GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- Now that Michigan is the tenth state to legalize marijuana, parents are trying to figure out how to talk to their children about pot. If they're old enough, your children will more than likely have a lot of questions.
"Anytime that there is a subject that is the forbidden taboo subject, your kids are going to want to experiment and want to do it more," mother Laura Lewis said.
Lewis' youngest child is 12-years-old.
"We've talked a lot about it at my house, I'm pretty open with them about it," Lewis said.
Her family has specifically been talking about the impact marijuana can have on the brain.
"I've talked with all of my kids about the brain development aspect and it's not appropriate for under the age of 21 for that reason," Lewis said.
Rae Green is the founder of Sanford House, a local rehab and recovery center.
"Like alcohol, narcotics, opiates - it is a mind altering, addictive psychoactive substance that impacts the neuro-pathways of the brain and the reward reinforcement center," Green said.
Green suggests parents focus on why the legal consumption age is 21.
"There's a reason that it is not legal until the age of 21. Before the age of 21, the adolescent, young adult brain is very vulnerable," Green said.
Both Green and Lewis believe approaching it in a similar way to alcohol is a good strategy.
"The advice is to keep that dialogue open, keep the line of communication open in families to talk about this so it's not a secret build up of a desire to try something," Green said.
"Just try to step inside their world a little and talk to them about the things that kids are talking about at school and 'what do you think about this'? I'll just start the conversation myself," Lewis said.
Educating yourself and your children isn't just a way to approach consuming cannabis, it can also build trust between you and your child.
"I started doing my research and I guess I would tell parents research it for yourself," Lewis said. "They've come to me about a lot of different things just since we've opened dialogue about this in the last few years, so it's been a good thing."
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