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rhodeslindsey 06-07-2014 04:56 PM

Teen Marijuana Issues
 
I'm new to the forum, but I'm really looking for advice on a teen (16) that has been caught TWICE now smoking Marijuana.

My son is generally a good kid. Last summer (he was 15) he was caught his first time smoking marijuana. I know kids are going to experiment, and I've always tried to be honest with my kids, and let them feel like they can talk to me. But, needless to say, this incident wasn't cool to his parents. He was grounded for most of the summer.

He plays football and has a huge opportunity, being as he's so good at it. He's already had college recruiters contact him. He's very good at the sport. He has such a bright and promising future!

I noticed a change in his behavior recently. He was sleeping alot, and as soon as he got up he would go to his friends house. So I knew something was going on. Low and behold, we dropped in at his "friends" house a few days ago.. and the smell would knock you down! His dad really had a hard time with it.. because we asked him several times if he was doing it. A few days before we caught him, him and his dad had a heart to heart talk, and he lied to him, basically had his dad believing he wasn't doing anything.

I knew better, but I just had to catch him. And sure enough. I did.

I'm really torn on what to do. And would LOVE some advice. He's grounded from everything, and we've had alot of heart to heart talks about the effects of marijuana and what it can cause, and what it can lead to. But, I really don't think we're getting through to him.

He's got such a bright future, I'm not really sure how I can get him to understand that doing this is going to mess his future up!

Any ideas??

anyalily 06-07-2014 10:34 PM

I would remind him that there are natural consequences of use... He may not have as much energy for football and therefore may not stand out. School will be more of a shlep and he may have to study twice as hard. College will be harder... He could get in trouble. He could really screw up if he got behind the wheel after smoking... But mama, beyond that, I am not sure what would really make a difference. Control and punishment is not terribly effective with this sort of thing.

I would say that it is possible he is medicating himself. I know that when I was that age, I smoked because it eased my anxiety. I would have been well served to learn about anxiety and techniques for relieving it. Access to a good counselor I could trust, one I could talk about pot with without getting in trouble. I probably would have still smoked once in a while, but not not regularly, I wouldn't have needed it in the same way. I ended up passing up trips and opportunities in order to be around a smoke friendly environment... And in in the long run, I eventually had to deal with my anxiety anyway...

whatsnextmom 06-08-2014 09:57 AM

Well, he could still have a bright future. I know my DH smoked pot socially when I met him at 21. He was disengaged... hard working but without a purpose and in the habit of hanging out with the neighborhood kids (well past when they were "kids.") I didn't ask him to stop but I was open that I can't stand being around the stuff and he hasn't touched it since. Most kids that experiment or use socially outgrow it. The real problem is that if he's using it as an escape, as a method of dealing with stress or physical pain from a high impact sport, then he's not learning sober coping skills and thus, the drug use could continue or escalate.

Does he actually enjoy football? Is it something he gets excited about going to? Does he, himself, see a future in it? Is he engaged at school? What is his income source that he can afford it? What kind of supervision does he have after school and on weekends? Does he do any volunteer work?

FWIW, most kids outgrow it. If he continues in college sports, it might get worse as it's a big problem in college athletics. Yes, it's heart breaking. I would consider some counselling to perhaps see if there is something other than "but my friends do it and I'm bored" going on. I'd also be encouraging or perhaps requiring some non football activities. Something that gives him more purpose and for which he will need a clear mind to really engage in. Get him around some kids for which pot is not acceptable. There are plenty around.

philomom 06-08-2014 11:26 AM

This is one of the disadvantages with most Americans now thinking pot is okay... its just too easy for teens to get it and share it. We know a couple of kids now who were expelled from high school because they came to school high. Such a waste of a bright young life.

Viola P 06-08-2014 01:35 PM

My parents tried to be very strict with me about smaller things like smoking a bit of pot and it totally backfired. As a result i can't imagine that i would ever ground either of my kids or do too much of anything for smoking a bit of weed.

