For Parents:

April 20th (4.20) has been proclaimed in Washington State as Talk With Your Kids About NOT Using Marijuana Day. Join parents across the state, observing this day by having a frank family conversation about marijuana using straightforward, factual information.

Marijuana affects each individual differently, and no matter how it is used, can cause unwanted side effects. Short-term effects of marijuana include problems with memory and learning, distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, and touch), trouble with thinking and problem solving, loss of motor coordination, increased heart rate and anxiety. These effects are even greater when other drugs are taken with marijuana. Marijuana is unlikely to result in permanent disability or death, but too much of the drug in a person's system can have harmful effects, and isn't as benign as some teens want you to believe. Marijuana can increase risk of chronic cough, bronchitis and schizophrenia in vulnerable individuals. It also may increase risk of anxiety, depression and a series of attitude and personality changes. These changes can also include poor performance in school, eating and sleeping problems. Marijuana, just like any other drug, can lead to addiction. It affects the brain's reward system in the same way as all other drugs of addiction — and the likelihood of addiction increases considerably for those who start young.

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