A mom shares her concerns about 4/20 and cannabis culture

I’m a mom. I’m sick of this in-your-face cannabis culture
Los Angeles Times 17 April 2020
Family First Comment: “once your kid has a problem with drugs, the ubiquity of pots shops and how cool they look and their pervasive promotion across the city can feel disturbing. It’s as if the schools and public health professionals and parents are giving kids one message and the billboards that litter the city are giving them another. Which seems cooler to a 16-year-old? Earnest mom talks or rainbow billboards? When I was a kid, I know which one I would have chosen.”
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Our daughter got into college on the East Coast and packed up her winter clothes and some hard-won life lessons and is thriving now. But her story could easily have gone in a different direction. I don’t know if pot is a “gateway drug,” but you don’t have to watch the film “Beautiful Boy” biting back tears to know that from a little problem can grow life-changing trouble before you, the parent, even know the seed has been planted.

A few months ago, our 16-year-old was found with a vape pen. I was furious. I was so furious I stayed quiet the entire 30-minute ride home from his high school. He sat next to me in the passenger seat. “Mom, I’m sorry,” he said. “It was a stupid thing to do.” I looked at him and said, “I don’t want to say anything I will regret, so I am not going to talk right now.” I had a pit in my stomach thinking, “Not this again.”

As we got into our neighborhood, we drove by a billboard that featured a woman with pink and yellow rainbow hair and silver eyebrows, with a large, bubble-lettered sign that read “Kushy Punch.”

If I was 16 and everybody was vaping strawberry nicotine or Red Sundae cannabis or whatever Kushy Punch is, I’m sure I’d want to do it too. I grew up in the 1980s and we smoked pot in high school. I got it mostly from friends and my parents didn’t pay much attention — it was the ’80s. But the marijuana wasn’t particularly potent. We didn’t smoke it through USB ports. It wasn’t promoted on every corner or by every social media influencer (we didn’t have social media or influencers back then). It was a simpler time. But maybe every generation thinks that.

I didn’t want to ruin Amy’s cannabis shopping spree. And I don’t think dispensaries are the root of the teen weed issue. But once your kid has a problem with drugs, the ubiquity of pots shops and how cool they look and their pervasive promotion across the city can feel disturbing. It’s as if the schools and public health professionals and parents are giving kids one message and the billboards that litter the city are giving them another. Which seems cooler to a 16-year-old? Earnest mom talks or rainbow billboards? When I was a kid, I know which one I would have chosen.
READ MORE: https://www.latimes.com/lifestyle/story/2020-04-17/4-20-marijuana-cannabis-culture

Colorado mum Jo worked in youth drug prevention educating young people about the risk behaviours, and also worked in drug testing.
Jo has a warning for New Zealand parents based on her own harrowing experience of marijuana within her family, and also the effect of legalisation of recreational marijuana in her home state of Colorado.
Read more: www.saynopetodope.nz