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pot smoking teen

post #1 of 107
Thread Starter 
DH and I are wrestling over how to handle DS who we are pretty sure is smoking pot with his friends. He will be 18 in 2 months, and is planning on attending the local community college. Do we drug test him at home? I hate that idea. Do we tell him he has to stop or he has to leave home? I hate that idea too. Not really having any other problems with him, just don't know what's the wise thing to do.
post #2 of 107
He's almost 18 and can make the choice to put marijuana in his body if he wants to. I wouldn't say anything about it unless it became a problem.. If you have had drug talks with him then I'm sure he knows the 'risks' that come along with choosing to use drugs. I definitely wouldn't drug test him at home.

With my teen I just keep the lines of communication open.. I've told him my own personal experiences with marijuana and I've asked that he not experiment with it. I have told him that I can ask that of him but I can not demand he not put something into his body.. it's his body, his choice. I think being open about is far more important...

Just my 2 cents.
post #3 of 107
I think it's fair to set rules about what you will or will not permit in your own home- such as "don't keep illegal drugs in the house and don't use them here. I don't want to face legal consequences for YOUR actions." But I don't think you really have any say over what he puts into his body when he's away from home.

You also need to research what your own legal liability is for the next two months. Can you get into legal trouble for a minor using drugs if he's caught with them before his birthday?
post #4 of 107
At almost 18, there isn't anything you can do except let him know that you won't allow it in the house.

The wise thing to do is not make a huge issue over it. Unless it's to the point of interfering with his life, pot is not a danger to him. Maybe discuss responsible use, such as no driving if he's been smoking weed.
post #5 of 107
I pretty much agree with everyone else but I would like to add to what MusicianDad said. Definitely stress the not driving while stoned or letting himself be drove around by someone stoned. Let him know if he is stuck in a situation to call you and you will give him a lift. If he doesn't want to look like a dork tell him to explain that you have to pick him up because you are taking him somewhere (dr, shopping, whatever).
Almost all of my friends smoked pot when I was a young teen. I did not because I am allergic to it, MAJOR allergic to it. So I had a unique perspective in the whole driving around stoned topic. My friends all claimed that smoking pot before driving actually focused them more. Trust me, I was not stoned and NO being stoned did NOT help them drive better. It's amazing we all lived to tell the tell.
post #6 of 107
Honestly I wouldn't even worry about it. I would be much more concerned if he was drinking a lot. If you have a problem with it in the house (which is sounds like you do) make that clear. He's going to be 18 soon and can make his own decisions, he just needs to be respectful of your feelings about it.
post #7 of 107

It is alarming but

I would not do the drug testing.

As a misguided teen, I smoked pot. In retrospect it slowed me down, made it hard to be social and gave me low self esteem.

I am lucky to be alive from driving under influence from it, and riding with others while they were.

But being very strict will push him away. My mom started charging me rent, when I got really bad including drinking and staying out late. That made me move out and things got worse.

Is he bored? Maybe he needs to find something incredibly interesting where pot would not have a place. I was mostly bored.

Hopefully this is as far as it will go with your son. Good luck.
post #8 of 107
I agree that you can lay down the law about not having it in your house, but beyond that, there's not so much you can do. I think the only thing you'll accomplish by drug testing is destroying any relationship you have with him.

Personally, I think it's pretty harmless and should be legal, but getting caught with it can have lifelong consequences, and I think I'd try to explain that. For example, I know people who have been turned down as adoptive parents over a MJ arrest, and people who have had trouble getting certain types of employment.
post #9 of 107
I had 2 teenage sons and our rules were no drugs in the house,( and we already did the lecture of what drugs do to you, etc) , and the second rule was if you got busted, we were not going to bail you out of jail! That is what really got through to them, and I am happy to report they are both married have families, and don't do drugs and have never been arrested!
post #10 of 107
I think you have to find your own comfort level with this sort of issue. What works for one family may not work for you.

