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great kid smoking pot

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 

Hi!  I am looking for some useful ideas or folks who have btdt.  I have two 15 yr old girls who are relatively successful in school and seem to have healthy relationships with their friends.  We have kids at our house all the time,  most weekend nights I have at least one extra teen over for dinner :)  We have really open communication at my house and even other teens tend to want to confide in me.  The girls are athletic, eat well, are healthy, laugh a lot.

I also have boundries and rules around what the girls are doing, what happens in my home, chores etc etc.  I communicate with other parents regularly and generally feel pretty good about parenting.

So here's my problem.  They both have recently smoked pot, let me know they are interested in occasionally smoking with friends and feel like this is an OK decision.  They have both had opportunity for drinking, probably have tried it but have a pretty healthy fear of alcohol after seeing friends behave badly.

I told them I wouldn't "OK" them smoking pot- never in my house and talked about the legal issues.  However, these are mature, healthy individuals making a pretty conscious choice, and I am not all that sure I can change their minds.  I can become the enforcer, although I am not all that sure what I would even do- search their room or their stuff?  That would be very invasive in our family structure. 

I think I want to sort of feel my way through this moment while keeping the conversation going, I can tell if they are high, I think they go off in the woods or something.   I don't really want to punish them at this point strictly because I think it would be incredibly ineffectual.

They both go to a very artistic, very small private school.  In fact there are a number of kids who smoke with and/or around their parents.  Lots of pot smoking in general.  So they are in a little microcosm of acceptance.

So, if you have any creative ideas on how I can handle this in a healthy, communicative way,  allowing us to preserve our family values of respect for each other and our choices and space.  I am still sorting this out so just telling me I am wrong is probably not going to be helpful.

Thanks!

 

post #2 of 41

 

Something to add to your discussion... driving. Personally, I would not allow a child I knew to be taking drugs access to any of my vehicles and I would not sign-off on a learner's permit. This isn't just about their safety but about the safety of others. I couldn't on take that liability. It's a natural consequence that they should be aware of... not a punishment, just a consequence of being a minor-aged drug user.

 

Consider work situations. They are 15. They are old enough to work. In another year, they may really want to. Many positions available to them will require a drug test (at least in our state they do.) My DH hires lots of young people (20's) and he's had to reject so many because they can't pass drug tests. It doesn't matter if they only do it at parties and the last time was 3 weeks ago. If that test comes up positive, you are out. 

 

I don't know that I'd call the "mature" and "healthy" if they are making this choice though. I'm not saying they are "bad" or "juvenile" but from my own experiences, pot is not something truly healthy, mature individuals do unless they are ill. It's something kids and grown-ups who haven't really "grown up" quite yet do. Maybe those healthy, mature pot smokers exist but I have to say, I've yet to be surprised by someone that smokes pot. I guess I'm just not sure I would tell my children they were mature while they are choosing to do something that could land them in jail.

 

post #3 of 41

I don't know about the driving thing. I think the parent knows their kid best and there's a mighty difference between a teen who may smoke the odd joint and a teen who would do so and then get behind the wheel. I wouldn't assume that my kid would drive under the influence.

post #4 of 41

Look I understand you're concerned.  However not all kids go down the wrong path.  When I took my SAT's almost my whole class was there on the same saturday and almost all of them were high.  Not one of us scored below a 1300.  The pot smokers all work for Microsoft or teach at universities in Washington .  It seemed like all the drinkers are still hanging out at home working menial jobs. 

 

I would set restrictions though.  No smoking in your house.  (legal) reasons.  No going out with it on your person (legal reasons) No getting high before school.  And I can't tell you how many STOP signs I sat at with my friends who were high waiting for it to turn green... Stupid kids.  I never smoked but I have no problems with it.  Just as long as they didn't put me in a situation where I could legally get in trouble.

post #5 of 41

I was that great kid who smoked pot occasionally in my teens.  Straight A's, on my way to a fantastic college, but just wanted to be involved when my friends were doing it.  My mom, an AP parent with the most open communication style of any mother I've ever heard of, basically told me (and, a few years later, my younger brother) something to this effect:

 

"Pot isn't legal, and whether or not it's accepted by a lot of people, you are breaking the law, so you always need to be aware.  Just like with alcohol, I would expect that you're smart enough to not drive or participate in anything dangerous when you're under the influence, and you should know that if you're ever in a dangerous situation or need to be picked up from somewhere, even if you're high, I will pick you up and bring you home with NO CONSEQUENCES."  We felt safe to make our own decisions and like our mom would still respect us no matter what, and we knew exactly where we stood.  Your children's safety is always number 1 and they'll make the best decisions when they know that safety comes above punishment.

