If You Choose To Use Marijuana In Your Home

Yes, it’s now legal for adults 21 years of age and older to use marijuana. However, did you know that children whose parents have used marijuana are THREE times more likely to use it themselves? That’s a key finding from a recent survey of young adults conducted by Q Market Research on behalf of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s Center for Public Advocacy. The national survey polled 1,051 young men and women ages 18-25 and was designed to gain a better understand of the influences, attitudes and perceptions around marijuana use by young adults.

Here’s what the study found:

  1. When it comes to drug use, parents serve as role models. This is good news! Kids pay attention to what parents do and say. 72% of young adults surveyed who reported using marijuana said their parents are current or past users, and less than 20% of young adults who’ve used say their parents never used.
  2. Marijuana use often begins before early adulthood. This is not-so-good news. Half of the young adults surveyed who use marijuana said they started using before they turned 16. 15.1% started using before 14, 34.9% started using between ages 14-16, and 36.3 percent started using between 17-19.
  3. Young adults tend to underestimate of downplay the risks of marijuana use. First, research shows that marijuana is an addictive substance that delays brain development in adolescents. But nearly two-thirds of young adults don’t think it’s addiction, and 60.8% don’t think it damages the brain. And smoking marijuana is perceived to be safer than alcohol and tobacco use.
  4. Marijuana use corresponds with the greater use of other drugs. Those surveyed who use marijuana were significantly more likely to have tried alcohol and other drugs than their non-using counterparts. That means once a young person crosses the threshold into a risky behavior, like using marijuana, they are more willing to engage in other risky behaviors.

So what’s a parent to do? First of all, consider not using marijuana in your home or in front of your children. If you do, be sure to lock up marijuana (and alcohol and prescription drugs) in your home. You may be able to trust your children, but you may not be able to trust their friends, or their friends’ friends.

*Attitudes on Marijuana Survey: Young Adults Aged 18 to 25, conducted by Q Market Research, Eagan, Minnesota. Survey results are statistically valid at a 95 percent confidence level to within +/– 2.9 percent.