Teenager using pot!!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 08-21-2003, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all, I am sort of confused. I don't use drugs, but did smoke pot as a teenager. I now know for a fact that my 13 year old has been smoking pot with some of the neighbor kids. I have been acting like its not a big deal, but I know it is. I feel like such a bad mother for not being tougher about it. My dh would have a complete breakdown if he knew what was up. Any advice? I have such a close relationship with my dd, and I am so afraid of wrecking it. We talk about everything. Anybody else having this kind of problem?
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#2 of 8 Old 08-22-2003, 10:17 PM
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Take all of this with a grain of salt. My dd is almost 13 and thankfully, we don't have this problem.
I asked my dd and we think you should definitely talk to your dd about what you know about her pot smoking. Remind her of the health and legal dangers of doing drugs. Maybe could you get her involved in more things like sports or school clubs during the after school hours so she doesn't have time to smoke.
If talking to her doesn't work you need to take the hard line. Could you restrict her access to the neighborhood kids? Punish her for hanging out with the kids that do smoke?
I don't think you are a bad mom at all. I think you are probably confused and scared about how to handle this. I know I would be! Please let us know how things go!
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#3 of 8 Old 08-22-2003, 10:50 PM
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I would definitely talk to her, but make it clear that it is from a standpoint of concern about what she doesn't know about pot, not from a standpoint that would allow her to infer that you think she is stupid/juvenile/bad etc. That, and punishing her as well, would likely backfire on you.

I know a lot of people that smoke pot, and I know that it can be a very useful substance. I also know that if a 13-year-old smokes pot it doesn't necessarily mean that her life is ruined, KWIM? It could possibly be a symptom of something going on that could be damaging to her life, or it could be about the need to fit in, or it could be about true curiosity, but in itself is probably not the end of the world. I actually know someone who started smoking that young, and is a really outstanding person all around.

However. When my kids are old enough to understand (which will be within the next few years I imagine, my oldest is six now) I will be coming on pretty strong on with drug education. A 13-year-old's brain is still developing, and in my opinion that makes for extra risk when using reality-altering substances. But I intend to be completely honest. Kids get really mixed messages about drugs. They see adults in their lives drinking and using prescription drugs and they have enough sense to see that those things are not inherently different from some illegal drugs. So they rightly conclude that we are being less than honest with them, so why should they trust our information and motives when we warn them away or forbid them from these things? Think how you would feel in that situation!

But in the event that I find out that my kids are smoking anyway, I would talk some more about it to them, explain why I believe it's not a good idea, and try to figure out whether there are any underlying issues that need to be addressed. If that wasn't enough, I'm not sure yet how I'd proceed. But I do know that I would be very uncomfortable about simply forbidding it, because very often all that does is drive it underground and make it even more enticing.
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#4 of 8 Old 08-22-2003, 11:19 PM
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Dont let fear dictate your relationship with your daughter. dont fear her , fear for her.

and although alot of folks have smoked pot and think nothing of it, i have a problem with 13 yr olds smoking pot. and God knows where she is getting her stuff.....I mean, they could lace it with something, and she'd be in real trouble. i personally have never gotten high, but thats not my reason for feeling the way i do. i work in an ER, and you would be suprised how many kids come in in bad shape because they got high at some party and someone laced the pot with pcp, or whatever.

so, talk to her. see why she's doing it. is she just "experimenting"? or is she having a problem?
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#5 of 8 Old 08-25-2003, 08:22 PM
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I was 13, hanging out with neighborhood kids, and smoked pot a couple times partly out of peer pressure, partly curiousity. I didn't smoke again till my college experimental/recreational drug period and then not since.

So, yes talk to her. But know this isn't necessarily a slippery slope. It is a bad idea for kids to do drugs because of developing body/brian issues and because of lack of maturity. Talk to her about it, about waiting, about kids you know that got sidetracked by drugs (one of the kids I smoked with at 13 ended up in drug rehab 3 years later and never graduated h.s.).

Be careful to give her accurate info though. I persoanlly think that one of the most ineffective things about anti-drug messages are their exagerations. When a kid smokes pot a couple of times and thier brain doesn't feel like a fried egg, then they think that the whole message is crap. (Also, they use attractive kids in the commericals. If they put nerdy, overweight, pimply teenagers -i.e. normal kids - rather than models in anti-drug anti-smoking ads, these adds would be much more effective).

Good luck. Don't worry about loosing a close relationship with her. More important to talk to her honestly about the real dangers she is toying with.
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#6 of 8 Old 08-27-2003, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all, thanks for posting your advice. It has been a very tricky situation. I have been talking with her about the smoking, and I don't think its for any other reason but fun. She is not depressed, or unhappy. I really hope that now school is back in session, and curfew times change, things will go back to normal. I am going to keep my eyes open for any change that seems dangerous
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#7 of 8 Old 08-30-2003, 11:40 AM
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Just a quick add-on: I told my ds that whatever your personal feelings are about smoking pot (not a big deal, etc.) it is still against the law, and if he's caught with other kids smoking, he will get busted right alongside them.
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#8 of 8 Old 09-18-2003, 11:01 PM
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I started smoking pot when I was 13. I smoked for about 8 years, so I feel that I can confidently speak about MJ use...
That said, I think there are some very important things that your dd needs to know about, and they may not be the ones you think. If you know your child is smoking MJ, and you do not condone usage, make sure your child knows:
1-that you do not approve
2-that they can always talk to you about it openly without being shamed or judged harshly
3-that they know their legal rights.

That last one may not be a discussion you wish to have with your child, but it is very important for people who do smoke pot to be aware of their 4th Ammendment rights - or, the protection against illegal searches and seizures.
Like it or not, your child is smoking MJ and it is illegal. IF she chooses to keep smoking, she will probably be involved in some sort of police situation eventually - esp. if she is 13 and smoking with other kids. Kids are much more likely to smoke pot in places like cars and parks where they are easily apprehendable by police/rangers, because they usually don't have a house they can smoke in. (Where the risk of police intervention is much less.)

When I was younger, and still today, I had many friends who ended up in legal trouble because they did not know their civil rights. If you feel your child will continue somking, I recommend making sure she understands:
1-She can deny a police officer a bodily search, including personal belongings. The officer will then have to obtain a warrant before legally searching.
2-She can be easily bullied into thinking they "have to" let a police officer look in their backpack, pockets, etc...but they do not. Police officers will frequently patronize teenagers by saying things like, "You don't know your rights", "I AM allowed to search you", etc.
3-Smoking pot in a parked car or a public park is just about the worst possible place to do it. Smoking in public=trouble.
4-The 4th Ammendment does not apply to public schools for minors - meaning they can have their belongings searched any time without permission or a warrant while at school.

I know it may send a mixed message to your dd to say "Don't do it, but this is how to do it better," but if you feel she will continue regardless, you owe it to her to educate her to use wisely. That is very very important.
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