How to Talk to Your Kids About Legal Cannabis

 It’s important to talk to your child about cannabis in a recreationally legal state because even though it may be legal for adults over the age of 21, cannabis use can still have potential risks and negative consequences, particularly for children.

Here are some reasons why it’s important to talk to your child about cannabis use, even in a state where it is legal:

Potential for misuse: Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s safe or appropriate for everyone to use. For children, cannabis use can have negative effects on brain development, memory, and learning ability. It can also increase the risk of mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, and may lead to addiction.

Social pressure: With cannabis being legal, there may be more social pressure for children to use it, which can lead to experimentation and potential harm. It’s important to discuss the pressure children may feel to fit in or experiment with drugs and alcohol, and to provide them with the knowledge and tools to make responsible choices.

Understanding the law: It’s important for children to understand the legal status of cannabis use in their state, and the potential consequences of breaking the law. Even though cannabis use may be legal for adults, it is still illegal for those under 21. Understanding the law can help children make informed decisions and avoid legal trouble.

Safety concerns: Cannabis use can impair judgment and reaction time, which can increase the risk of accidents and injuries. It’s important for children to understand the potential risks associated with cannabis use and to make safe choices to avoid harm to themselves or others.

Open communication: By talking to your child about cannabis use, you are creating an open and honest communication channel that can help build trust and strengthen your relationship. If your child has questions or concerns, they know they can come to you for guidance and support.

Overall, it’s important to have ongoing conversations with your child about cannabis use, particularly in a recreationally legal state. By providing accurate information and emphasizing responsible decision-making, you can help your child avoid potential harm and make informed choices about drug and substance use.

Talking to your children about legal cannabis can be a challenging, but important, conversation. As the era of legal cannabis ages, more and more parents are finding the need to discuss cannabis with their ever curious offspring. 

(Photo Robina Weermeijer Unsplash)

How can cannabis affect young brain development?

One of the goals in talking to your children about cannabis is to help them understand why it’s inappropriate for children to consume. The active ingredient in cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can have significant effects on a child’s developing brain. Children who use cannabis can experience negative effects on their memory, attention, and learning, and may also experience long-term impacts on their mental health, such as an increased risk of depression, and anxiety. In addition, children who use cannabis are more likely to experience negative effects on their overall health and wellbeing, including respiratory problems, impaired motor skills, and decreased appetite. This is why talking to your children about cannabis at a young age can give them the best approach if and when they decide to use cannabis as an adult.

(Photo Toa Heftiba Unsplash)

When is the best age to discuss cannabis with my children?

When it comes to cannabis specifically, many experts suggest waiting until children are at least in their pre-child or early child years, around the ages of 12-14, to have more in-depth conversations about it. By this age, children may have already been exposed to information or images about cannabis, so it’s important to provide them with accurate information and to address any misconceptions they may have.

Here are a few tips for having this conversation with your child:

Start with open and honest communication: Begin the conversation by letting your child know that you want to talk about legal cannabis in Oregon, and that you’re open to discussing any questions or concerns they may have. Let them know that you’re not here to judge them, but rather to provide them with accurate information and guidance.

Understand the legal context: Before you begin the conversation, make sure you’re familiar with the legal status of cannabis in Oregon. It’s important to know that while recreational cannabis use is legal for adults aged 21 and older in Oregon, it is still illegal for minors.

Address potential risks: Discuss the potential risks associated with cannabis use, such as impaired judgment, memory, and learning ability. Talk about the negative effects of long-term use and how it can affect a child’s health, mental health, and academic performance.

Discuss responsible use: It’s important to emphasize that if your child chooses to use cannabis when they are of legal age, it should be done responsibly. This includes following state laws, consuming in moderation, and avoiding driving or operating heavy machinery while under the influence.

Answer questions: Encourage your child to ask any questions they may have about cannabis use and answer them as accurately and honestly as possible. Be sure to explain any terms or concepts they may be unfamiliar with, and provide examples or scenarios to help them understand the potential consequences of cannabis use.

