Dear Stoner: How should I talk to my children about pot?

Dear Stoner: I drive around town with my seven-year-old, and I know it is only a matter of time before he starts asking me about the "MMJ" signs everywhere. How should I talk to my kid about pot, since it is always in his face these days?
Mad Over Marijuana

Dear Mad: I don't think the consumption of marijuana is any more in your child's face than any other adult activity, namely the consumption of alcohol. Pot just stands out more because it's not the norm yet. But think about how many times you've walked past a table full of liquor at a restaurant with your kid in tow: Junior is taking that in just as he is pot dispensary signs.

We're of the opinion that cannabis use in this country is only going to become more commonplace. Eventually, we'll regard it the way we do alcohol, cigarettes, gambling and other "vices" reserved for adults. Yes, there are parents who openly rally against all of those things – but for the most part, parents don't think twice about taking kids to an outdoor cafe where people are drinking or smoking, and there's been no massive push to ban driving through Black Hawk. You don't have to endorse these vices, but they aren't going away anytime soon.

Now, to answer your question: The best way to talk with your kid is to simply talk with your kid. There's no need to find the right angle or wait for him to ask questions. Make it an ongoing discussion, and keep in mind that kids can and do learn that certain activities are adult activities and some are for kids.

Will some kids abuse marijuana as they grow older and start pushing boundaries? Sure. But they'll do that whether pot is legal or illegal, just as teens have done for decades. We advise setting a good example, much as millions of parents do every day with alcohol. They don't tell their children that alcohol is bad and to never touch it. They explain that it is for adults, then model the way to consume it in a responsible manner. My father used to have me get him a beer every day after work. Did I turn into a raging alcoholic? No. Instead, I was taught that alcohol was something for adults to use and for children to stay away from. The same can be true of pot — though we don't suggest that you have Junior grab your bong for you when you get home. (Child-endangerment drug laws are still in place.)

Talk with a level head, and abandon the War on Drugs propaganda, even if you don't agree with the use of marijuana personally. Explain that there's a time and a place for responsible consumption — and note that people can become too consumed by cannabis, just as they can by sex, booze, food, gambling, Beanie Baby collecting — you name it.

My Voice Nation Help

Stop lying to your kids! You are so hooked on all the false negatives you are essentially destroying the truth to instill fear into them. Keep doing that and you might as well prepare to hold the door open for them in a few years! Hope you don't drink ANY alcohol. ALCOHOL IS A DRUG THAT STATISTICS CONTINUALLY LIE ABOUT!  If you believe in the Gateway Drug Theory, then first we need to remind people of this FACT FIRST! Guess what, I'd put $$$ on the fact that more people used alcohol FIRST, even before weed. So just because it is legal, does not make it less dangerous. 

Maybe some of those "stoners", as you called them, look horrible because they hjave cancer...they have glaucoma...Crohn's disease...Alzheimer's...epilepsy..

And maybe they'd have a nicer car if they could get a decent job...but not while companies turn them away for having THC in their system...not high on the job, just using it responsibly...just like chilling with a few beers. What u do on ur weekend should not matter when u go to work Monday morning! It is NONE of ANYONES business.

WillieStortz topcommenter

Instead of preaching to my kids about the dangers of drugs I just take them for a walk past a dispensary. We stand around for a while and watch all the low life mutants going in and out of the store to get their dope. 

My kids get a good up close look at how horrible the stoners look, they see the cheap rusted out cars they drive. That is plenty to scare my kids away from weed.


@WillieStortz Looks like someone needs to do some more research. Then you can take your kid to the liquor store to watch all the "Alcoholics" come in and out. Ya? Ya didn't think so. Ignorant ignorant ignorant. 


@WillieStortz "Low Life Mutants" "how horrible the stoners look" You DO realize that a dispensary is often times medical and the people getting "their dope" are very sick people? I worked at one and we had veterans with PTSD and missing limbs, we had cancer and AIDS patients, we had those with MS or Fibromyalgia... do you also stand outside pharmacies and point at the sick people there? What an asshole.