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Why It Is Risky To Raise Teenagers In Canada

risky raise teenagers canada

Why It Is Risky To Raise Teenagers In Canada In The Wake Of Marijuana Legalization

Canada’s decision to legalize marijuana in 2018 was met with mixed reactions, both domestically and globally. Proponents argued that legalization would dismantle the illegal drug trade, offer medicinal benefits, and generate tax revenue. However, one demographic that should not be overlooked in this debate is teenagers. Is the legalization of marijuana in Canada a ticking time bomb for families raising adolescents? Let’s explore why this legislation may have made it riskier than ever to raise teenagers in Canada.

Easy Access to Marijuana

Previously, acquiring marijuana involved some level of secrecy and illegality. With its legalization, the drug has become far more accessible. This can be particularly tempting for teenagers, whose brains are still in a critical stage of development, making them more susceptible to peer pressure and risky behavior.

Increased Usage Among Teenagers

Various reports indicate that marijuana usage among Canadian teens has increased since legalization. While many believe that cannabis is harmless, especially compared to other substances like alcohol or hard drugs, its effects on the adolescent brain can be damaging.

Impact on Cognitive Development

The human brain continues to develop well into the mid-20s, and exposure to marijuana during these formative years can lead to long-lasting cognitive deficits. Research shows that regular cannabis use can negatively impact memory, learning, attention, and even IQ levels. For teenagers, who are at a critical juncture in their academic and personal lives, these implications can be far-reaching.

Driving Under Influence

Another alarming concern is the increase in driving under the influence of cannabis. While drinking and driving has been a long-standing issue, driving after marijuana consumption is a growing problem among teenagers in Canada. The combination of youthful invincibility and impaired judgment due to cannabis can lead to fatal accidents.

Mental Health Risks

There’s increasing evidence that regular use of marijuana can contribute to the onset of mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and even psychosis in predisposed individuals. For teenagers, this is especially concerning, given that they are already navigating a tumultuous emotional landscape.

Peer Pressure and Social Circles

It’s no secret that teenagers are prone to peer pressure. The legal status of marijuana might give them the impression that it’s ‘okay’ or ‘safe’ to use, exacerbating the issue. It’s easier for them to fall into social circles where drug use is normalized, thus perpetuating the cycle.

The Financial Toll

While not a health concern, it’s worth mentioning that cannabis isn’t cheap. For families already struggling to make ends meet or save for college, a teenager spending money on cannabis can be a significant financial drain.

Conversations That Matter

Beyond the statistics and research are the real, heartfelt conversations parents must have with their teenagers. Transparency is key; it’s crucial to discuss the potential dangers without vilifying the substance entirely, which could provoke more curiosity. A balanced conversation should involve both the legal aspects and health implications of cannabis use.

An Uphill Battle for Newcomers

For families who have recently moved to Canada, this issue becomes even more convoluted. As newcomers, you may not fully understand the cultural nuances that come with marijuana use in Canada. This lack of familiarity can make it challenging to approach the subject with your teenagers who are also navigating this new environment.

Creating Awareness

In this age of technology, where information is readily available, ignorance is not an option. Schools, communities, and healthcare providers need to come together to create awareness and offer educational resources. Parental workshops on drug awareness can also go a long way in equipping families with the necessary tools to handle this issue effectively.

Medical Marijuana: A Double-Edged Sword

Another point to consider is the rise in medical marijuana prescriptions. While cannabis does offer numerous therapeutic benefits for specific conditions, its medical use can sometimes send a mixed message to teenagers. They might assume that if it’s used as a medicine, it can’t be harmful, overlooking the fact that these prescriptions are for controlled, minimal usage and specific medical conditions.

Policy Gaps and Future Implications

Legalization has opened a Pandora’s Box of policy challenges. What is the government doing to mitigate the impact on teenagers? Are there sufficient educational programs and deterrents in place? These are questions that need answers sooner rather than later.

Take-Home Message

Raising teenagers is a complex, challenging, and rewarding task. The legalization of marijuana in Canada has added another layer of complexity to this ever-evolving job. The risks are real, and the consequences can be dire.

Parenting in the age of marijuana legalization calls for a renewed commitment to open dialogue, continuous education, and a deep understanding of the myriad ways this new law could affect our families. It’s an issue that doesn’t just concern individual families but communities, schools, and ultimately, the future of the country.

As parents, caregivers, or even as concerned members of the community, we can’t afford to turn a blind eye. Let’s arm ourselves with knowledge, let’s involve ourselves in our teenagers’ lives, and most importantly, let’s not underestimate the power of an informed and open conversation. The future of our youth depends on it.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Brian Kelly

    September 14, 2023 at 7:05 AM

    Fear of Cannabis Legalization Nationwide is unfounded. Not based on any science or fact whatsoever. So please prohibitionists, we beg you to give your scare tactics, “Conspiracy Theories” and “Doomsday Scenarios” over the inevitable Legalization of Cannabis Nationwide a rest. Nobody is buying them anymore these days. Okay?

    Furthermore, if all prohibitionists get when they look into that nice, big and shiny crystal ball of theirs, while wondering about the future of cannabis legalization, is horror, doom, and despair, well then I suggest they return that thing as quickly as possible and reclaim the money they shelled out for it, since it’s obviously defective.

    The prohibition of cannabis has not decreased the supply nor the demand for cannabis at all. Not one single iota, and it never will. Just a huge and complete waste of our tax dollars to continue criminalizing citizens for choosing a natural, non-toxic, relatively benign plant proven to be much safer than alcohol.

    If prohibitionists are going to take it upon themselves to worry about “saving us all” from ourselves, then they need to start with the drug that causes more death and destruction than every other drug in the world COMBINED, which is alcohol!

    Why do prohibitionists feel the continued need to vilify and demonize cannabis when they could more wisely focus their efforts on a real, proven killer, alcohol, which again causes more destruction, violence, and death than all other drugs, COMBINED?

    Prohibitionists really should get their priorities straight and/or practice a little live and let live. They’ll live longer, happier, and healthier, with a lot less stress if they refrain from being bent on trying to control others through Draconian Cannabis Laws.

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