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Ask an Expert: Marijuana in my kid's backpack

Q. We just found marijuana in our child’s backpack. What is the best way to handle this without making matters worse? – Concerned parents in Denver Public Schools

A. Hello DPS parents. With all of the drug-related stories in the news today, I can certainly understand your concern. There are a couple of follow up questions to sort out before fully answering your question.

  • How old is your child?
  • How much marijuana did you find in his/her backpack (ex. a bag of marijuana vs. a single joint)?
  • Has there been any significant change in his/her behavior or patterns recently?

These questions can direct the conversation that you have with your child and can help you sort out if s/he needs drug education or treatment for a budding problem. In either case, a conversation should take place so that your son or daughter is clear about your rules and expectations about drug use.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse website ( can offer valuable information (marijuana facts, tips on talking to kids) to direct your conversation about marijuana and other drugs.

It is important to understand what your child is being exposed to. Remember – don’t panic! Do your own homework first. Don’t just talk – listen.

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.

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