A recent online survey by Partnership at Drugfree.org shows that parents who support the legalization of marijuana expect strict rules around the use of the drug to protect kids. According to USA Today, the survey reached –

1,603 adults, 1,200 of whom are parents of kids ages 10-19. About 35% of parents favored legalizing marijuana for recreational use, 46% said it should be decriminalized, and 70% supported legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

Around half of the parents who participated said that they have used marijuana. Despite this, these parents expect strict legislation and regulation around legal pot to “reduce the appeal” to teens and kids.

“The data brings to life the fact that parents have serious expectations that legal marijuana will be regulated and restricted to protect kids and teens,” says Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Partnership at Drugfree.org. “Those expectations far exceed how legal marijuana is being implemented. So the fact remains, whether marijuana is legal or not, much more needs to be done to protect the health of our children.”

I find this to be questionable. If you, as a parent, want to lessen the appeal of a particular substance to your children, you can start by not doing it yourself. You can say anything to a kid, but they will still do what they see. This is a natural reaction in a child. As a parent you are setting the example that it is acceptable when you participate in that activity.

Regardless if something is legal or not, kids will find a way to do it if that’s what they want to. There are laws around alcohol consumption restricting this activity to people 21 and older, but teenagers still find ways to drink. Marijuana has been illegal for years and still is in most places, but kids still find ways to smoke it, despite all the legislation around it. Kids want to do what they see their parents doing, we are their biggest role models.

A great deal of research shows that leading by example as well as cultivating a healthy attachment with your children is the best way to protect them from making these choices.  If you are looking for ways to protect your child from substance abuse, check out this article for a great place to start.