weedI lived in Colorado Springs and Denver for seven years after high school with my family. I ended up moving back to my hometown in Texas to live with my now-husband six years ago. Apparently, Colorado was just waiting for me to leave because they advanced leaps and bounds in marijuana legalization the moment I stepped foot out of the state.

The new laws don’t apply to me per se because I’ve never smoked marijuana myself. I’ve been around it plenty of times and have had my share of alcohol, but maybe it was because of the whole “drugs are bad” concept that I never indulged.

Today’s marijuana industry in Colorado has become a family affair—specifically, medical marijuana. The number of children and young adults on the medical marijuana registry in Colorado greatly increased in 2013, based on state Department of Public Health and Environment data.

At the end of 2013, there were 199 individuals registered under the age of 18. This is compared to 37 registered minors in 2012:

“Parents are also coming to Colorado in search of one of the most coveted strains of medical marijuana available. “Charlotte’s Web” — which is high in CBD, the non-psychoactive ingredient in pot, and low in THC, which causes users to feel “high” — was developed by Denver’s Realm of Caring non-profit group and has been effectively treating children with debilitating illnesses and conditions.”

I have to be honest in saying that it’s really hard for me to wrap my mind around legal, normal marijuana, even though I’m not against it at all. I’ve just had the “Don’t Do Drugs” message crammed down my throat that has given me some kind of Pavlovian response against even touching the stuff.

I don’t have anything judgy to say about children using medical marijuana in Colorado because their stories of recovery are touching and wonderful. I’d have mixed feelings about using the drug if my kids needed it, related to the preconceived notions I’ve already described, but I know I could get over it if their health was on the line.

(photo: Getty Images)