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From: SMART Colorado

On Saturday, April 20, Denver Civic Center Park will host the Mile High 420 Festival, an annual event run by the marijuana industry. Recreational marijuana is illegal for anyone under 21, yet the event is open to all ages.

Although marijuana and marijuana products cannot be sold at the event, we know from previous years that they will be present.

Although open and public marijuana consumption is illegal under state law, visible consumption will occur.

We know that many teens attend this event, often without parental knowledge.

We believe this upcoming event is an opportunity for you to have a conversation with your teen about marijuana. Remember that you remain a strong influence on your teen. What you say matters.

Research shows anger or scare tactics won’t work, but a calm discussion of facts may. Here are a few talking points to consider when talking with your teen:

  • Marijuana use affects the brain. A developing brain, like yours, is especially vulnerable.
  • Marijuana use can keep you from reaching your full potential. Teen use can impair learning, memory, and math and reading achievement.
  • Marijuana use can affect your emotions later in life. Teen users are more likely to be depressed or have suicidal thoughts in adulthood.

If you have a family history of addiction or mental health risks, now might be the time to share this information with your teen. You could note that this family history may make your child more likely to become addicted to marijuana or develop negative symptoms.

Conclude the conversation with a clear statement of your expectations and encourage your teen to steer clear of the festival and plan other activities that day.

If you use marijuana, it is important to distinguish your behavior from your expectations for your child. If you are of legal age, different facts apply to you.

Finally, if you plan to attend the Mile High 420 Festival, please leave your kids at home and/or in the care of a trusted caregiver.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment provides several resources for parents and teens:

Tips for parents

Youth and marijuana

How to talk to young people in your life about marijuana

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