Although anti-pot smokers have come up with many different cons to the legalization of marijuana, one downside to it becoming an American norm is keeping it away from the kiddies. States like Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C have given the green light to their state residents to safely, constructively, and recreationally consume cannabis. Another 23 more states have given the okay to those who are in medical need. Because of these rapid changes it has come to the attention of many that we need to figure out a way to regulate it properly and fairly so that it can stay out of the hands of our underage youth before a good thing turns really bad.

A report from the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School has reported four strategic ways for states to enforce regulations that will prevent underage consumption: Higher Taxes, Retail Regulation, Package Regulation, and/or Marketing limitations. With higher taxes comes higher street cost and the idea is the higher the cost the less likelihood underage youngins could even afford it. Whether it be obtained legally or illegally. Currently in comparison, an ounce at a dispensary can be sold anywhere around $500 while an ounce from your local weed man can go from $200 to $350 (depending on the grade). A nationwide price hike would have teenagers thinking twice about swapping their allowance for a little buzz. In the retail front, strict licensing and policies will aid in keeping dispensaries “in check”. Thorough development of these regulations will help keep these special retail chains away from children filled suburb areas and communities. Another real concern is packaging. Easy-to-use products like edibles, candies, and sweets not only are more appealing to children, but are also more likely to be more potent than its smokeable counterpart. Using childproof containers and other less appealing packaging can be a good start and helping to curb this concern. Advertising, although a concern, is probably the lesser of all due to the fact that we have legal substances like alcohol and cigarettes to use as a guide. Just as these products are not allowed to have commercials and other marketing cues during children's programs or showtime's, the same will happen for weed. In fact, it will probably be stricter especially with giants like Google who have already banned marijuana ads, and/or hosting them, from their platform.

Home cultivation of pot is also another factor that is of much concern with lawmakers. Figuring out how to not compromise civil liberties, while protecting the young ones will be sticky, but possible. It will take a little bit of work and brainstorming, but the federal government has already stated that they will allow for states the chance to figure it out and work out the kinks without their involvement.

My take: Just be responsible, whether parent, family member, friend, or not. It takes a village to raise a child and our village these days are our communities. If we could slightly go back to those foundational principles and look out for one another as a whole, we might can make it happen.

CREDIT: The Verge/Scanvine



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