As for the sleeping, as it turns out teens need a ton of sleep. Basically they're like toddlers in that regard. So, I wouldn't worry too much about the sleep. Maybe if he sleeps more he'll have less time to smoke weed and less need to do so.

Good luck, that's a toughie

snarfmcgarf 06-08-2014 05:00 PM

This is such a tough one, because it can be really damaging at his age-getting caught could screw up his chance at a scholarship. At the same time, every adult smoker I know is a fully functioning, successful individual. I imagine your son sees this as well, and so thinks "it's not that bad", and the truth is, it's not.
I'm not sure I'd punish, either. Luckily my dd is 7 so I've got a few years before having to deal with this myself.

homemommy 06-09-2014 02:55 PM

We went through this with my 9th and 11th grade boys this year. As a parent I felt I had to lay down the law on this issue. We have several addicts in our family that all started out recreationally and now have destroyed lives. It is just too risky. I randomly screen my boys for drugs now. If they are not clean their cell phones, car keys, and freedoms all disappear. I explained the repercussions of what happens if they are caught since it is illegal in our state, as well as the negative impact it has on developing brains under 25. Communication is super important! We have open dialogue frequently. I express to them how I feel about the medical use of marijuana to replace all the pills everyone is hooked on these days. And how I do agree that recreational use of pot should only be used by responsible established adults in the same way they might have a glass or two of wine.

Good luck with this! I know it is a tough issue and difficult to know how to handle it in the right way. So far my boys are responding well and have had no dirty tests since Feb.

Viola P 06-09-2014 05:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homemommy (Post 17674129)
We went through this with my 9th and 11th grade boys this year. As a parent I felt I had to lay down the law on this issue. We have several addicts in our family that all started out recreationally and now have destroyed lives. It is just too risky. I randomly screen my boys for drugs now. If they are not clean their cell phones, car keys, and freedoms all disappear. I explained the repercussions of what happens if they are caught since it is illegal in our state, as well as the negative impact it has on developing brains under 25. Communication is super important! We have open dialogue frequently. I express to them how I feel about the medical use of marijuana to replace all the pills everyone is hooked on these days. And how I do agree that recreational use of pot should only be used by responsible established adults in the same way they might have a glass or two of wine.

Good luck with this! I know it is a tough issue and difficult to know how to handle it in the right way. So far my boys are responding well and have had no dirty tests since Feb.

I could never live with that level of surveillance and lack of trust.

homemommy 06-09-2014 08:10 PM

Well they really brought it on themselves by disobeying the rules we have set in our family. Don't use drugs and do stupid things that could destroy your future and I won't have to micromanage you... It is their choice how much freedom they are given. I won't stand around and turn a blind eye as my children become potheads I'll tell you that right now.


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OrmEmbar 06-10-2014 07:54 AM

My teen actually liked the idea of spontaneous drug tests because she would have the perfect reason to say no. We haven't moved to actually doing any tests yet but the conversation has been unfolding about drugs, their effects, why people might like being high or mellow or hyper aware of physical feelings, the importance of caring for oneself, which drugs can kill or cause irreversible brain damage with the first dose, the importance of being aware of food and drinks that are consumed at parties etc.
Random drug tests came up as a tool that could be used so that she feels strongly empowered to say no if she is offered

philomom 06-10-2014 05:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Viola P (Post 17674689)
I could never live with that level of surveillance and lack of trust.

Oh well, I don't have clothe, feed and house a drug user or loan them the family car... that is MY choice as a parent. If my kid hates my rules, he can move out when he's 18.

Viola P 06-10-2014 08:33 PM

Is it the marijuana itself or that you are concerned about your child getting thrown in jail for something so silly as smoking a little weed? Like, would you not care if you lived in Colorado, or Amsterdam? I understand the need to protect ones child from immoral state interference...

Linda on the move 06-10-2014 09:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Viola P (Post 17685705)
Is it the marijuana itself or that you are concerned about your child getting thrown in jail for something so silly as smoking a little weed?..

