ve used it themselves,” WASCOP Prevention and Education Director Rhea Parsons said. But she encourages parents and caregivers to consider the differences between today’s marijuana and the one from the 70s. Today’s marijuana has changed with THC concentration making it significantly higher than it used to be. What used to be a 3% THC content in a rolled joint, is now a thing of the past. Now it comes in the form of a marijuana product with an average THC content of 20% on up to 90%.
For all generations, substance use at a young age is a gamble since the human brain isn’t fully developed until the age of 25. Marijuana contains mind-altering chemicals, which makes addiction and other long-term consequences more likely.
“While using marijuana products may or may not lead to an immediate consequence, the long-term effects need to be considered,” Parsons said. “Kids need to be aware of those risks and families need to talk about them.”
Starting these conversations can be difficult, but Parsons said to be honest, open and even vulnerable. If you’re comfortable, start by sharing your own stories or just asking your kids what they’re thinking. Even decades apart, they’re likely shared experiences. And regardless of personal feelings towards marijuana, it remains illegal in Wyoming and will always be illegal for kids.