Recreational pot is “a family issue,” Portland mom says - KPTV - FOX 12

Recreational pot is “a family issue,” Portland mom says

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"Let's Talk About Marijuana," by Caitlin Sinatra. "Let's Talk About Marijuana," by Caitlin Sinatra.

As Oregon makes history as the third state in the nation to allow sales of recreational marijuana, a Portland mother calls it a family issue, and encourages other parents to talk openly with each other and their children about pot.

“I think this is a family issue because I think, for a lot of parents, this has maybe been one of those taboo subjects that they’ve side-stepped with their kids,” Leah Maurer told Fox 12.

Maurer is a mother of three and an occasional cannabis consumer.

She helped organize a “normalize” party at a NE Portland home Wednesday, encouraging families to bring their children and let them play, while adults – in a separated floor of the home – met with vendors and tried products.

“Our big goal with having this party tonight is to really put the idea out there that marijuana – in Oregon especially, right now – needs to be normalized into society,” she explained.  “It’s the idea of breaking down stereotypes and really normalizing this substance just like the way that we’ve normalized coffee and beer in this state, and I think this is a great opportunity for us to really do that.”

Maurer said she talks openly with her children about marijuana in a factual way, and tells them it’s a plant some people use for medicine, that it’s not safe for them and that it’s illegal until they turn 21.

She said being open and honest about it takes the stigma and mystery out of it.

For other parents who may want to have similar conversations, there’s already a book on the subject, called “Let’s Talk About Marijuana.”

“This is a children’s book designed to help adults and youth initiate the conversation about marijuana in an open-ended and unbiased manner,” the book’s author, Caitlin Sinatra, explained.  “The sooner we talk about this, the longer children will wait to try it on their own.”

Sinatra said her book is neither pro- nor anti-marijuana, but intended as a resource for parents and a tool to prevent substance abuse among youth.

“Clearly parents are talking to their children about alcohol and explaining to them this is not safe for you, this is illegal for you,” Maurer added.  “So now’s the time to do that with marijuana too.”

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