Alcohol, Marijuana and other drugs....
Alcohol is illegal until you are 21 in the USA. For whatever reason our culture is not embracing of a glass of wine with dinner as they are in other countries. Keep in mind that one of the reasons that one that prohibition came about in this country is because of alcohol abuse. Certainly there are plenty of people who have a history of abuse in their family and that should be discussed early on but educating kids at a young age to enjoy alcohol is a completely different thing. They see their parents enjoying alcohol and that is ok. Getting wasted beyond control is not.
Scientifically marijuana in terms of a dangerous overdose is siginificantly safer than any other drug or alcohol. Teens are stressed. Turning to pills and alcohol to unwind is a lot worse than turning to weed. Like anything, moderation is key. Getting stoned every day as a teenager is not going to be a good thing for getting school work done but kicking back on the weekends with friends is going to happen so why not educate kids about it. We are better off embracing the reality than turning a blind eye and just saying no. Doesn't mean you shouldn't still worry because every parent will but being honest about what your kids are doing I believe is key because then you can communicate openly about use.
Our schools have sex education, as they should, but the ridiculous thread of adults writing about how kids should not smoke, drink or have sex is so utterly ridiculous because they are going to do it all. I'd rather see a spike in marijuana use among teens than any other drug available....in reality it is the safest. The key is teaching your kids to be safe and smart about all the decisions they make when it comes to any mind altering substances.
If you are so inclined to read the debates over this on the NYTimes...click here.