Helping Parents Prevent Youth Substance Abuse

Medical Marijuana

For parents, the November (2008) passage of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act added another challenge in their efforts to prevent drug abuse.  This is especially true for youth, who may view the legalization for limited use as ‘normalizing’ marijuana and confirmation that its effects are harmless.  It was much clearer when we could say, “Marijuana is harmful and it is illegal for any one of any age to use or possess.”

Under U.S. law since 1970 and after a recent federal review of that law, marijuana is a “Schedule I” controlled substance, the category that represents the highest level of danger for all drugs.  Cocaine and heroine are other examples of Schedule I drugs, categorized as such because these drugs have no approved medical use.  Because it is a Schedule I drug, sale of medical marijuana through pharmacies is illegal.  There are no “prescriptions” for medical marijuana, just a recommendation that it might provide relief.

In Michigan, medical marijuana production and sales are not regulated for purity, quality, dosage, content, or safety.

Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Act causes concern for law enforcement and prevention professionals.  In addition to reducing youth perception of risk or harm from its use, there are concerns that this drug has become more accessible since the passage of the law.  


View a full report on the prevalence of Medical Marihuana in the state of Michigan for Fiscal Year 2013:

(courtesy of


More information on the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program


Use the TalkSooner app for tips on how to talk to your kids about not using alcohol or other drugs.