Marijuana

Anti-Drug Parents Find Pot Legalization Complicates Message to Kids

Life is tough

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Parents drill certain warnings into their children: don't drink, don't smoke and don't do drugs. But those conversations have gotten tougher now that two states, Colorado and Washington, have decriminalized some recreational marijuana use.

"Trying to explain this to my 9-year-old is hard," said Tami deBellis of Olympia, Wash. She's a mother who shared her thoughts with NPR's Tell Me More on Facebook. "I explained the benefits for some critically ill patients and adults if used legally. [It was] probably way above his grade level."

But whether your child is 9 or 19, conversations about drugs are even more important to have now, says Dr. Leslie Walker, a pediatrician and chief of adolescent Medicine at Seattle Children's Hospital. She says marijuana is the No. 1 drug that sends teenagers to her substance abuse clinic.