 

I grew up and pretty quickly realized pot wasn't for me (and PP makes a great point about drug tests).  If you want your teens to behave like adults, treat them like adults.  I agree with PP - if they're smart and mature like you say, they'll probably go through this "phase" and grow out of it pretty quickly, as long as "pot" doesn't become a bad word in your house or something they have to keep secret.

 

FWIW, I've lived in California my whole life and currently live in San Francisco, so I'll admit that my attitude toward marijuana might seem lax depending on where you live. 

post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by JenniO11 View Post
"Pot isn't legal, and whether or not it's accepted by a lot of people, you are breaking the law, so you always need to be aware.  Just like with alcohol, I would expect that you're smart enough to not drive or participate in anything dangerous when you're under the influence, and you should know that if you're ever in a dangerous situation or need to be picked up from somewhere, even if you're high, I will pick you up and bring you home with NO CONSEQUENCES."

 

This is such an important point. I volunteer with teens and have gotten more than one phone call from youths I work with begging me to pick them up out of a dangerous situation. They didn't feel they could call their own parents because they would get in trouble for being high. You don't want this! Teens are going to make some iffy choices and you want them to do so with the maximum possible safety-net.

 

I went through the whole pot smoking adventure with my godson when he was 16/17. I suppose I was more lenient than I might be with a bio child because he was dealing with the grief of losing his father, but instead of trying to stop him I did my best to give him the tools to get high safely. I know a lot of responsible and successful adults who still smoke on the weekends, so I came at the whole matter from a very liberal perspective. I had a rule against him smoking before school or before homework was done, and an absolute one strike and you're out rule for driving under the influence. He also wasn't allowed to ride with any friends who weren't sober. To further reduce the odds of drugs mixing with driving, I was very accommodating about dropping him off and picking him up from friends' houses and parties. He also wasn't allowed to ever possess over a certain amount (check your state's laws) so that in the unlikely event he did get caught, he would get a misdemeanor possession charge instead of a charge for intent to sell. If there had been other children in the house I wouldn't have allowed him to possess or smoke in the house, but there weren't any other children so I was okay with the slight risk.

 

While I understand the desire to prevent your children from engaging in an activity which could potentially (though rarely) cause them legal trouble, I have never seen a totalitarian approach to pot smoking accomplish anything other than shutting down the lines of communication. I've also observed that teens whose parents take a more liberal approach are less likely to experiment (or go beyond experimentation) with harder drugs, probably because the open communication makes it easier to drill home the dangers of hard drugs.

 

ETA: Despite a lot of pot smoking in high school, my godson is now a happy college freshman with a 3.7 GPA. smile.gif

post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderinggypsy View Post

I don't know about the driving thing. I think the parent knows their kid best and there's a mighty difference between a teen who may smoke the odd joint and a teen who would do so and then get behind the wheel. I wouldn't assume that my kid would drive under the influence.


Yeah, I'm a parent and know best lol. Sorry, if I know my kids taking drugs or choosing to drink at parties, they aren't on my insurance and they aren't driving my cars. I went to school in Santa Cruz which is about one of the most liberal pot smoking areas around. I don't feel these were "bad" people but they many who would never have even touched their keys with a beer in their system felt totally fine driving under pot influence.... great, straight "A", should "know better" kids. If you are comfortable with your child knowingly breaking the law and taking mind altering drugs with access to your car... go for it. Not what I'll be doing.

 

post #8 of 41

I've been in the car with some high as Fuq people as a teen and paranoia driving is not safe!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post


Yeah, I'm a parent and know best lol. Sorry, if I know my kids taking drugs or choosing to drink at parties, they aren't on my insurance and they aren't driving my cars. I went to school in Santa Cruz which is about one of the most liberal pot smoking areas around. I don't feel these were "bad" people but they many who would never have even touched their keys with a beer in their system felt totally fine driving under pot influence.... great, straight "A", should "know better" kids. If you are comfortable with your child knowingly breaking the law and taking mind altering drugs with access to your car... go for it. Not what I'll be doing.

 



 

post #9 of 41

I think it is great they are coming to you!!!  Thats all I have for now- I was a pot smoking teen-but was not doing good in other areas.  I would have never spoke to my mother about it. You must be doing something right.  Here is one question tho- how are they going to buy it?  It is not all that cheap especially if they do not work yet.  They are too young to buy papers or blunts or pipes.  Who is going to provide these?  Are they just going to partake when someone else has it?  Or do you think eventually they will want to buy it themselves?

