The Importance of Education and Vigilance
In line with national trends, our home state of Pennsylvania is edging increasingly closer to the legalization of cannabis for recreational use. This topic is inherently polarizing and both sides of the debate tend to be driven by ideological concerns rather than logic and reason.
By now, we’re all aware that Lt. Gov. Fetterman and Gov. Wolf are vocal advocates of adult-use marijuana. Some arguments raised by the pair include the potential for legalization to aid in the pursuit of racial justice and the additional revenue that will flow into state coffers in the form of taxes. The latter issue was placed in the spotlight again by New Jersey voters emphatically backing the adoption of recreational marijuana in the Garden State.
Local organizations like PA Family have launched a stinging critique of political leaders in arguing that the current body of research shows substantial health risks associated with use. They point to a potential increased risk of schizophrenia, issues in childbirth, and the possibility of greater numbers of vehicular accidents. Other hot button issues, as highlighted by Axis Residential Treatment, include the debate over whether or not regular marijuana use leads to a clinically meaningful withdrawal syndrome.
Our hope is that our statement on this topic provides a voice of reason in a field where dogma tends to prevail. In particular, we wish to offer guidance to parents who may be struggling to make sense of a quickly evolving situation. As we’re all aware, the prohibition of substances alone isn’t the answer to reducing usage and harm among our youth. Education, access to evidence-based treatment, and other aspects of policy play an enormous role.
Frequently Asked Questions by Parents Regarding Youth Drug Use