I live in a city that is heavily drawn into the drug war in Mexico. If either of my kids were foolish enough to do anything that drew them closer to that world, then I would do everything in my power to put a stop to it. (I have a friend whose son got involved, became a dealer, and was eventually murder, because that how it works in this part of the country).

But I don't live in the middle of the country where middle class people can pretend that this is a victimless crime. I live were burned out cars are found in the dessert, and the bodies can't be identified. I know in other places its different, but this is where it comes from. There is so much money to be made of your attitude, that lots of people are willing to kill over this.

I think that the lives of many innocent (and not so innocent) Mexicans could be saved if Americans would consider where their drugs came from. This is really not an industry that ANYONE with a conscious should be supporting.
(may be the OPer could have her son research the drug war and how it effects peoples lives)

Besides, my kids have very blessed lives and bright futures, they can learn to have fun and to cope with difficulties in more creative ways that getting stoned.

Viola P 06-10-2014 09:55 PM

"But I don't live in the middle of the country where middle class people can pretend that this is a victimless crime. I live were burned out cars are found in the dessert, and the bodies can't be identified. I know in other places its different, but this is where it comes from. There is so much money to be made of your attitude, that lots of people are willing to kill over this."


Legalizing would fix all those ^ problems and then some as the product would be better if regulated (or at least there'd be some quality assurance!)

I think the solution for anyone concerned about their family getting drawn into a marijuana drug war is to start lobbying for legalization.

QueenOfTheMeadow 06-11-2014 09:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Linda on the move (Post 17685897)
I live in a city that is heavily drawn into the drug war in Mexico. If either of my kids were foolish enough to do anything that drew them closer to that world, then I would do everything in my power to put a stop to it. (I have a friend whose son got involved, became a dealer, and was eventually murder, because that how it works in this part of the country).

But I don't live in the middle of the country where middle class people can pretend that this is a victimless crime. I live were burned out cars are found in the dessert, and the bodies can't be identified. I know in other places its different, but this is where it comes from. There is so much money to be made of your attitude, that lots of people are willing to kill over this.

I think that the lives of many innocent (and not so innocent) Mexicans could be saved if Americans would consider where their drugs came from. This is really not an industry that ANYONE with a conscious should be supporting.
(may be the OPer could have her son research the drug war and how it effects peoples lives)

Besides, my kids have very blessed lives and bright futures, they can learn to have fun and to cope with difficulties in more creative ways that getting stoned.

I'm all for legalization, but it's not right now. Along with all the things listed above, there have been fire fighters shot at and threatened by people who want them to protect their plants instead of evacuating due to the wild fires.

Right now, it is a crime. For that reason alone I would not make light of my kids smoking. Not to mention the damage it can do to undeveloped minds that have already been scientifically proven to have serious issues with being able to see consequences.

Then, add to it the fact that my dh is a federal law enforcement officer that has to deal with people, teens especially, making really bad, sometimes tragic decisions because they're high, I really would do everything possible to keep my kids from smoking.

Viola P 06-11-2014 10:51 AM

The OP asked for opinions so I'm going to give mine even though I know it'll probably offend some.

First, random drug testing your own children is an authoritarian approach to parenting, which I understand had been proven to create adult personalities that are defiant towards authority and untrusting.

Id also be concerned that if my kids don't let loose a little when they're young they'll do it when they're old and have a lot more to loose.

Also, as a woman I would never want to be so controlling over my male children especially because I can pretty much guarantee that those boys will grow up to have serious issues with women and make terrible husbands. If the science shows that kids who are raised by authoritarian parents balk at legit authority later on it stands to reason that if the enforcer (or prime authority figure) is the mother boys will grow up to balk at what they perceive to be female authority. I can imagine boys raised like that becoming men who say to their wives "you can't tell me what to do", and ultimately end up divorced.

As for the legal consequences, I would always want to teach my children how to be "cop smart" by teaching them how to say no to a search request, how to identify a search request, and what to do if detained or arrested.

