How to tell my parents I smoke weed

Published Jan 25, 2019 04:35 p.m. ET

Having “the weed talk” with family - do’s and don’ts

 Now that weed is legal the only thing holding most people back from consuming openly is job requirements, and the inability to tell the people they are closest to that they smoke. While we can’t help with any job requirements, we can speak from personal and professional experience about some of the best ways to tell your family that you partake, including tips that can assist you in explaining to your children what marijuana is, and why their parents might have it. Cannabis was, until recently illegal for anything other than medical use, therefore mostly hidden and just not discussed outside of a few specific folks who were already aware that you smoked as they likely did so themselves. That should no longer be the case. Marijuana is now being treated similarly to alcohol which is also legal to consume for recreational purposes. If you choose to avoid these talks, you could potentially put your own, or someone else's well being in jeopardy.

Telling your parents

Honesty is essential for any healthy relationship to flourish. Telling your parents could be more beneficial to you than merely allowing you the ability to consume openly. Having “the talk” enables you to gauge other people’s comfort levels. You just don't know if you never ask, and if for any reason something happens to you while using marijuana, then they can inform medical practitioners of your use, which many don’t realize can profoundly affect certain medications effectiveness. In other words, telling your parents you use marijuana could potentially save your life. While the thought of sitting down mom and dad and telling them your longest kept secret may be terrifying, chances are you are only picturing one worst case scenario. Many have found that an open discussion ends up a lot more respectful than they had initially assumed it would be. If your parents are dead set against marijuana use than your approach should differ slightly than speaking to someone who already appears to have an open mind on the subject. Here is a list of helpful tips on the most effective ways to let your parents know about your choice to use cannabis.

  1. Be Prepared
    When faced with talking to parents whom you already know hold a low opinion of marijuana use, you may want to equip yourself with some real scientific data. Print it out if need be, since we tend to forget things when we’re nervous. Make sure the information you have is relevant to your personal use, and that when you read it, you feel confident in your understanding of the data. This will help you to build confidence that will help you maintain a conversation even if it gets a little heated.

  2. How to Start A Conversation
    Begin the talk with an honest explanation of how much they mean to you. Include why you value their opinion and why you want to come clean about your use. In most cases this will help to build trust, so even if they don’t like what they hear they will be more liable to remain calm.

  3. Justifying Your Use

  • If you have a healthy relationship with your parents and overall consider yourself a functional, normal person and are not struggling with things like maintaining a job or personal life, then use that as an example of how it doesn't negatively affect you. Many feel it helps to compare marijuana use to alcohol use. Consider asking your parents how they feel about you drinking alcohol. Ask why they think it is any different and discuss why.
  • If you use medically, then this is an excellent time to explain the many benefits of medical use. Focus on the benefits of choosing marijuana over other options such as muscle relaxers and opioids.
  • Alternatively, if you feel that you may be struggling with marijuana use then consider sharing that. Since the focus of this discussion is building trust, it is essential to be completely honest about all aspects of your use including positive and negative.
  1. Scientific Fact
  • Pointing out how inaccurate most of the propaganda our parents were exposed to that may have tainted their opinions of cannabis use seems to be a positively accepted topic. It is incredibly easy to sit down with mom or dad with a laptop and look back through some of the most widely spread propaganda that may be familiar to them while taking each one apart piece by piece and essentially explaining how inaccurate they are, and how this has been proven scientifically.
  • If the previous points are not enough to make you feel at ease with the conversation, then this is the time to pull out your printed researched data. Many people respond better to being presented with facts, rather than opinion. Pulling out the data card immediately be confrontational and likely won’t garner the response you want, so make sure this point is the last resort.

Remember, if you genuinely want to have the most positive open discussion you need to maintain complete honesty and be understanding of why their views differ from yours. While also holding your ground on the fact that it is your choice and that you would like them to respect it.

Smoking weed as a parent - How to tell the kids

Smoking weed as a parent is a little different these days thanks to legalization. There is no longer any need to hide your use, and it is scientifically proven to be safer for your children when you don’t. Marijuana use should be treated the very same way you would like alcohol. It should also be stored in a similar fashion, in either containers hat are childproof, out of reach or in the very least not easily accessible. Now if your kids are older this talk is more like telling a friend. Kids tend not to be overly invested in the drug of choice of their parents. If there are no significant or dangerous ramifications for the user, then your children won’t have any cause to worry about your use. For those who have young children, the discussion should be simple, educational, and honest. Kids these days have not been exposed to the same propaganda we once were, and society itself has become more accepting of marijuana use in general. While it may still feel a little daunting explaining the subject to kids, that is mostly because of your own personal history with discrimination against the plant. Here are a few tips to ease the transition into an honest talk with your kids about marijuana use.

  1. Don’t Avoid It
    The younger, the better. Once a child begins to speak, they will start asking questions about everything they see. The more times your child must ask and the ore times you avoid the subject, the less comfortable they will be talking about it. There is no perfect age to explain cannabis use to a child, but it is safe to say that once you think they have a basic understanding of the concept you at least begin with explaining the basics.

  2. For Grown-Ups Only
    Be sure one of the first things you make clear is that it is an adult only substance. If they say they want to try it, then tell them that once they are old enough to buy it, then they can make a choice on their own. Remain non-judgmental in your tone, just as you would if the conversation was about alcohol.

  3. It’s Not Glamorous
    One mistake some parents make even when talking about alcohol is glamorizing its use and effects around children. You don’t want your little ones thinking that marijuana is something they would wish to try in any way. Stick to the facts until they are old enough to use it themselves. This will discourage them from sneaking around looking for mommy’s stash when our back is turned.

  4. Explain Health Aspects
    Just like you would explain that smoking cigarette isn't healthy, you want to maintain that same idea here. While it doesn’t need to be vilified, it does need to be explained as something that comes with consequences just like any other substance adults choose to use.

  5. Safety
    One of the most recommended topics of choice is the safety precautions children should take if they come across cannabis products. Explain they should never eat or touch any cannabis products. Let them know they could make them feel sick and that they should inform an adult immediately if they find themselves in contact with any.

While having the talk, no matter who it’s with is hardly ever easy; it’s an important task to be completed. Not just for health and safety reasons, but also to encourage the shift in culture that is currently still heavily vilified by many. Our children are lucky that they get to grow up in a world where mommy or daddy consuming marijuana doesn’t mean a fear of jail or worse. Building trust and having open, honest conversations is the best place for some much-anticipated changes in societies overall view of cannabis use to start.

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