For me, I've made it very clear to my son that drug users are not welcome to stay in our home. We certainly know, and are friends with, people who smoke mj, and they are aware that they can't stay overnight, or bring it to the house.

If I catch my son doing drugs as he grows up, or suspect he is doing them, he will be randomly drug tested from then on until he is an adult. Beyond that as well, if he expects to stay here while he goes to college or saves money while working, etc. If he wants to continue living here at any point, he'll test clean. I know what I can handle living with and I have drawn my necessary line in the sand.

This zero tolerance policy is based on the fact that addictive tendencies are genetic, and it runs in my son's family. It's not going to happen on my watch, and I don't believe it is any kind of right of passage that kids have to go through.
post #11 of 107
Some kids experiment, some make lifestyle choices that I agree with and some that I do not. Some make lifestyle choices that are dangerous to health and some are innocuous. I would MUCH rather my teen smoke pot than drink alcohol. I would much rather my teen smoke pot than smoke cigarettes. People don't die from smoking pot, the same cannot be said for alcohol, cigarettes, narcotics, prescription drugs, cocaine, meth amphetamines etc... (And before someone says that smoking pot increases the chance of getting lung cancer, the most recent studies show the opposite http://www.webmd.com/lung-cancer/new...to-lung-cancer.) In other words, all drugs are not equal, most teenagers know this and think that adults are naive, ill informed or both if they present "drugs" as a monolithic problem.

As a high school teacher and a parent, I can say that I have seen teenagers have the genetic addictive tendencies mentioned by elsie123 and have a very difficult time taking care of their responsibilities in school. These kids cannot smoke pot and lead normal lives effectively. They have a problem and need to stop; and this problem will exist regardless of their drug of choice. I have also seen teenagers smoke pot daily and have it not interfere one iota with their academic abilities and get into top schools like Brown and Harvard. I can't say the same thing about those drugs mentioned above as they cause greater problems even in the kids without the addictive personalities. Each kid is different, and predicting whether smoking pot will be a problem or not doesn't do any kid any good. Open communication is the key. If you have rules in your home, make them known. If you live in a state that criminalizes marijuana, there are legal risks that obviously need discussion. To the OP; once you determine exactly what your objection is, it will be easier to have the discussion.
post #12 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by nancynance View Post
DH and I are wrestling over how to handle DS who we are pretty sure is smoking pot with his friends. He will be 18 in 2 months, and is planning on attending the local community college. Do we drug test him at home? I hate that idea. Do we tell him he has to stop or he has to leave home? I hate that idea too. Not really having any other problems with him, just don't know what's the wise thing to do.
I was a pot smoking teen. My parents let me take my own path, and figure life out for myself. I would just let your son be.
post #13 of 107
I would cut any financial support I was giving him the minute he turned 18. No way I would want my money supporting his drug habit. If you are offering him room and/or board, paying any part of his tuition, or in any other way financially subsidizing his life, he is answerable to your expectations of him. It sounds like YOUR expectation is that he not do illegal drugs. It doesn't really matter imo how harmless someone might think pot is - it is ILLEGAL.
post #14 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artichokie View Post
I would cut any financial support I was giving him the minute he turned 18. No way I would want my money supporting his drug habit. If you are offering him room and/or board, paying any part of his tuition, or in any other way financially subsidizing his life, he is answerable to your expectations of him. It sounds like YOUR expectation is that he not do illegal drugs. It doesn't really matter imo how harmless someone might think pot is - it is ILLEGAL.
Just curious how that tactic would be successful in anyway? Seems like it would be more likely to cause harm than actually smoking pot.

No matter how illegal some people think pot is (which is not the case every where, even within the US) it's safer than cigarettes, or alcohol, or ending up homeless, money less and living on the streets.
post #15 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
Just curious how that tactic would be successful in anyway? Seems like it would be more likely to cause harm than actually smoking pot.

