Let's Talk Cannabis

Key facts on family safety

Talk Tip


Every day 3,300 kids try marijuana—some as young as 12—so it’s important to start the conversation early or when they ask questions.

Health Risks

Teens who regularly use can permanently harm their memory, learning ability, and attention.

Safe storage

Secure cannabis storage can protect kids at higher risk for accidental edible consumption and cannabis toxicity.

Talk Tips to Prevent Kids from Experimenting

As a parent, you’re their No.1 influence on substance use and the role you play can help them make good decisions. Children who learn about the consequences and the health risks of cannabis use from their parents are shown to be significantly less likely to use. The most effective way to reach them is by having open and honest, two-way conversations about the risks. Keep reading for tips on how to have productive conversations.

TALK TIP: Start the conversation early, before kids consider experimenting (as young as 10 or when they first start asking questions).

TALK TIP: Look for natural ways to discuss cannabis, such as driving past a dispensary or seeing it on TV.

TALK TIP: Focus on the facts and how using might permanently affect their brain development, memory, learning, and attention.

TALK TIP: Keep the conversation casual, instead of having a formal family meeting or lecture.

TALK TIP: Listen carefully to their thoughts without judgement and encourage them to ask questions.

TALK TIP: Keep your cool if you suspect use and let them know they can come to you if they’re in trouble.

Get More Facts


Cannabis poisoning is no joke. When ingested by a child, cannabis can cause drowsiness, decreased coordination, loss of muscle control, increased heart rate, seizures, and even a coma.

Pot and pets don’t mix either. When a pet ingests cannabis, some common symptoms are a loss of coordination and a loss of bladder control. Other symptoms include lethargy, dilated pupils, vomiting, shaking, and agitation.

Call 911

Call 911

Call 911 if your child needs immediate medical attention.

For non-emergency child poisonings, call the Illinois Poison Center at 800-222-1222.

Contact a veterinarian immediately if your pet eats cannabis.

The Numbers Say It All.


Since 2019 there has been:

Increase in child cannabis-exposure calls to Illinois Poison Center

Increase in pet cannabis toxicity cases nationwide