Marijuana: Survey shows parents want strict regulations

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Marijuana is now legal for medicinal use in eighteen states and the District of Columbia, as well as legal for recreational use in Colorado and Washington. This is something that the majority of the populations in these areas supported, but how do the majority of parents feel about it? That's the question a recent study by The Partnership at Drugfree.org tried to answer.

The study, released on Tuesday, shows that adults in general, but more specifically parents, expect strict regulation on the consumption, sale and marketing of marijuana, even if they are in favor of decriminalization. And according to the study, most adults are indeed in favor of decriminalization -- but not legalizing for recreational use.

Even in Colorado, which has a high percentage of parents who have smoked pot (62 percent), less than the majority of them (48 percent) are in favor of legalizing it for recreational use. "Parents are most concerned with the developmental consequences of teen marijuana use, and about their children's futures being harmed by marijuana use," the study says. Continue reading for more study results. Eighty-five percent of parents living in Colorado believe that marijuana can have negative consequences on developing brains of teenagers, and that use at a young age can impact school performance and the child's future. Because of this, parents want to see tight regulations on the substance. A large majority of parents believe that marijuana use in public places should be banned where cigarettes are, use of marijuana by minors at home should be illegal, and marijuana advertising should still be banned.

"Interestingly, when forced to choose, parents identify the #1 place where it should be permissible to advertise as 'nowhere,'" the study says.

Over 60 percent of Colorado parents identify themselves as the most effective source when educating their children about marijuana use. And a similar number believe that medical professionals are the best source for parents themselves to find information about prevention for their children.

The survey found similar findings when looking at the most effective way to communicate marijuana information to adults.

In conclusion, the study says that support for medicalization and, to a lesser degree, decriminalization is widespread, but the challenge is determining how these changes are implemented in each state and ensuring that children are protected as laws become more relaxed. And medical professionals are going to have a critical role to play as the most trusted source of information for parents.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Cannabis Time Capsule, 1934: Knives,razors and a can of marijuana."

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