Establish open communication: Let your child know that they can come to you with any questions or concerns about cannabis use or other substances. Encourage them to talk to you before making any decisions related to cannabis or substance use, and assure them that you are always there to support them.

Remember, it’s important to have ongoing conversations about cannabis use, as well as other substances, to help ensure your child understands the potential risks and consequences and can make informed decisions.

(Photo R+R Medicinals Unsplash)

How can I explain my medicinal cannabis use to my children in a legal state?

Explaining medicinal cannabis to children in a legal state can be challenging, but it’s important to approach the conversation in a way that is age-appropriate and easy to understand. Here are some steps you can take to explain medicinal cannabis to children:

Start with the basics: Begin by explaining what medicine is and how it helps people when they are sick or in pain. Use simple language and examples that your child can relate to.

Discuss illness and pain: Talk to your child about different types of illnesses and conditions that can cause pain, and explain how medicine can help people feel better. You can use examples of common childhood illnesses, like a headache or stomach ache, to help illustrate your point.

Introduce cannabis: Explain that there is a type of medicine made from a plant called cannabis, which some people use to help them feel better. Emphasize that this type of medicine is only available with a doctor’s prescription, and it is only used to help people who are sick or in pain.

Address potential confusion: Depending on your child’s age and experience, they may have heard about cannabis in a different context, such as recreational use. If your child is confused, take the time to explain that while cannabis can be used for different purposes, the type of cannabis used as medicine is very different from the type used recreationally.

Answer questions: Encourage your child to ask questions and provide honest and accurate answers. Use age-appropriate language and avoid overwhelming your child with too much information at once.

Reinforce the importance of following rules: It’s important to emphasize that medicinal cannabis is only used by people who are sick or in pain, and it is only available with a doctor’s prescription. Emphasize the importance of following rules and not sharing medication with others.

Remember, explaining medicinal cannabis to a young child can be a challenging conversation, but it’s important to provide accurate information in a way that your child can understand. By approaching the conversation with honesty and openness, you can help your child better understand the role of medicine in helping people feel better.

There are a few books available that explain medicinal cannabis to children. Here are some options:

“The Gloops and the Special Plant” by J.R. Fox – The Gloops and the Special Plant is a teaching tool for starting the conversation on what cannabis is, and what the end of its prohibition means. It tells a parallel story to our own, while teaching about human rights and respect. “Where the Gloops live, there grows a very special plant. This plant has not always been understood. In fact, once upon a time, the Old Kings wanted the plant gone forever. Inside this little book is a BIG story about Molly, her family, and all of the Gloops who stood up for what they believed in, and won! The world of the Gloops is not so very different from ours… So, maybe by learning about them, we can learn about us too!”

“Cannabis and CBD for Health and Wellness” by Aliza Sherman and Dr. Junella Chin – This book is geared toward teenagers and provides an in-depth look at cannabis and CBD as medicine, including their uses, benefits, and potential risks.

“The ABCs of CBD: The Essential Guide for Parents (and regular folks too)” by Shira Adler – This book is geared toward parents and provides an overview of CBD and its potential benefits for children with various medical conditions.

“Stinky Steve Explains Medical Marijuana: An Educational Children’s Book About Cannabis” by Maggie Volpo – Millions of people use cannabis, also called marijuana, for a wide range of medical reasons. However, because there is still social stigma attached to cannabis use, many people who care for children hide or lie about their medication. Stinky Steve is here to help adults discuss responsible medical cannabis use with the children in their lives. Let Stinky Steve facilitate a conversation about cannabis use and safety in your home!

Remember, it’s important to preview these books before sharing them with your child to ensure they align with your personal beliefs and values. Additionally, it’s important to have open and honest conversations with your child about the use of medicinal cannabis and answer any questions they may have.

(Photo Jeremy McKnight Unsplash)

What should I do if my child is already using cannabis?

If you discover that your child is using cannabis in a legal state, it’s important to handle the situation with care and address it in a calm and non-judgmental way. Here are some steps you can take to address the issue:

Talk to your child: Schedule a time to sit down with your child and have an open and honest conversation about their cannabis use. Be sure to approach the conversation in a non-judgmental way, and try to understand their reasons for using cannabis. Listen to their perspective and provide them with accurate information about the risks and consequences of cannabis use, particularly for young people.