 

I have a friend who has a teen boy who starte smoking pot and she tried to play it cool. He is now a frequent run away and from time to time sells it. I don't see your daughters going down this path- but it did happen to my friends son....

post #10 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JenniO11 View Post

I was that great kid who smoked pot occasionally in my teens.  Straight A's, on my way to a fantastic college, but just wanted to be involved when my friends were doing it.  My mom, an AP parent with the most open communication style of any mother I've ever heard of, basically told me (and, a few years later, my younger brother) something to this effect:

 

"Pot isn't legal, and whether or not it's accepted by a lot of people, you are breaking the law, so you always need to be aware.  Just like with alcohol, I would expect that you're smart enough to not drive or participate in anything dangerous when you're under the influence, and you should know that if you're ever in a dangerous situation or need to be picked up from somewhere, even if you're high, I will pick you up and bring you home with NO CONSEQUENCES."  We felt safe to make our own decisions and like our mom would still respect us no matter what, and we knew exactly where we stood.  Your children's safety is always number 1 and they'll make the best decisions when they know that safety comes above punishment.

 

I grew up and pretty quickly realized pot wasn't for me (and PP makes a great point about drug tests).  If you want your teens to behave like adults, treat them like adults.  I agree with PP - if they're smart and mature like you say, they'll probably go through this "phase" and grow out of it pretty quickly, as long as "pot" doesn't become a bad word in your house or something they have to keep secret.

 

FWIW, I've lived in California my whole life and currently live in San Francisco, so I'll admit that my attitude toward marijuana might seem lax depending on where you live. 




So this is pretty much how I stand right now.  I also have other kids call me when they can't call their parents- to talk about all sorts of things.

I just don't want to be too indulgent.  But reading these I think that our naturally supportive family structure will allow them to check out the social scene they are involved in and still have a safe spot to return to.  I do actually know very mature and successful people who choose to smoke pot regularly- just like a glass of wine.  My girls don't drive or ride in other kids cars yet- still taking the city bus and calling me,  I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

For what it's worth- at least a few kids have confided in me about how they smoke, drink, have sex and other things- which they absolutely will not talk to their parents about.  So you might feel great that your kid is making all the right choices- but in reality it's just teenagers being their normal secretive selves.  I find this position uncomfortable and often have to re-evaluate boundries and obligations, but honestly- I just feel lucky that my kids are coming to me instead of going to someone else.

I'm keeping my antennae up high and keeping them close to home- at least for the time being.  We'll continue to educate ourselves and collect information so we're all informed.  We can always change our minds.

:)

post #11 of 41

I also know many mature and successful people who smoke pot as adults . . and it is possible I am among them, although I plead the 5th on this one.

 

I am impressed your kids are coming to you.  I would posit there are zillions of parents with pot-smoking and drinking kids who have no idea that it is going on.  I was a very "successful" teen - second in my HS graduating class, AP classes all the way, 3 varsity sports, was accepted at one of the nation's most prestigious colleges early decision, and as a teen was a fairly frequent pot smoker, often attending classes high.  I say this not to suggest that "well I smoked and I'm fine" but rather to put another spin on the issue since I know there are many people for whom the idea of pot smoking is shocking and represents a downward spiral of decline.  (My parents are among them, and have no idea of my youthful indiscretions.)

 

I certainly don't want to condone the idea of kids smoking pot (I'm a few years from my oldest getting to this point but I already have some anxiety about how I will approach this situation without being seriously hypocritical), and I don't have a game plan yet for how I will react if that happens, but I think it's pretty incredible that your kids are that open with you.  My biggest concern is safety.  Do your kids really know how incredibly dangerous driving while high is?  (I knew it intellectually as a teen, but I put myself in SO many stupid driving situations it makes me cringe.) Do they know how different smoking pot can be if they have had a few beers?  Can they commit to keeping those things separate? Do they have any idea how many dumb decisions they might make in those situations? What is their plan to stay safe?  If they are not smoking pot on your property, *where* are they smoking?  Have they thought that all through?  Ditto to the issue of the drug test that many others cited.