No matter how illegal some people think pot is (which is not the case every where, even within the US) it's safer than cigarettes, or alcohol, or ending up homeless, money less and living on the streets.
He'll be a grown man - that is his choice if he wants to let it harm him. He could choose to get a job rather than go to school, support himself and smoke all the pot he wants. But if he is using his parents money and they oppose the smoking of pot - it is rude and disrespectful to spend their resources on that. While medicinal pot is legal many places, I'm not aware of anywhere in which recreational pot is. I can't imagine the two of us are going to agree on this. I think it is extremely disrespectful for him to take money/resources from his parents and not follow their rules.
post #16 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artichokie View Post
He'll be a grown man - that is his choice if he wants to let it harm him. He could choose to get a job rather than go to school, support himself and smoke all the pot he wants. But if he is using his parents money and they oppose the smoking of pot - it is rude and disrespectful to spend their resources on that. While medicinal pot is legal many places, I'm not aware of anywhere in which recreational pot is. I can't imagine the two of us are going to agree on this. I think it is extremely disrespectful for him to take money/resources from his parents and not follow their rules.
Off the top of my head... Pot is decriminalized in California, Alaska, New York. Here in Canada the legality of pot is in limbo. It's illegal, but chances of actually being charged at pretty small.

I still don't see how kicking an 18 year old out of the house is going to help. So maybe he gets a job an supports himself. More likely he can't find a job because he has no permanent residence or he gets a job that doesn't pay enough for him to support himself. Just because he is living at home, it doesn't mean he is being supported by his parents. An 18 year old ending up homeless and with far more issues than smoking a little weed with friends is a very real possibility when said 18 year old gets kicked out. If you can handle the guilt that would go along with knowing you ruined your child's life, fine. But justifying it by saying "it's disrespectful to do X" is making my stomach turn.

You're right, we probably won't agree on this. I think it's disgustingly disrespectful to kick an 18 year old out of the house just because you don't like what he does with his friends.
post #17 of 107
OP, what stuck out most to me in your post was the last part, that your son is fine otherwise, in your opinion, it's just the pot issue.

Sounds like you have raised a great kid who's stretching his wings as an adult. I'd keep doing whatever you have been doing and respect him as you would any other adult.

I agree about pointing out that you're aware of what he's doing and that your concern (as far as I can tell) is driving high, or being with others who are. But otherwise, let it go, as others (except artichokie) have said.
post #18 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
I think it's disgustingly disrespectful to kick an 18 year old out of the house just because you don't like what he does with his friends.
Amen, brother.
post #19 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
Off the top of my head... Pot is decriminalized in California, Alaska, New York. Here in Canada the legality of pot is in limbo. It's illegal, but chances of actually being charged at pretty small.

I still don't see how kicking an 18 year old out of the house is going to help. So maybe he gets a job an supports himself. More likely he can't find a job because he has no permanent residence or he gets a job that doesn't pay enough for him to support himself. Just because he is living at home, it doesn't mean he is being supported by his parents. An 18 year old ending up homeless and with far more issues than smoking a little weed with friends is a very real possibility when said 18 year old gets kicked out. If you can handle the guilt that would go along with knowing you ruined your child's life, fine. But justifying it by saying "it's disrespectful to do X" is making my stomach turn.

You're right, we probably won't agree on this. I think it's disgustingly disrespectful to kick an 18 year old out of the house just because you don't like what he does with his friends.
why would he choose pot over school and shelter? that is the only situation in which my suggestion would cause him financial issues. the OP implies she opposes the use of pot and it is her money (theoretically).
post #20 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artichokie View Post
why would he choose pot over school and shelter? that is the only situation in which my suggestion would cause him financial issues. the OP implies she opposes the use of pot and it is her money (theoretically).
Why should he have to?

There are millions of successful, intelligent, capable people out there who occasionally smoke pot with friends. The OP also said they aren't having any other trouble with him. Why create a greater problem when no problem exists?
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