Talking to your kids about legalization of marijuana?

Avatar for melissamc
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2007
Talking to your kids about legalization of marijuana?
Wed, 11-07-2012 - 12:29pm

I live in WA state, which voted in last night to legalize the production and sale of marijuana.  While I understand the logistics behind the debate - the amount of revenue that the state will gain in both taxes and prosecution savings, better control, etc. -  I still am having a hard time with it. I grew up in the whole "Say No to Drugs" era, I've never done them myself but know plenty of people here that have smoked it.  We do have medical marijuana, which in theory I'm okay with, except that it so abused that it's a joke.  My hope is that with the legalization, people will no longer be able to grow it at home and it will be heavily taxed.  We have neighborhoods here that smell like dead skunks because of all the marijuana growing in neighbor's backyards for their "medical" issue. 

I'm just not sure how I tell my boys that while marijuana is legal, IMHO, it's still not a smart choice.  Even though they might know friends or adults that openly are users, that's not how I want them to live their lives.  The legal age will be 21, but we all know how that goes when it comes to alcohol.  I really could care less what others choose to do in their own home, I just care when it is around me or my kids.  Smoking is illegal period when it comes to inside bars and restaurants as it is, and we have a lot of smoke free zones in parks, etc.  but I still wouldn't be suprised to walk by someone smoking pot out in the open. I realize that I have no control over it as they become adults, but that doesn't mean I don't want to do my best to deter it! 

Any suggestions on how to approach this issue?


Avatar for cmlisab
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011

<<Also remind them that although the law has changed, that it does not mean that employers are going to change their rules. There will be drug tests (for school sports too) and pot does stay in the body longer than alcohol.  >>

Oooh, this is great advice...I never thought about using future employers as an example.


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004

Have the same rules and consequences as  you have for alcohol.   Don't use it, don't ride in a car with anyone who has been using.   Really, those on pot are not safer drivers, just slower, and slower to react to oncoming danger.   Adults tend to use pot at home.   Kids tend to try to do it on the sly which means that they are out and about, more likely to be driving.  

Also remind them that although the law has changed, that it does not mean that employers are going to change their rules. There will be drug tests (for school sports too) and pot does stay in the body longer than alcohol.  

I think it is always wise to have a rule that if the kid does not have a safe way to get home that mom or dad will come to pick up, no questions asked about the friends who were supposed to be driving.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-24-2012

I'm actually okay with it pasing- it's a heck of a lot less harmless than alcohol. With that said, I agree with what the others have said- just treat it as you would when you talk about tobacco and alcohol. I.E. - just because it's legal, doesn't mean it's a good lifestyle choice.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999

IMHO I think you approach it exactly like tobacco and alcohol use.  There is still an age that it is legal, and while it is legal, that doesn't necessarily mean that its appropriate, and that its not addicting or harmful to you.  Just like alcohol and tobacco, and prescription drugs, sex, or anything else, you just have to educate your kids as they grow up and hope that in that education and family values that when the time comes, or they are old enough to make their own choices, they are wise choices.  If they choose to engage in it at some point, that your education keeps them safe and they use it with an abundance of caution.   

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-13-2012

This is a hard one and I'm sure many of us need to give this some thought. I plan to address this like I do with alcohol and tobacco use. What might be legal isn't necessarily good for you. I'm going to approach it more of smoking, whatever it may be, is not a healthy habit.

I'd love to know how other parents are going to address this issue now that it has become a reality for many of us.