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Changing the Conversation about 4.20

Julee Christianson

With support from Governor Jay Inslee (read his proclamation here), the Washington Healthy Youth Coalition is helping to change the conversation on April 20th from a cannabis culture celebration, to a day to talk with your kids about NOT using marijuana. Our goal is to support parents in talking with their kids to help them make healthy choices.

Parents have the greatest influence on a child’s decision about using alcohol and other drugs. In fact, kids who learn about the risks from their parents are 50% less likely to use alcohol and other drugs than kids who do not.  Preventing underage marijuana use matters, because this will also reduce the risk of academic failure, addiction, traffic crashes, and other negative outcomes. 

Planning an activity, or setting aside some time to talk with your kids about not using marijuana on April 20th and beyond, shows your children that you care about them. Here are some ideas for what you can do with your kids on 4.20:

  • Review our Start the Conversation and Get the Facts page before you talk with your kids;
  • Have a family meeting at a favorite hangout like a restaurant or park and talk about the importance of healthy choices.  Ask your kids what they know about marijuana, and how it can harm their developing brain;
  • Organize a special family dinner or event with time to discuss marijuana use by young people and clearly define your family expectations;
  • Invite friends of your children and their parents or guardians to your house for a special drug-free celebration.

Are you planning to make time to talk to your kids on April 20th?  Make your pledge on the Start Talking Now Facebook page and show your support to other parents!

Julee Christianson is a member of the Washington Healthy Youth Coalition, and a prevention project coordinator with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery.