Cannabis

As more states legalize cannabis, the discussions around cannabis are getting more muddied. Cannabis is a mind-altering, illegal substance in Wyoming and it’s vital for the long-term health of our families is for kids to understand the risks it poses. We all need to be having these conversations, so let’s get started.

Cannabis: Conversation Starters

  • What are the various forms of Cannabis?
    Prescription Medications, Hemp Products, CBD Products and Marijuana Products.
  • Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol.
    Anytime a young person uses substances, they are at an increased likelihood for addiction.
  • It’s a plant, it’s natural.
    In the naturally occurring plant, THC is present at a very low percentage. People have grown marijuana to make it significantly higher in THC content. There are plenty of plants in the world that are natural but still harmful such as opium, coca leaves, ephedra, mushrooms, etc.
  • Nobody ever overdoses or dies.
    While a fatal overdose is unlikely, the effects of marijuana use can be severe with symptoms including fast heart rate, increased blood pressure, severe nausea, panic, anxiety, hallucinations, extreme confusion, etc. In some cases, people will feel like they are dying and take themselves to the emergency room.
  • Have you ever felt pressured to use cannabis?
  • Why do some people use cannabis?
  • Do people use cannabis to fit in?
  • Do you want to use cannabis? Why or why not?
  • Has cannabis affected any of your relationships? If so, how?
  • How would you feel if your best friend was struggling with cannabis? How about a family member?
  • If you are in a situation where you are surrounded by people using cannabis, what can you do instead?
  • Share a story about how cannabis has affected one of your relationships.
  • Cannabis is illegal in Wyoming. In states that have legalized cannabis, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to use. Do you know anyone who has faced trouble as a result of using cannabis either at home, at school, or with the law?

  • Do you know anyone whose involvement with activities was affected by cannabis?

  • What do you imagine your life will look like in 5 years? 10 years? How might using cannabis impact that vision?
  • Share a story about how you or someone you know has been negatively affected by cannabis.
  • How does cannabis affect the brain/body/nervous system?
    • THC’s chemical structure is similar to the naturally occurring brain chemical anandamide, and this similarity trick the body into “recognizing” THC and allowing it to alter normal brain communication. This disrupts various mental and physical functions, impacting memory, thinking, concentration, coordination and more. Large doses of THC can cause hallucinations or delusions. Long-term cannabis use has been linked to mental illness like paranoia, depression, suicidality and worsening symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. Learn more here and here.

  • What kinds of effects can cannabis have on sports and other various physical activities?
    • THC disrupts areas of the brain that regulate balance, posture, coordination and reaction time, which can impact sports performance and other physical activities. This is also why it’s unsafe to drive under the influence of cannabis. Learn more here.

  • Is cannabis addictive?
    • Using cannabis can result in in dependence and addiction. Withdrawal symptoms include irritability, difficulty sleeping and other physical discomforts. Dependence occurs when the brain adapts to large amounts of the drug by reducing production of and sensitivity to its own naturally occurring endocannabinoid neurotransmitters. People who use cannabis before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a use disorder. Learn more here.

  • Share a story about how cannabis addiction has affected you.
  • Who can you talk to if you feel pressured to use cannabis?
  • Who can you talk to if you’re concerned that you’re using cannabis excessively?
  • Who can you talk to if you feel that someone you love is using cannabis excessively or is addicted?
For additional resources and toolkits for partner agencies and organizations, click here.

Your community needs to see these messages. For information on placing WY We Talk digital advertising, contact Rachel Bouzis with Kalen Marketing Solutions.