Not since alcohol prohibition ended have parents faced a challenge like adapting to the legalization of cannabis, and something many parents are trying to figure out is how to talk to their kids about smoking weed. For some parents (whether they use cannabis themselves or they just want to prepare their youngsters) it's a matter of when, and for others, it's finding the right approach. Every child is different, but when it comes to talking to your kids about smoking weed there are some things that all parents can do to make sure the conversation is productive.
1. Start talking to your kids about smoking weed as soon as you think they are ready. You never know when you child will have his or her first conversation about marijuana outside of your supervision, so it's best that they learn about cannabis from you first.
2. Ask your kids to tell you what they've already heard (or think they know) about smoking weed. This is a great way to establish some common ground and start an honest conversation about marijuana.
3. Have well-researched facts to back up whatever points you want to make about smoking cannabis. This includes explaining that “weed” is a nickname and that they should respect marijuana as a substance with powerful, unpredictable effects.
4. Explain that cannabis can have adverse effects on the developing brain and bodies of teenagers, and remind them that smoking weed can irritate the respiratory system just like cigarettes.
5. Go over the legal status of cannabis in your state. Also, emphasize the fact that marijuana remains illegal at the federal level and to never get in a car driven by someone under the influence of cannabis.
6. If the herb's recreational use is legal in your area (or you believe it should be) give your children examples of other activities that are proper for responsible adults to do (such as drinking alcohol) but inappropriate for children.
7. Be honest but brief about your current or past cannabis use when talking about smoking marijuana with your children; this is the best way to maintain their trust. Also, make your views and expectations of them about their use of cannabis known.