Marijuana: Is Teen use of Marijuana Significant?

Two teenager girls smoking marijuana.

Today’s parents may be terribly confused about whether or not they should insist that their children stay away from marijuana. It can be difficult to explain to a curious teenager why a doctor might recommend marijuana for a sick person but they can’t use it. It may be difficult but it could be one of the most important lessons you ever teach your children.

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy made some very good points in his article published in USA Today, titled “Legalizing Pot Endangers Children.” Here are a couple of quotes from that article:

“There has been a lot of talk about pot lately. Discussions of tax revenue, health benefits, violence reduction, and individual liberty. But one issue got completely lost: the developing brains of our children…

“Industries know they have to focus on young people for profits. After all, if you don’t start using any drug by age 21, you are unlikely ever to do so…

And finally:

“The marijuana of today is nothing like the marijuana most baby boomer’s experimented with. It’s virtually a different drug. So it is no surprise that the president’s own Department of Health and Human Services reported last year that marijuana is the top reason kids are in treatment. It is why I hear about the stories in my inbox from countless parents who are now penniless because they had to spend their child’s college fund on treatment for a drug they first thought was harmless. It is why I hear even more stories from recovering addicts who say, ‘It all started with pot.‘“

It’s hard to decipher the truth in all the lobbying for legalized or medical marijuana that’s going on. I appreciate the efforts of Mr. Kennedy, who struggled with his own addiction, to clarify these points for parents.

Those of us at Narconon centers around the world have been working hard to help parents understand the truth and also understand how to communicate this truth to their children. That’s why we have a wealth of online features to help which can be found in the section on marijuana at

There is another feature you can find on our website that covers the subject thoroughly: What You Can Do About Marijuana Abuse which can be found here:

This feature will give you the symptoms of marijuana abuse and the many problems that can arise. It will talk about the drug’s increasing potency and addictiveness and how many people go to treatment primarily for problems with this drug. You’ll learn the signs of use and what physical and mental health risks accompany its use.

As always, if the drug use of a loved one has gotten out of control, and you find that they are not able to regulate their drug use, call us to learn more about drug rehabilitation. We’ve been helping the addicted find lasting recovery since 1966.



Karen Hadley

For more than a decade, Karen has been researching and writing about drug trafficking, drug abuse, addiction and recovery. She has also studied and written about policy issues related to drug treatment.