VANCOUVER - Across the street from Hudson’s Bay High School in Vancouver, teens talked about the mixed message sent by state voters last week, who said smoking small amounts of pot at the age of 21 is okay.
“Honestly, like my dad, he’s like, you can’t smoke weed, marijuana, you can’t do any of that. But if it’s legal then it can’t be too bad for you,” said Mike Whittington, a junior at the school.
Some teens expect the new law will take away the taboo of marijuana.
“I know that a lot more kids drink than smoke,” said 18-year-old Mike Kelly, who does not attend the high school. “So, I think that might change ... within the culture, and in time I think it will definitely be more acceptable,” Kelly said.
But don’t expect many parents or grandparents to give up the fight against marijuana.
“I think as long as it’s a federal law, that there’s no (legal) marijuana, then there shouldn’t be,” said Jeff Webb, a grandfather.
“It’s a bad influence on the younger people,” said his friend Bob Neal.
Hallie Williams has three kids, the oldest of which is 17.
“We’ve spent a lot of our parenting career with that motto that’s been around for awhile, 'say no to drugs,'” said Williams, who added she’s not about to change the message.
Neither is the federal government. It partly funds a group called Prevent, a substance abuse prevention coalition for Clark County.
“We want kids to be successful in school. We want them to be successful in their relationships and marijuana hurts that, just like alcohol does,” said spokesman Sean Chavez.
But all the messages from parents and the federal government now conflict with a new law passed by Washington State voters.
And the teens know it.
“I guess it’s like the same thing as alcohol you know what I mean?" junior Zach Bowens said. "I’m told every single day not to drink alcohol, but when I turn 21, it's legal.”