It’s Just a Plant  is an illustrated children’s book about marijuana. It follows the journey of a young girl who learns about the plant from a cast of people including her parents, a farmer, a doctor, and a police officer.

Marijuana can be hard to talk about. Many parents have tried it, millions still use it, and some feel awkward about disclosing their history (many duck the question), for fear that it might encourage kids to experiment too. Meanwhile, the “drug facts” children learn in school can be more frightening than educational, blaming pot for everything from teenage pregnancy to terrorism. A child’s first awareness of drugs should come from a better source.

It’s Just a Plant is for parents who want to discuss the complexities of pot in a thoughtful and factual manner.

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What on earth does marijuana have to do with children?

Marijuana is around kids! Awareness of the plant can begin early, through pop culture or by simply opening a parent’s drawer. Millions of kids have a parent who uses marijuana. Many children are affected by the incarceration of a parent for selling marijuana. Other kids have parents who use the plant medicinally. We can educate children about plants without piquing a desire to try them.

Does It’s Just a Plant advocate marijuana use for children?

No. It’s Just a Plant explicitly addresses the potential harm of drug abuse and insists that marijuana is not to be experimented with by children. As with books that teach kids about sex, It’s Just a Plant encourages parents to explore the topic and children’s questions about it, all the while reminding them that trying “pot” is an experience for responsible adults.

Should parents who don’t use marijuana read this book?

The book is not about people who use marijuana or people who abstain (although it contains both); it’s about a plant that most children will encounter in their lives. Before they investigate on their own, we want to open channels of communication between children and all parents.

Can you please not use the word “marijuana” when you mean “cannabis”?

Glad you asked! I’ve written and illustrated an essay on this very subject.

Who made It’s Just a Plant?

Ricardo Cortés, the #1 NYT best-selling illustrator of Go the Fuck to Sleep, PARTY - A Mystery, and author of Sea Creatures from the Sky and A Secret History or Coffee, Coca & Cola.

See or follow him on Instagram or Twitter.