What Parents Need to Know

Let’s be clear. If you are over 21 and do not intend on
working/operating heavy machinery for the next few hours, it is legal to use marijuana in Michigan.

The same cannot be said for your teenager.

Why Kids Shouldn’t Smoke Weed

The rising popularity of marijuana in Michigan has created misinformation among youth.

Known commonly as weed, kush, pot and many other nicknames, some people mistakenly believe marijuana is safe for teens.

Smoking marijuana exposes the lungs to more tar than cigarettes (American Lung Association).

Using marijuana before the age of 25 is associated with significant memory and cognitive decline (CDC).

Withdrawal from regular marijuana use is associated with irritability, sleep disorders and restlessness for the first two weeks (National Center for Biotechnology Information).

People who use marijuana under 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder than adults (

Tips for Parents – What to Look For

Marijuana can be smoked, consumed, absorbed, and applied topically. To differentiate marijuana vapes/edibles from everyday products, they often contain this symbol on the packaging or product to avoid confusing consumers.


Marijuana can be smoked through a joint (cigarette), bong, or even discreetly through a coke can. It can also be vaped. Users who smoke can become high within ten minutes, and feel the effects for 1 to 3 hours, while long-term effects such as “brain fog” can last over 8 hours.


Marijuana in edible form is commonly known as edibles. Popular edibles include gummies, chocolate, baked goods (cookies, brownies, etc), crackers, and more. “Homemade” edibles can be created through cannabis oil/butter.

Teens are especially susceptible to “overdosing” on edibles. Only a small dose is needed to become high – a portion that can easily be misjudged by young adults. Edibles take 1-3 hours to take effect, often leading impatient users to overconsume. It is medically impossible to overdose on marijuana, but too much can cause extreme effects which include:


  • Heightened paranoia and psychosis
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dry mouth
  • Decreased blood pressure


Marijuana can be consumed sublingually, such as applying a strip under the tongue. Users become high quickly through this method and the effects can last for hours. Some users prefer this method as it is more discrete and lacks the distinct smell caused by smoking.

Topical Application

CBD or THC-infused topical creams include lotions, creams, bath salts, and oils meant to be applied directly onto the skin. The cannabis lingers on the skin with effects starting in minutes and lasting for 1-2 hours. Even if the cream contains THC, users will not become high in the typical sense. More commonly used for pain relief than for psychoactive effects. However, CBD creams have not been extensively tested for use in children and teens, and no longitudinal studies on its effects have been completed.

How can I tell if someone is high?

Common methods to tell if a user is high on marijuana include:

  • Red eyes
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • Delayed reaction times
  • Anxiety/panic
  • Increased heart rate
  • Distorted senses
  • Reported chest pain
  • Skunk smell

Talk to teens about marijuana.

Have a conversation with your teens about marijuana. When talking, remain calm and keep an open mind to create an honest dialogue. Refrain from harsh judgment, but aim to promote awareness of the following:

  • Driving while high is just as dangerous as driving drunk
  • Just because something is “natural” does not make it healthy (caffeine, sugar, poison, etc)
  • Marijuana from unsafe sources can be laced with other psychoactive drugs
  • Your children can always call you at any time of day, judgment-free, for a safe ride home from a dangerous situation

Data and statistics obtained for this website come from trusted sources such as the CDC and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. For more information, please contact us.