Explore the “I’m in” - pledge

“I’m in” – is a 21st Century Parent Movement to prevent the underage use of marijuana, alcohol and other drugs.


“I’m In” Declaration:  I want a “substance-free” childhood for my kids and their friends.

I pledge to:

1.     Protect my kids and their friends from potential harm by not providing them with marijuana, alcohol or nicotine.

2.     Actively supervise parties hosted at my house and ask attendees to hand over alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs if found.

3.     Prioritize prevention, use-cessation and delay among the things I parent.  

4.     Examine my behavior and modify it if I believe it’s moving my child towards substance use. Many studies support this type of finding. One example is linked here.

5.     Continue my education and be in conversation with other parents to align our efforts in keeping our kids safe from marijuana, alcohol and other drug use.

6.     Notice legislation, local initiatives and leaders that seek to grant more Industry access (alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine) to my kids and others in our community.

7.     Welcome the involvement of others in the community (kids, other parents, schools, law enforcement, health care professionals, business and faith leaders, etc.) who share the goal of the I’m in movement – everyone’s influence matters.

Because - I have come to understand:

8.     There are 3 main gateway drugs for 12-17 year-olds: marijuana, alcohol and nicotine - A “gateway” drug is known to increase the risk of substance use disorders like addiction. Drug use is related: Teens who use any one substance- alcohol, nicotine, or marijuana- are much more likely to use the other two substances and other illicit drugs. Teens who do not use one substance are much less likely to use the others. Click here for more information.

9.     Family history of addiction puts children at an increased risk for addiction themselves

10.  Adult addiction is increasingly being seen as a childhood onset disease with research showing 90% of adult addicts starting the use of some addictive drug before age 18 - Click here to explore this body of research.

11.  The brain is actively under construction and rapidly developing until approximately age 25 - Yet 18-25 year-olds are the number one user group (per capita) of marijuana according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. There is a serious need to help older teens and young adults understand what’s at risk with drugs like marijuana. Click here to understand more about brain health.

12.  The ideas that “kids will be kids” or that “alcohol and marijuana are a rite of passage in high school” put youth at risk. Click here to see this discussed in “Start the Conversation” video and discussion guide. Teen drug use is not inevitable, over the past 40 years there has been a consistent increase in high school seniors who have never used any alcohol, marijuana, nicotine or other drugs. In 1983 that number was 8.3%; now it is 26%. Many teens are already making smart choices. Parents need to support them - see the expanded story.

13.  Substance use in high school needs to be quickly addressed as does use in middle school. It starts potential damage to the developing brain even earlier and increases the likelihood of use in high school - compromising the opportunity for real adolescent growth along all pathways, i.e. academic, social, emotional, physical, neurological, etc.

14.  So far, marijuana legalization has been an exercise in commercialization (marketing/advertising/ promotion/wide distribution/etc), which has led to increased access to the drug and an arbitrary reduction in the perception of harm surrounding marijuana use.  Low access and high perception of harm are two known Environmental Factors that protect kids from underage use.  Legalization exposes a greater number of kids to marijuana use and its harms. Click this link to explore what legalization looks like https://www.reclegalparenting.org/the-new-world-we-live-in. Parents living in recreational legal states need to understand marijuana legalization so they can make decisions that protect their families.

And - I recognize that:

15.  Adolescence is an inherently stressful time socially and academically.  It’s important for my child to navigate these times through substance-free tactics so that real life skills for coping, social interaction, stress reduction and intimacy building are developed.

16. Messaging from industry and social sources increasingly “normalize” substance use. Parental opinion and messaging around marijuana, nicotine, alcohol, and other drugs needs to become stronger and louder to counteract these external sources. There is no neutral position on drugs & alcohol. If quiet, many kids assume their parents don’t have an opinion on these topics and the external source play a bigger role in forming youth opinion. Clearly stating, “I want you to be drug-free” or “my goal for you (my child, teen, adolescent) is for you to be drug free: no alcohol, nicotine, marijuana or other drugs” can be a powerful anecdotes. Children and teens do listen to what their parents say about substance use.

17.  I do have significant influence in my child’s life when it comes to alcohol, marijuana and other drug use.  Many studies support this type of finding. See the Parent Companion to the Addiction Survey and/or NSDUH (2010 page 64). It specifically says 4.4% and 5.8% of 12-17 used marijuana and cigarettes respectively in the past month if they believed their parents disapproved of their use, while 32% and 39.8% used if they believe their parents would not DIS-approve.

If you haven’t already “signed” the pledge - use the pledge card below…