Learn About Marijuana
Science-based information for the public


Marijuana Resources for Parents

The 2018 national Monitoring the Future Study shows little change in marijuana use in the past 12 months among U.S. teens. Annual prevalence stands at 11%, 28%, and 36% in grades 8, 10, and 12. Daily marijuana prevalence changed little from 2017, with rates at 1%, 3%, and 6% respectively. New

Availability has declined appreciably among younger adolescents, butremains readily available to most 12th graders.

Vaping of marijuana increased substantially in 2018 as this new way of using marijuana becomes more mainstream. In 2018 prevalence of use in the last 12 months increased by 1.3, 4.2, and 3.6 percentage points in 8th, 10th, and 12th grades to levels of 4.4%, 12.4%, and 13.1%, respectively.

In Washington State, according to the 2016 Healthy Youth Survey, marijuana use among youth has remained steady at levels similar to the national rates since 2010, despite the changing landscape of legalized marijuana in our state. Results from the 2018 Healthy Youth Survey will be available in mid-March, 2019.

Although use of marijuana has not changed significantly in the last several years, youth attitudes towards marijuana moved toward greater acceptance, both nationally and in Washington State.

The good news is that parents are the primary influence on adolescent behavior -- even if it may not always seem that way. Here are some resources that can help parents discuss the use of marijuana with their children.
Tips on Talking to Your Kids

Get tips for talking with your kids about making healthy choices at StartTalkingNow.org

How to Talk to Your Kids About Marijuana

A Parent's Guide to Preventing Underage Marijuana Use (brochure, English & Spanish versions updated in 2017)

Available in English | Spanish | Amharic | Somali | Swahili | Tigrinya | Vietnamese

This booklet, produced by Seattle Children's Hospital and the UW Social Development Research Group, offers information, resources, and practical advice for parents about:

Marijuana: Know the Facts

This card from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board answers common questions and includes a section on "What Parents Should Know." Available in Cambodian-Khmer, Chinese, English, Korean, Laotian, Mien, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Transit Ads: Don't Wait to Talk With Your Kids (Department of Health; click to download printable versions)


Print Ads: Don't Wait to Talk With Your Kids
(Department of Health)

WATCH: an E-Learning Module about Helping Someone to Quit/Cut Back
Includes a section for parents with suggestions on how to talk to teens about marijuana, some frequently asked questions, and where to find helpful resources (about 25 min.).

Other modules in the e-learning series may also be of interest to parents; they address marijuana and our bodies, different products and methods of use, Washington state law, and other general questions about marijuana. Find the whole series here.

Washington State Resources

Washington State Healthy Youth Survey: Marijuana Use in Grades 6 through 12
Just how big a problem is teen marijuana use? This report on marijuana use for grades 6-12 from the 2016 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey provides data from local teens about their current rates of use rates, common attitudes regarding marijuana risk, and the relationship between lower grades in school and marijuana use. Results from the 2018 Healthy Youth Survey will be available in mid-March, 2019.

Preventing and Treating Youth Marijuana Abuse: An Updated Review
A new report from the Washington State Institute for Public Policy reviews the literature on effectiveness of youth marijuana prevention and treatment programs, and evaluates the cost-benefit of the programs. The 2018 report finds that 11 of the programs are effective for marijuana use. (December 2018)

The ADAI Clearinghouse
Resource center for Washington State residents, with both print and online resources about marijuana and other drugs and alcohol. Visit us in person or online. Community organizations may request bulk quantities of materials at no charge.

National Resources

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)'s Marijuana site.

Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know (June 2016)

Marijuana's Long-Term Effects on the Brain (April 2017)

Preventing Drug Abuse among Children & Adolescents: A Research-Based Guide for Parents, Educators, and Community Leaders (2003)

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
A drug abuse prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery resource, developed to help parents and caregivers effectively address alcohol and drug abuse with their teens and young adults. Includes a Parents Toll-Free Helpline: 1-855-DRUGFREE. See also their free "Marijuana Talk Kit," which features facts about marijuana, why it is risky for teens to use it, what you should and shouldn't say when talking to your teen, and how to respond to your child's questions are arguments.

Medline PlusMedline Plus: Marijuana (National Library of Medicine) :
Regularly updated resource for reliable information about marijuana use, effects of use, prevention, medical marijuana for adolescents, and more. Medline Plus is an excellent resource for students writing school papers on marijuana and other medical topics!

Are you concerned your teen is using drugs or alcohol?

Washington Recovery Helpline: Offers 24-hour confidential referral and help for substance abuse, problem gambling, and mental health for adults and teens in Washington state. The Helpline can assist family members in finding treatment centers for adults or teens, as well as provide information on community events and lectures that may be useful to parents. 1-866-789-1511