Finally, I plan on turning a blind eye to small things so that my children can have their normal teenage rebellion without feeling the need to turn to bigger badder rebellions like smoking crack or b &e's

Just my 2c

Linda on the move 06-11-2014 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Viola P (Post 17687345)
First, random drug testing your own children is an authoritarian approach to parenting, which I understand had been proven to create adult personalities that are defiant towards authority and untrusting.

Our parenting style isn't determined by our approach to one, single issue in the teen years. Our kids personalities are pretty much formed by this point by the myriad of decisions we made up to now. They do have the capability to screw up their futures, though.

My DH works in an industry where random drug testing is required. On one hand, I don't think drug testing is a big deal. At the same time, it would make me sad if my kids started screwing up their lives in ways that I felt it was what was best for them. I don't like to pry into their lives, and I prefer for them to have privacy. But at this point, privacy is a privileged based on trust. I totally get why parents do things differently after their kids break that trust.

Quote:

Id also be concerned that if my kids don't let loose a little when they're young they'll do it when they're old and have a lot more to loose.
there are ways to cut loose without breaking the law or killing brain cells.

Quote:

As for the legal consequences, I would always want to teach my children how to be "cop smart" by teaching them how to say no to a search request, how to identify a search request, and what to do if detained or arrested.
honestly, that you think that is the biggest issue is a privilege based on where you live. I noticed you are in Canada. I know how this stuff works in the US, but not Canada. Where does your pot come from? Who grew it? If it came from Mexico, then it is covered with blood.

If there were ever an item to boycott because the producers are immoral, its drugs from Mexico and the rest of Latin America.

Quote:

Finally, I plan on turning a blind eye to small things so that my children can have their normal teenage rebellion without feeling the need to turn to bigger badder rebellions like smoking crack or b &e's
this is the real difference between our points of view. I think that this is a big deal that could seriously impact my children's lives.

QueenOfTheMeadow 06-12-2014 07:30 AM

Quote:

As for the legal consequences, I would always want to teach my children how to be "cop smart" by teaching them how to say no to a search request, how to identify a search request, and what to do if detained or arrested.
Unfortunately, when you're high, being "cop smart" becomes even more difficult. People don't make good decisions when they're drunk or high. People's brains don't completely mature until they are 25. Add those 2 things together and smarts rapidly decrease.

discalceata 06-12-2014 10:48 AM

Those of you taking the authoritarian approach and drug-testing your kids, I'm just curious - when they go off to college, and you're not standing there with a cup and punishments in hand, what do you think they're going to do? Why shouldn't they share a doobie with their dorm buddies?

homemommy 06-12-2014 11:28 AM

My boys will go to college with the understanding that if they want their father and I to pay for college they will not participate in illegal activities. If they do and we find out about it we will no longer pay and they can figure it out on their own.


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snarfmcgarf 06-12-2014 11:49 AM

I live in a medical marijuana state- our weed (our used loosely, I don't smoke) comes from indoor growers and the occasional outdoor grower who's aligned with a local cannabis club. That eliminates the cartel.

discalceata 06-12-2014 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homemommy (Post 17690682)
My boys will go to college with the understanding that if they want their father and I to pay for college they will not participate in illegal activities. If they do and we find out about it we will no longer pay and they can figure it out on their own.

Okay, so the real lesson here is "don't get caught." Gotcha. Good luck!

discalceata 06-12-2014 11:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snarfmcgarf (Post 17690738)
I live in a medical marijuana state- our weed (our used loosely, I don't smoke) comes from indoor growers and the occasional outdoor grower who's aligned with a local cannabis club. That eliminates the cartel.

Yeah, I don't smoke either but I live in California and there are growers aplenty right here in the state. Everybody I know who likes weed gets it from a legal dispensary and the dispensaries are pretty good about their sources.

If you're really bothered by the social effects of illegal drugs, then ending Prohibition is your best bet. Same as alcohol in the 1920's - Prohibition caused way more problems and killed far more people than the substance ever did. And really the only significant difference between alcohol and marijuana is that alcohol is more dangerous… but I sure enjoy a glass of wine in moderation.