 

Finally, your town and community might be pretty relaxed about these things, but one wrong turn (i.e., an arrest) could change their lives in a very negative way.  They might, for example, on a job application 15 years hence, be forced to describe the circumstances of an arrest and possible conviction for pot possession.  I know many who have had to deal with this.  I think it's important they do recognize that despite the fact that your community is accepting of pot, there are many who are NOT.  And that's one of the great things about MDC - you are sure to get many replies to this thread reflecting that viewpoint.  Best of luck with your girls.

post #12 of 41

Most employers know that things you did as a teen does not mean you're that way as an adult.  I know for a fact you could have done drugs and admitted it and still get a Top Secret Security clearance.  They really don't care about MJ.  Most of the Intel in the Military and Civilian sector have MJ use in their records.  That doesn't stop some of us from pulling 6 figures.  They tend to worry more about the ones that have never done anything.  As they should.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PennyRoo View Post

I also know many mature and successful people who smoke pot as adults . . and it is possible I am among them, although I plead the 5th on this one.

 

I am impressed your kids are coming to you.  I would posit there are zillions of parents with pot-smoking and drinking kids who have no idea that it is going on.  I was a very "successful" teen - second in my HS graduating class, AP classes all the way, 3 varsity sports, was accepted at one of the nation's most prestigious colleges early decision, and as a teen was a fairly frequent pot smoker, often attending classes high.  I say this not to suggest that "well I smoked and I'm fine" but rather to put another spin on the issue since I know there are many people for whom the idea of pot smoking is shocking and represents a downward spiral of decline.  (My parents are among them, and have no idea of my youthful indiscretions.)

 

I certainly don't want to condone the idea of kids smoking pot (I'm a few years from my oldest getting to this point but I already have some anxiety about how I will approach this situation without being seriously hypocritical), and I don't have a game plan yet for how I will react if that happens, but I think it's pretty incredible that your kids are that open with you.  My biggest concern is safety.  Do your kids really know how incredibly dangerous driving while high is?  (I knew it intellectually as a teen, but I put myself in SO many stupid driving situations it makes me cringe.) Do they know how different smoking pot can be if they have had a few beers?  Can they commit to keeping those things separate? Do they have any idea how many dumb decisions they might make in those situations? What is their plan to stay safe?  If they are not smoking pot on your property, *where* are they smoking?  Have they thought that all through?  Ditto to the issue of the drug test that many others cited.

 

Finally, your town and community might be pretty relaxed about these things, but one wrong turn (i.e., an arrest) could change their lives in a very negative way.  They might, for example, on a job application 15 years hence, be forced to describe the circumstances of an arrest and possible conviction for pot possession.  I know many who have had to deal with this.  I think it's important they do recognize that despite the fact that your community is accepting of pot, there are many who are NOT.  And that's one of the great things about MDC - you are sure to get many replies to this thread reflecting that viewpoint.  Best of luck with your girls.



 

post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamahart View Post

So you might feel great that your kid is making all the right choices- but in reality it's just teenagers being their normal secretive selves. 


This comment frustrates me for there are plenty of teens that are truly not involving themselves in this stuff. I didn't as a kid. The vast majority of my friends didn't. I went to a college in an area where smoking pot was everywhere and yet it was still the majority that didn't. My DD has called me when a party turned into a drinking party and she was uncomfortable. She came home pissed off this summer because a small group of kids in a show she was in got high before a performance including her dance partner who had to perform some very complicated and potentially dangerous lifts. Of course HE felt in total control, she could tell his reflexes were off and fudged the choreography so she didn't end up head first into the stage floor. Thankfully, these kids were caught, thrown out of the show and suspended from the program for 6 months. DD and DS talk plenty to us about drug and alcohol use but they are pretty unimpressed with kids who do it and are quick to distance themselves and tell us why. 

 

I am very glad your kids are talking to you. That says great things about your relationship! I just hate the assumption that all kids do this but parents are just too clueless to know. Let's give kids some credit... many out there that seem like they are making decent choices actually are.

 

If your kids do decide to become pot smokers, I suspect they will outgrow it like most people do and be just fine. I think it's a good thing to keep an eye on. Remember teens don't have a good sense of their own mortality. They "know it" but they don't yet "feel it." I don't think I really understood what my mortality meant until my first child was born. Teens take risks that fully mature adults would not. It's not their fault... they are wired that way and lack the experience to really understand their limitations. Just watch them with the vehicles and such. you might also consider learning some relaxation techniques along with them. Everyone needs to know how to unwind and release stress... it's good to find ways that aren't dangerous and don't involve a drink, a smoke, a hit. DD and I started yoga together last year when she was getting stressed out. She's looking for a higher energy stress release now... she's thinking kick-boxing lol.

