Hey parents, when was the last time you sat down and read your child a story about the benefits of medical cannabis? Chances are, never. Parents and educators hesitate on the inclusion of “benefits” of medical cannabis in their discussions, however, they highlight risks and abuse of marijuana instead. We continue to confuse children with mixed messages on the topic of medical cannabis so parents are left to their own creativity to teach their kids compassion and respect for those who suffer and use cannabis as treatment.
According to a Denver Post article, there are over 350 children in the Colorado school system receiving medical cannabis treatments. It is important for students, classmates, and teachers to understand the difference between drug abuse and prescribed medication when talking about cannabis. Whether it be the child or the parent, the discussion about medical cannabis is critical. Ignorance is not an option!
The stigma of cannabis is slowly fading away. In a recent Yahoo survey, 52% of Americans have tried marijuana in their lifetime, while 22% of that group said they still use on a daily basis. Of that same group, 54% are parents! As public opinion continues to change, children are more exposed to the idea of cannabis as medicine. Parents must help their children be compassionate to those who benefit from cannabis medications.
What’s a parent to do? There is barely any information or resources for parents to help kids understand the reality of medical cannabis. And then it happened, I stumbled on a book at a thrift store called: “It’s Just A Plant,” a children’s story about marijuana by Ricardo Cortes. It’s an illustrated children’s book about a parent explanation of marijuana to her child with a trip through the neighborhood. Be sure to check out other titles by Cortes like, “Go the Fuck to Sleep.”
After a search online, I found other books to help parents explain marijuana. “If a Peacock Finds a Pot Leaf” by author Morgan Carman, is an exciting tale about Peter the Peacock who suffers from depression. He stumbles upon a pot leaf one day and shows his friends. Along the way other animals reveal their personal use of the cannabis plant. The animals talk about their ailments, such as pain, cancer and insomnia and how the leaf helps. Then, there is “Stinky Steve Explains Medical Marijuana” written by Maggie Volpo, a story about a skunk who informs children on cannabis and everything they need to know about cannabis safety. The book is aimed at educating children of all ages, focusing on medical cannabis for young patients and their siblings. Stinky Steve answers all of the questions that children may have about marijuana. Another book by the same author, “Stinky Steve Explains Daddy’s Dabs” takes a look at the dabbing culture of medical marijuana and how to explain it to your kids. A book many parents may relate to, “Mommy’s Funny Medicine” by authors Russell Barth and Christine Lowe, a sweet story told from a young girls perspective as she watches her mother battle an illness and uses medical marijuana successfully to cope with the disease.
A book can be a powerful tool for kids and an excellent way for families to connect. With a topic as controversial as cannabis, parents now have access to creative resources the kids will enjoy and comprehend. Medical cannabis should not be scary to children, but explained with tolerance in mind. Besides, it’s just a plant!
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