Parenting and Pot

December 2, 2011

 

Parenting and Pot

by Karli Duran

 

 

Talking to your children about marijuana is necessary.  Some parents are embarrassed, think their children are too young, or just don’t know what to say.  Try the truth.  If you are a marijuana smoker, and you suspect your child or teenager knows, it is time to talk to them about the pros and cons of marijuana use.  It is also important to stress to your child that until they are an adult, they do not have the cognitive ability to make the choice to smoke marijuana.  The two halves of a male brain do not communicate fully with each other until the age of 26.  The two halves of the female brain do not fully communicate until sometime between the ages of 18 and 21.  This is why insurance rates are higher for young males than young females.  

Unless for medical purposes in medicinal marijuana states, a child or teenager should not engage in smoking marijuana, as well as, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, using prescription pills, or any other illegal drugs.  Out of all the substances listed above, do you know which is the least harmful? Marijuana! But just because marijuana cannot kill you, does not mean it is acceptable for children or teenagers to use.  

If you live in a non medicinal marijuana state, like Texas, and you are smoking marijuana… you are breaking the law.  So how do you explain to your children that it is still ok for you to use marijuana illegally?  First, you explain the history of how and why marijuana became illegal. Second, learn what is happening in legislations across the country and explain the current legislative debates to legalize marijuana, and third, do not smoke in front of them.  Smoke in your room, outdoors, or when you are alone.  

Because Texas is still strict on marijuana laws, you do not want your child smelling like marijuana when they go out in public or telling other people you smoke marijuana.  Most importantly you want to set a good example for your child.  A child does not need to see their parent breaking the law and using marijuana. Be honest with your children, but you do not want to expose them to more than their young brains can handle. 

If you do not have a good relationship with your child and have not talked to them, it is possible they may say something to authorities like an eleven year old boy recently did in Dakota County, Minnesota.  The boy took pictures of his mom and stepfather’s marijuana and turned them into authorities which led to the home being raided and the mother and stepfather being arrested.  It’s difficult telling your child you participate in something considered illegal, but with the right explanation and facts, they maybe able to understand your position. 

Do not feel like you are being a hypocrite.  There are many reasons why it is more acceptable for an adult to use marijuana. Most importantly, a child is still learning coping skills necessary for their adult life.  If a child begins smoking marijuana at an early age, they lose the ability to learn natural coping skills that they will need throughout their adult life to deal with crisis.  It is also unclear what cognitive impairment marijuana can cause to a teenage brain that is not yet fully developed, but this is a concern for all substances, including coffee and over the counter medications.

The bottom line is communication and common sense.  For some great information on how to protect yourself legally go to 420dude.com and read the material listed.  And always remember that you and your children should keep a good criminal defense attorney’s phone number in your cell phones.  I recommend Jamie Balagia, the 420 Dude, at 210-394-3833.  Jamie has friends nationwide as well in case you know anyone that needs legal advise.