With pot legal, it’s time to talk with your kids

WASHINGTON — Now that it’s legal to possess and use marijuana in the District, some experts say it’s time to have a discussion with your children about the drug.

“Sit down and have an open conversation with your young person,” says Eddie Atkins, program director and a certified addiction counselor at Riverside Outpatient Services in Southeast Washington.

Atkins says you should discuss with your children your feelings about the use of marijuana, the new law and the dangers of the drug.

“You’re in charge of your household; you can provide the information to your kid to let them know that it is a serious issue and you don’t want them using this,” Atkins said.

A counselor for children battling with drug abuse, Atkins says he has worked with kids as young as 12 who are using marijuana. He says the children often tell him that they started after watching someone they look up to use the drug.

His best advice is to be mindful of what you’re doing and the example you set. And don’t expect that keeping your pot use secret will keep your kids away from the drug.

“Your child knows what’s going on; he’s going to be in your stash,” Atkins said.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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