Set clear boundaries: Even though cannabis use may be legal for adults in your state, it is still illegal for minors. Make it clear to your child that using cannabis is against the law and that you do not condone it. Set clear expectations for your child’s behavior and consequences if they continue to use cannabis.

Seek professional help: If your child is struggling with cannabis use or addiction, it may be necessary to seek professional help. This can include talking to your child’s doctor, a substance abuse counselor, or a mental health professional who specializes in addiction.

Monitor your child’s behavior: Keep an eye on your child’s behavior and look for signs of ongoing cannabis use or other substance abuse. If you suspect that your child is continuing to use cannabis, it may be necessary to seek further professional help or support.

Keep communication open: It’s important to maintain open communication with your child and let them know that you are always there to support them, even if you don’t condone their behavior. Let them know that you are willing to help them find resources or support to overcome any issues they may be facing.

Remember, discovering that your child is using cannabis can be a challenging and difficult situation, but it’s important to handle it with care and to prioritize your child’s health and well-being. By taking a proactive and supportive approach, you can help your child make positive changes and avoid potential harm.

In conclusion, talking to your kids about legal cannabis is an important step in helping them make informed and safe choices. By being honest, using age-appropriate language, addressing their concerns, and setting clear boundaries, you can help your kids understand the risks and responsibilities involved in using cannabis. 

Raising kids can be hard! It’s a good thing cannabis is legal here in Oregon. When you’re ready to (responsibly) unwind, check out our fantastic selection at any of our stores.


(Photo Harrison Hanes)

The Pioneers of Modern Legal Cannabis

Cannabis has definitely hit the mainstream. It feels like only a few years ago that dad was confiscating my guitar after catching a lingering whiff of skunk, now I am consulting him on which strain might best be suited for a productive day in the garden. Which cannabis pioneers made this possible?

How did we get here?

The modern legal cannabis industry is the result of decades of advocacy and activism by individuals and organizations who have been working to end cannabis prohibition and promote the responsible use of the plant. Activism was an important factor in advancing the cause to legalize cannabis for several reasons:

  1. Raising Awareness: Activists helped to raise public awareness about the benefits and potential uses of cannabis, as well as the negative consequences of criminalizing its use. Through events, marches, rallies, and other forms of protest, activists were able to draw attention to the issue and educate the public.
  2. Shifting Public Opinion: Through their efforts, activists helped to shift public opinion on the issue of cannabis legalization. By highlighting the many potential benefits of cannabis, they helped to break down stereotypes and challenge commonly-held misconceptions about the plant.
  3. Lobbying for Change: Activists also played a crucial role in lobbying for change at the legislative level. They worked to build alliances with elected officials and other influential stakeholders, and used their collective voice to advocate for changes to laws and policies related to cannabis.
  4. Creating a Movement: By coming together and organizing around a common cause, activists helped to create a movement that brought attention to the issue of cannabis legalization and helped to build momentum for change.

Overall, activism played a crucial role in advancing the cause to legalize cannabis by raising awareness, shifting public opinion, lobbying for change, and creating a movement.

Who are some of the early activists?

While there have been many individuals and organizations who have contributed to the movement, there are a few key pioneers who have been particularly influential in advancing the cause.

Keith Stroup

(Keith Stroup/Photo

One of the earliest and most influential pioneers of the legal cannabis industry is Keith Stroup. Stroup is an American attorney and advocate for cannabis legalization. He is the founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), which was established in 1970 with the goal of ending cannabis prohibition and ensuring the responsible use of cannabis by adults.

Stroup has been a prominent voice in the cannabis legalization movement for several decades, and he has been instrumental in advocating for the rights of cannabis users and the reform of cannabis laws. Under his leadership, NORML has played a key role in the legalization of medical and recreational cannabis in several states across the United States.

