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WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITYThe weed talk. It’s no sex-talk, but it’s certainly a necessary part of parenting, especially in today’s day and age where smoking weed is becoming an increasingly normal activity. More than ever before, it’s important to know how to talk to your kids about marijuana. Although smoking weed isn’t necessary for the survival of mankind (those birds and bees are important), it is, in a sense, making its case. With dozens, if not hundreds of practical medicinal uses ranging from therapeutic to cancer-fighting, cannabis undoubtedly plays a factor in the advancement of society as a whole. And for that, it needs to be embraced.
However, like sex itself, there should be certain guidelines in place and discretionary practices involved. That’s where the parent comes in.
Here are a few such tips to ensure your child knows how to use cannabis safely when they come of age. First and foremost, be upfront with your child. Talk to them about some of your experiences with cannabis, including the age you started (if at all), how you felt after using it and what made you use it in the first place. Politely ask your child to do the same, and explain they won’t be punished for their transparency. You’re also going to want to explain the many pros and cons of smoking cannabis, and why it’s okay for some people to use it and not okay for others - specifically, underage consumers.
While weed is not a gateway drug, there is still a high percentage of teens who smoke marijuana at a young age and then go on to experiment with harder drugs when they are older. Although it isn’t necessarily the cannabis itself that causes drug use, there is a small correlation between drug abuse in adulthood and smoking weed at a young age, and that statistic should be expressed in your conversation.
While we can argue the validity of the classification all we want, it’s ultimately the FDA’s decision to label weed in such a stringent manner. As a parent, you should express the varying legality of the plant, while also explicitly stating the implications if caught using the substance illegally. While you and I may think the plant is harmless enough, it’s still considered a drug and should be treated as such - especially when dealing with adolescents. Make it a point not to smoke often in front of your children if you’re a regular smoker, or at the very least, explain that adult activities aren’t necessarily conducive for children. Give them other examples of adult indulgences (alcohol, rated-18 movies) that they also cannot experience yet.
If you don’t mind your child smoking weed when they are of a suitable age, at least explain the difference between casual smoking and over-indulging or abusing the plant. We can all admit that there is a threshold to be crossed when it comes to responsible weed-use, and you’re going to want to avoid having your child becoming a couch-locked stoner if you condone cannabis use.
Explain that while cannabis is a relatively harmless way to wind down, it shouldn’t be abused. Drinking a few beers after work might not make one an alcoholic, but drinking from the time one wakes up until bed time is a different story. Some things are okay in moderation, and weed definitely falls under that category (please note: medical usage is an entirely different beast, as many patients need to medicate throughout the day. Explain the difference to your child). Moral of the story: Use responsibly If you don’t know how to talk to your kids about marijuana, just remember that honesty is the most important tool at your disposal. And who knows, soon the tables could be turned.Time flies and before you know it, your grown-up children might be sitting you down to discuss how medicinal cannabis can benefit seniors, how to choose pot stocks or how to enter the legal cannabis industry.