NEW YORK: When the anti-drug educator Tim Ryan talks to students, he often asks them what they know about marijuana. “It’s a plant,” is a common response.
But more recently, the answer has changed. Now they reply, “It’s legal in Colorado.”
These are confusing times for middle and high school students, who for most of their young lives have been lectured about the perils of substance abuse, particularly marijuana. Now it seems that the adults in their lives have done an about-face.
Recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado and in Washington, and many other states have approved it for medical use. Lawmakers, the news media and even parents are debating the merits of full-scale legalization.
“They are growing up in a generation where marijuana used to be bad, and maybe now it’s not bad,” said Mr. Ryan, a senior prevention specialist with FCD Educational Services, an antidrug group that works with students in the classroom.
“Their parents are telling them not to do it, but they may be supporting legalization of it at the same time.”