the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is deeply concerned about legalization of marijuana because of the risks that marijuana poses to children’s health and development. The two states that have legalized marijuana are now grappling with regulation that protects and educates children from the genuine risks that marijuana poses to their healthy development, as well as parameters that are able to withstand future legal challenges.
Most social and behavioral scientists expect that legalization will result in greater accessibility of marijuana to tweens and young teens, and the track record on legal alcohol and tobacco shows that manufacturers and distributors will be aggressive in their efforts to enlist young consumers in the lifelong use of habit-forming substances.
As independent research fielded in March 2013 has shown, parents nationwide (including Colorado and Washington State) are supportive of medicalization (roughly 70 percent of parents) and – to a lesser extent – of decriminalization (50 percent) and legalization (40 percent). But overwhelmingly (more than 90 percent), parents support strict constraints on the sale of marijuana (opposing availability in convenience stores, for example) and bans on all forms of advertising.