It is possible to have a healthy relationship with marijuana

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I would like to describe for you what a real marijuana user is like. I am a middle-aged woman who attends school full time at Treasure Valley Community College. I mother two teenage girls. I have a steady, long-term partner. I enjoy hiking in the hills, camping and fishing. I am active in my community. And I use marijuana regularly.

I use marijuana daily to treat symptoms of a chronic health condition. I have discussed this decision with my local health-care providers and they support my use of marijuana along side my prescription medications. Marijuana is just another component of my treatment plan. It will not cure my condition, but it helps in areas where prescription drugs pose greater risks or are not effective for me.

I also use marijuana recreationally. I don’t consider it any different than having a drink with friends now and again. You might ask how I can do this while raising teenagers. It’s simple; I talk to them about marijuana in exactly the same way I talk to them about alcohol and tobacco. I have conversations with them about how these things are harmful to their developing brains and bodies, and I teach them why they should wait until they are adults to use these substances.

My point is twofold: marijuana is used by more kinds of people than you might think, and it is possible to teach your kids how to have a healthy relationship with marijuana when they are old enough. Just like alcohol. Studies show that when these things are demystified, kids are less likely to feel the need to rebelliously experiment. If you need ideas on how to talk to your kids about cannabis, whether Measure 23-61 passes or not, The Oregon Health Authority has helpful information on their website.

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