Parental Views on State Cannabis Laws and Marijuana Use for Their Medically Vulnerable Children

April 29, 2022
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Lauren E. Wisk, Sharon Levy, & Elissa R. Weitzman

Wisk, Levy, and Weitzman studied perceptions of marijuana use among parents with chronically ill children (including children with Type 1 diabetes, rheumatic disease, or AD/HD). Parents were asked to complete a survey about their perceptions of the drug, their child’s condition, and their perception of their child’s drug usage. More than one-third of the 595 respondents believed that their child would not use marijuana due to their medical condition, and more than half believed their child would not use marijuana for different reasons. Roughly one quarter of parents would allow their child’s doctor to write a prescription for medical marijuana. More respondents believed that marijuana would not be beneficial for their child’s condition than believed it would be beneficial. The surveyed parents reported that their children used marijuana at rates below the national average. However, parents were more likely to report that they believed their children had used marijuana if the family was from a state where either medical or recreational marijuana use was legal. Wisk et al. recommend increasing education on youth marijuana use as drug legislation evolves since medical legalization might lower the perceived risk of using marijuana.