Parents should be aware of 4/20 Day’s influence
Published 4:22 pm Wednesday, April 12, 2023
By Jody Boulay
Recreational marijuana is illegal in Mississippi. While 4/20 celebrations are not as large and vibrant as in other states, they still have an influence on youth perception of marijuana.
4/20 Day was once a significant counterculture protest. Yet, because of legalization, it has become a growing and large business nationwide.
Cannabis companies leverage 4/20 Day as another opportunity to promote the industry and its products. It resembles how alcohol companies use The Super Bowl and St. Patrick’s Day.
Parents should be aware of this influence, especially in the digital age, as social media allows for a far reach. It’s an excellent opportunity to have constructive conversations with teens and children about marijuana and its associated risks.
“Prevention and education can be done to meet any age group. It is proven effective in preventing drug and alcohol use altogether,” said Marcel Gemme of Addicted.org.
In Mississippi, roughly 15% of residents aged 12 and older had used marijuana in the past year. Among 12 to 17-year-olds, 11% had used the drugs, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Age matters the first time someone uses marijuana. The teen brain is actively developing and continues to develop until age 25. The small conversations that parents have with their kids about marijuana have a real tangible impact. Consider some of the following tips:
- Short, frequent discussions are more effective than one big talk. It helps to build strong communication and a trusting relationship.
- When speaking about marijuana, make your views and rules clear. It is ok to show disapproval of marijuana use and reinforce why it is essential to avoid using the drug.
- Avoid lecturing, threatening, and using scare tactics.
Be a reliable source of factual information. Listen to their opinions and answer their questions; the conversation goes both ways.
- Lead by example; actions speak louder than words.
Help build their skills to avoid and manage peer pressure when it occurs.
- Always show genuine concern for their health, wellness, and success.
These conversations can go a long way and are especially important as they age. 4/20 Day remains a growing and popular event and will only continue growing commercially as more states legalize recreational marijuana.
Jody Boulay is a mother of two with a passion for helping others. She currently works as a Community Outreach Coordinator for Addicted.org to help spread awareness of the dangers of drugs and alcohol.