 

Ironically, I'm actually for legalizing and regulating pot because I have seen too many of my friends with cancer and aides have to feel dirty and break laws trying to find some relief which pot can truly offer in those situations with much less side effects than your regular prescription drugs (and the medical marijuana act in our state really doesn't offer much protection.) I admit, I haven't thought much of the few adults who continue but whatever. I don't feel kids should be doing it for the reasons I said above.

 

I do wish you the best of luck.

 

 

 

 

post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by JenniO11 View Post

I was that great kid who smoked pot occasionally in my teens.  Straight A's, on my way to a fantastic college, but just wanted to be involved when my friends were doing it.  My mom, an AP parent with the most open communication style of any mother I've ever heard of, basically told me (and, a few years later, my younger brother) something to this effect:

 

"Pot isn't legal, and whether or not it's accepted by a lot of people, you are breaking the law, so you always need to be aware.  Just like with alcohol, I would expect that you're smart enough to not drive or participate in anything dangerous when you're under the influence, and you should know that if you're ever in a dangerous situation or need to be picked up from somewhere, even if you're high, I will pick you up and bring you home with NO CONSEQUENCES."  We felt safe to make our own decisions and like our mom would still respect us no matter what, and we knew exactly where we stood.  Your children's safety is always number 1 and they'll make the best decisions when they know that safety comes above punishment.

 

I grew up and pretty quickly realized pot wasn't for me (and PP makes a great point about drug tests).  If you want your teens to behave like adults, treat them like adults.  I agree with PP - if they're smart and mature like you say, they'll probably go through this "phase" and grow out of it pretty quickly, as long as "pot" doesn't become a bad word in your house or something they have to keep secret.

 

FWIW, I've lived in California my whole life and currently live in San Francisco, so I'll admit that my attitude toward marijuana might seem lax depending on where you live. 

I agree with you, I have the same attitude with my teen daughters as your mom did. So far though they are drug and alcohol free.*knock on wood*



 

post #15 of 41

I was ok with a small amount of recreational marijuana smoking, but it can have serious consequences.  My son made a stupid mistake and has a DUI on his record. Forever.

 

My son was pulled over at 1AM for not having his license plate illuminated.  His car was searched, and a tiny bit of pot was found in his glove compartment (it belonged to his passenger, but that is neither here nor there - your car, your pot).  My son was tested, and he tested positive for marijuana - it was a trace amount, he was at 0 the very next week.  He was not high behind the wheel, but in Illinois, any amount is impaired driving.  With fines, mandatory drug counseling, attorneys fees and so on, this ended up costing him about $2500.

 

My son would never get behind the wheel drunk or high, but who ever thought an act you did 3 weeks before would bite you so hard in the butt?  That is something you may feel free to share.

post #16 of 41

Enkmom I am so sorry that happened to your son.

 

post #17 of 41
Thread Starter 

I am really appreciating all these responses!  It is so useful to have real life information and stories to share with the girls as we figure out the best way to deal with this particular moment.  I am considering letting them read this thread,  meanwhile we have had a snuggled down weekend with family events, cousins, food and lots of talking. 

Keep the ideas coming if your up for it,  I'm all ears!

stillheart.gif

post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

I've been in the car with some high as Fuq people as a teen and paranoia driving is not safe!

 



 



I always roll my eyes at the people who say "I'm a better driver when I'm high, because it makes me more aware".  (adults on this site say this, not the kids) And, I think they are either deluded or lying.  I've also been high as an adult, and there is NO way anybody smoking pot is a good driver.  So, if my child was smoking pot, he or she would be paying for her own insurance, and would not be driving my vehicles.  

 

I do not think smoking pot is all that bad... but, it's illegal, and my kids would know that I do not support, or agree with it, and I will not be responsible for those types of decisions, if they choose to make them.  

 

I have told my daughter that if I EVER, ever find out she was texting while driving, that I would take her keys and her phone.  So, I will happily do the same if she were to ever smoke pot or drink and drive.   

 

BUT, I have always told my daughter that if she is ever partying, or if the person she drove with is partying, I'll come get them, no questions asked.

post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

 I just hate the assumption that all kids do this but parents are just too clueless to know. Let's give kids some credit... many out there that seem like they are making decent choices actually are.

 

 

 

 



My daughter is 19, and has never been drunk or high.   I didn't even raise her to be like that.. I hoped it's the choice she would make, but I didn't really expect it.  She made the choice herself.  She has no interest in drugs or alcohol, and I don't think she ever will.  She has only two friends who party, and all the rest made the same choice she has made.  

post #20 of 41

I doubt this mama raised her kids to be like "that" whatever that means but it was rude.

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