I'm all about moderation and a rational evaluation of risk vs. benefit.

homemommy 06-12-2014 12:33 PM

No, discalceata, that is not the real lesson we are trying to instill. It is a deterrent in hopes they will make wise decisions. Like I stated in my original post, we have lots of open conversations about alcohol, pot, pills, and drugs in general. I grew up with my parents growing pot in our back yard. Their entire lives revolved around growing, smoking, drinking, partying, etc...which ultimately ended up ruining our family. I have 2 drug addicted siblings and my mother is an alcoholic and I am estranged from my father. My husband and I financially support my mother and brother in various ways. All that to say, I am not afraid of or against pot and strongly believe in it's medical benefits. The lesson I want my boys to learn is that it is illegal for them to smoke at this point in their life, and their brains are not finished developing yet. I do not want their neurons creating addiction pathways when the addiction gene runs so strongly in my family. As far as my husband and I are concerned, the longer we can keep them away from drugs and alcohol the better they will be for it.


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QueenOfTheMeadow 06-12-2014 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by discalceata (Post 17690770)
Yeah, I don't smoke either but I live in California and there are growers aplenty right here in the state. Everybody I know who likes weed gets it from a legal dispensary and the dispensaries are pretty good about their sources.

If you're really bothered by the social effects of illegal drugs, then ending Prohibition is your best bet. Same as alcohol in the 1920's - Prohibition caused way more problems and killed far more people than the substance ever did. And really the only significant difference between alcohol and marijuana is that alcohol is more dangerous… but I sure enjoy a glass of wine in moderation.

I'm all about moderation and a rational evaluation of risk vs. benefit.

I would definitely like to see it legalized, for those exact reasons. That being said, I still wouldn't want my teen smoking it.

discalceata 06-12-2014 03:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homemommy (Post 17690826)
The lesson I want my boys to learn is that it is illegal for them to smoke at this point in their life, and their brains are not finished developing yet. I do not want their neurons creating addiction pathways when the addiction gene runs so strongly in my family. As far as my husband and I are concerned, the longer we can keep them away from drugs and alcohol the better they will be for it.

Fair enough, I get that. Sorry if I came on strong. I had a controlling, punishment-based upbringing and it made me a bit sensitive to authoritarianism in all forms, and it left me unprepared for the real world when I moved out. I'd lived through my teens rebelling when I wouldn't get caught and making my decisions based on the likelihood of punishments, so once I moved out (as soon as I turned 18), I wasn't really equipped to make rational decisions without the threat of punishment involved.

We all have to do what we feel is best for our own families. I apologize if I was rude.

Quote:

Originally Posted by QueenOfTheMeadow (Post 17690962)
I would definitely like to see it legalized, for those exact reasons. That being said, I still wouldn't want my teen smoking it.

I wouldn't want my teen smoking it either, and I'd let them know why. I just don't think it's an offense worth turning my home into a police state. Everybody's going to do what they're going to do; I just can't personally see myself subjecting my kid to drug screenings. I don't think employers have any business doing that either. I'm a huge believer in privacy.

Viola P 06-12-2014 10:00 PM

Home mommy and the others who do drug testing - can you please clarify whether it's likely that you'd go to jail for simple possession where you are? If so that's pretty crazy.

I'm with discalceata as I too was raised in a very authoritarian household where I was grounded frequently for disobeying the rules and had privileges revoked including those related to privacy and I also left home at a very young age. Actually I was kicked out for disobeying a rule. Yeah... would never ever ever raise my kids like that. I won't say what happened when I was out on my own at 15 with nowhere to go but I will say that it was terrible. Those approaches to parenting make me very worried for the children, particularly the teens who will test the rules! A true authoritarian will escalate the punishment to the point of insanity.

Bless you and your children!