Stroup has been recognized for his contributions to the cannabis legalization movement and has received numerous awards and honors. He is also a sought-after speaker and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs to discuss cannabis legalization and drug policy issues.

Keith Stroup is a respected and admired figure in the cannabis legalization community, and has had a wide ranging impact on the way people think about cannabis and drug policy.

Ethan Nadelmann

(Ethan Nadelmann/Photo by Gage Skidmore)
(Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Another important pioneer of the modern legal cannabis industry is Ethan Nadelmann who is a prominent figure in the drug policy reform movement. He is best known as the founder and former executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a leading organization dedicated to promoting drug policies based on science, compassion, health, and human rights.

Throughout his career, Nadelmann has been a strong advocate for drug policy reform, particularly with regards to the regulation and legalization of cannabis. He has been a vocal critic of the “war on drugs” and has argued that current drug policies are ineffective, harmful, and costly.

Nadelmann has been widely recognized for his work in drug policy reform and has received numerous awards and honors. He is also a sought-after speaker and has delivered lectures and presentations on drug policy issues all over the world.

Ethan Nadelmann is a well-respected figure in the drug policy reform community and has had a significant impact on the way people think about drug policy and drug legalization.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

(Dr. Gupta/Photo CNN)
(Photo CNN)

Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a neurosurgeon and medical correspondent for CNN and he is well known for his extensive reporting on health and medical issues, including the topic of medical marijuana.

In the past, Gupta was a vocal critic of medical marijuana and its use for treating various medical conditions. However, in 2013, he famously reversed his stance on the issue in a CNN documentary called “Weed.” In the documentary, he explored the science behind medical marijuana and its potential as a treatment for various conditions, including chronic pain, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis.

Since then, Gupta has become an advocate for the use of medical marijuana, and has continued to report on the topic in various CNN specials and articles. He has also been a vocal critic of the U.S. government’s classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, which restricts its use for research purposes and limits access for patients who could benefit from its therapeutic effects.

Gupta’s reporting on medical marijuana has been influential in changing public perception of the drug and increasing support for its use as a medical treatment.

Steve DeAngelo

(Steve DeAngelo /Photo

Another important figure in the medical cannabis space is Steve DeAngelo, who is the co-founder of Harborside Health Center, one of the largest and oldest medical cannabis dispensaries in the United States. 

DeAngelo has been a prominent voice in the movement to legalize marijuana for decades, and has been involved in a number of high-profile initiatives aimed at changing public opinion and policy on the issue. He has been an active member of various organizations working to end marijuana prohibition, and has been a vocal advocate for the rights of medical cannabis patients and the regulation of the marijuana industry.

In addition to his work as a cannabis advocate, DeAngelo is also a successful entrepreneur in the industry. He has been involved in a number of startups in the cannabis space, including as the founder of The Arcview Group, a cannabis investment and market research firm.

DeAngelo’s tireless efforts to legalize cannabis have been instrumental in advancing the cause, and he continues to be a respected leader in the industry today.

Rick Steves

(Courtesy Rick Steves' Europe/CNN)
(Courtesy Rick Steves’ Europe/CNN)

Finally, Rick Steves. Steves is a travel writer, guidebook author, and television personality who is best known for his public advocacy for the legalization of marijuana. He has used his platform as a popular travel expert to raise awareness about the benefits of marijuana legalization and to challenge the negative stereotypes that have been associated with the drug for decades.

In particular, Steves has been a strong advocate for the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and has highlighted the many stories of patients who have found relief from chronic pain and other conditions through the use of medical marijuana. He has also been a vocal advocate for the regulation and taxation of marijuana, and has argued that doing so would reduce crime and generate significant tax revenue for governments.

Steves’ advocacy has been influential in shaping public opinion on marijuana legalization, and has helped to bring the issue to the forefront of public discourse. He has been a guest speaker at numerous events and conferences on marijuana legalization, and has written extensively on the subject in his travel guidebooks and blog.

These are just a few of the key pioneers of the modern legal cannabis industry, and there are many others who have been instrumental in advancing the cause. However, these individuals and organizations have been particularly influential and have helped to lay the foundation for the modern legal cannabis industry.

