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Half of Americans and Canadians Won’t Talk to their Kids about Cannabis

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Have you had the talk” with your children? No, not that talk. We mean having a chat about cannabis. While that conversation isn’t as awkward as talking about the birds and the bees, many parents still avoid talking about cannabis with their kids, according to the 2019 Civilized Cannabis Culture poll.

Civilized partnered with PSB Research and Burson Cohn & Wolf to survey 1000 American and over 600 Canadian adults about cannabis. The poll found that 53 percent of Americans and 48 percent of Canadians had not discussed cannabis with their children. That number is astounding given how marijuana has become a hot topic of discussion across North America as the legalization movement has seen 10 US states and the entirety of Canada legalize adult cannabis use.

Discussing cannabis might not be fun for parents or kids, but it’s important for the welfare of the family. Studies have shown that talking to your kids about cannabis does not encourage them to try it themselves, but it certainly can help them understand the risks of dabbling with marijuana and other substances that could be harmful to their developing brains.

Still, some parents might find it difficult to talk about cannabis since the traditional approach to that tough conversation has all but disappeared. Years ago, parents could deter their kids from touching cannabis by simply pointing to the plant’s status as an illicit substance around the world. For many, the threat of getting locked up for getting caught with a joint was enough to make them wary of marijuana. 

But that approach isn’t really an option anymore. Parents need to offer a more nuanced take now that so many jurisdictions have repealed prohibition, and that can be tough for folks who don’t have time to read up on all the latest cannabis studies.

Thankfully, there are government websites that can provide you with the information you need to talk with your kids. And Civilized has even published a guide on the subject to help parents tackle this difficult topic. And doing so sooner than later is crucial since 58 percent of American youths and 64 percent of Canadian adolescents began consuming cannabis between the ages of 13 – 18. 

So putting off the talk won’t stop your kids from finding out about cannabis. It just determines whether they’ll hear about it from you or learn through first-hand experience long before they’re of legal age.

The Cannabis Culture Poll is an annual study commissioned by Civilized in partnership with PSB Research and Burson Cohn & Wolfe. In March 2019, the poll surveyed 1,602 adults from coast-to-coast in the U.S. and Canada. The research groups, consisting of both cannabis consumers and non-users, were asked a variety of questions about their views about cannabis as well behaviors, habits, and personal experiences.

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