Linda on the move 06-12-2014 11:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by discalceata (Post 17691314)
I don't think employers have any business doing that either. I'm a huge believer in privacy.

The federal government requires that the entire industry my DH works in tests. No body wants to fly around in planes that were designed by a bunch of stoner engineers. There are other careers like this. It's considered a public safety issue. Most people would rather be in a safe plane than be over concerned with the privacy rights of the people who designed, built, and maintain it.

I'm too busy to work on ensuring that pot heads have a morally defensivable supply (I work with special needs kids in a title one school, so my life is already focused on social justice issues). I feel that my teens should be too busy to break laws, kill brain cells, and flirt with habit forming drugs. Oddly, even though you think I sound authoritarian, my kids have more freedom and control over their own lives than any other kids we know in real life. But there is a line, and it's a firm line. You keep assuming that a parent's approach to ONE issue reflects how they handle everything, and that isn't the case.

I totally agree that our current drug policy and laws don't work. I don't know how any one could even argue with that. But the notion that ALL the problems would be solved by legalizing drugs is naive. There are kids whose lives are all screwed up because of their parents relationship with alcohol. Alcohol being legal doesn't fix the fact that when people over use mind altering substances, they screw up the rest of their lives.

QueenOfTheMeadow 06-13-2014 01:50 AM

I don't do drug testing on my kids, and I'd like to think I wouldn't. But if I was scared enough, I'm not sure what I'd do. I think, even to consider considering it, they'd have to have seriously betrayed my trust and I'd have to believe what they were doing was going to have a serious negative affect on their future.

So far, I'm not to concerned. My oldest son got off the high school bus at a stop a ways away from where he usually gets off because he saw someone with marijuana and he just wanted out of there. We'll see how the younger two handle it when they are confronted with the reality of seeing it. We do discuss the issue of drugs quite a lot, because they often hear the stories of the things that their dad deals with at work surrounding drugs, especially being high and driving.

discalceata 06-13-2014 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Linda on the move (Post 17692778)
The federal government requires that the entire industry my DH works in tests. No body wants to fly around in planes that were designed by a bunch of stoner engineers. There are other careers like this. It's considered a public safety issue. Most people would rather be in a safe plane than be over concerned with the privacy rights of the people who designed, built, and maintain it.

I think it's a pretty big leap to assume that everyone who smokes pot is a raging incompetent stoner. It's funny you mention designing planes; I know a man who does that for a living, has done it for many years and is good at it, and who regularly smokes pot at night and on weekends. Again, it's like alcohol; most people who have a glass of wine in the evening or even get drunk on a weekend are not showing up to work wasted.

I feel like whatever people do on their own time is not their employers' business. If they're showing up to work stoned, absolutely, that's a problem. But work is work and home is home.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Linda on the move (Post 17692778)
I feel that my teens should be too busy to break laws, kill brain cells, and flirt with habit forming drugs. Oddly, even though you think I sound authoritarian, my kids have more freedom and control over their own lives than any other kids we know in real life. But there is a line, and it's a firm line. You keep assuming that a parent's approach to ONE issue reflects how they handle everything, and that isn't the case.

I'm not assuming anything and I totally agree that kids should be too busy with healthier pursuits. I'm glad your family is happy and healthy. Really! Like I said earlier, we all have to make our own decisions about what we feel is best for ourselves and our families. Plenty of room for disagreement and different approaches.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Linda on the move (Post 17692778)
I totally agree that our current drug policy and laws don't work. I don't know how any one could even argue with that. But the notion that ALL the problems would be solved by legalizing drugs is naive. There are kids whose lives are all screwed up because of their parents relationship with alcohol. Alcohol being legal doesn't fix the fact that when people over use mind altering substances, they screw up the rest of their lives.

Absolutely. But Prohibition makes it a lot worse, by creating unregulated, unpredictable dosages, by bringing police violence into the equation, and by making it that much harder for addicts to get the help they need. If we stopped treating it as a criminal issue and started treating it as a physiological issue (which it is), I believe society would be much better off.


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