The pioneers of modern legal cannabis have been instrumental in changing public perception and advancing policies that allow for the responsible use of cannabis. Through their advocacy and activism, they have helped to create an industry that is safe, responsible, and accessible to those who need it, and they continue to play an important role in shaping the future of the industry.

What about the future?

Future of cannabis
(Photo DigitalTrends)

It’s difficult to predict exactly what the cannabis industry will look like in the coming years, but there are some general trends and factors that are likely to shape its development. Here are a few things that experts anticipate:

  1. Increased Legalization: It’s likely that more states and countries will legalize cannabis for medicinal and/or recreational use over the next decade, which will expand the market for cannabis products and services.
  2. Development of New Products: As the industry evolves, there is likely to be a growing demand for new and innovative cannabis products, such as edibles, concentrates, and topicals, as well as new delivery methods, such as inhalers and transdermal patches. Check out our menu here for the latest new products.
  3. Growth of the Medical Market: The medical cannabis market is expected to continue to grow as more research is conducted on the therapeutic benefits of the drug and as more patients seek alternative treatments for conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, and PTSD.
  4. Professionalization of the Industry: As the industry matures, there is likely to be a trend towards professionalization, with more standardized practices, quality control measures, and regulatory frameworks in place.
  5. Integration with Mainstream Society: As cannabis becomes more widely accepted and integrated into mainstream society, it is likely that attitudes towards the drug and its use will continue to evolve, and the stigma surrounding it will continue to decline.
  6. Competition and Consolidation: As the industry grows, there is likely to be increased competition among companies, which could lead to consolidation and the formation of larger, more dominant players.

The cannabis industry is expected to experience significant growth and change over the next decade, as more states and countries legalize the drug and as new products and services are developed to meet the growing demand. None of this would be possible without the efforts of the pioneers of the modern cannabis industry. We will always need activists to keep the industry moving forward and on the right track. 

Learn more about cannabis and shop at any of our 4 Oregon locations, with three stores in Bend and one in Cottage Grove.

doctor cannabis

How to Talk to Your Doctor or Health Care Provider About Cannabis

While medical cannabis has had a rocky history for the past century, as more people are becoming comfortable with it, each year more places have been legalizing cannabis for medical use. It can be difficult, however, to navigate all of the information out there. So, how do you know that medical cannabis is right for you? The first step is to ask your doctor. It is only through close work with your healthcare provider that you can decide whether or not cannabis will be helpful to you.

We know that talking about medical cannabis can be intimidating and confusing. Our goal is to remove the stigma surrounding this industry and empower patients to ask the right questions so they can get the treatment they need. Here’s a list of questions you can ask your healthcare provider to determine if medical cannabis is an option for you and, if so, what your next steps should be. These basic questions will help start the conversation between you and your healthcare provider. However, it may also be beneficial to write down a few questions that are specific to you and your medical history. Use this conversation as a way to debunk myths about cannabis use and figure out the facts.


  1. What are the health risks associated with cannabis use?
  2. What types of ailments can be treated with cannabis? Does cannabis seem like a good option for my ailments?
  3. What is your suggested cannabis consumption method? Should I smoke it, use medibles, or what about vaporizers?
  4. Does medicinal cannabis seem like a good option for my lifestyle?
  5. Where can I find more information on medicinal cannabis?
  6. Will I be able to perform my everyday duties while using medicinal cannabis?
  7. As a parent, will I be able to use my medicinal cannabis around my children?
  8. How do I stay safe while using medicinal cannabis?
  9. Will cannabis interact with my other medications?


In addition to asking your healthcare provider questions about medical cannabis, we encourage you to check out the Leafly Knowledge Center and our other blog posts on this site to educate yourself about the medical cannabis industry. If you do some research before you meet with your doctor, you can ask specific questions and will be better prepared to have a thoughtful conversation with your healthcare provider.

For more information on cannabis doctors in the Central Oregon area, check out our page here. To learn more about the general process of getting your OMMP card, please refer to our page right here.