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December 6, 2012 at 10:33 AM

An expert’s advice to parents now that marijuana is legal

“Legalization Day” for marijuana has brought us midnight toking at the Space Needle, “Big Lebowski” references by the Seattle police and more festivities planned for this evening.

So why is Roger Roffman trying to be a buzzkill at the party?

He’s not exactly. He has been on the national board of the legalization advocacy group NORML, and signed on as a early sponsor of Initiative 502. But as a nationally-respected marijuana-addiction researcher at the University of Washington, Roffman’s support for legalization was based largely on the measure’s funding for a smart, science-based approach to marijuana prevention and intervention.

And he’s worried. The steep marijuana sin taxes in Initiative 502 will eventually fund a whopping $44 million-a-year worth for those programs. But that money won’t come until state-licensed marijuana stores open in December 2013, or later. In the meantime, Roffman compiled the best education materials for parents wondering how to talk to their kids about our brave new world of marijuana, now legal for those 21 and up.

 “We have a very poorly informed public on marijuana’s impact on health and behavior,” Roffman said at a news conference Wednesday. “Most of what we know sits in books and journal articles on the shelves of researchers, and is not put into place.”

His best-of recommendations:

Safety First: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens and Drugs, by Marsha Rosenbaum.

Marijuana: Facts for Teens, by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know, by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Comments | More in General news, Politics | Topics: Initiative 502, Legalization Day, marijuana


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