Good morning. One of the most upsetting things about your kids using things like cannabis is knwoing that they feel they NEED to get high to get away from their stressful lives. Makes me sad. Teens these days have so much stress on them, more than I did their age. I always begin and end any conversation on cannabis use I have with my son with two things: 1. what you are doing is illegal 2. I do not approve of using cannabis or any other drug as a minor; that said you do not have my permission. However, if he is looking for accurate information from a trusted source, I'm in. I tell him I will answer any question he may have about drugs, alcohol, girls, life... anything. I will be as accurate and honest as I can in the hopes he will take the information and work toward making good choices for himself. We talk all the time. Yesterday he asked if smoking pot is really that unhealthy. I aswered with the most accurate information I could and told him that breathing in any combusted material (smoke) is unhealthy and could potentially cause long term health issues like respiratory desease and even cancer with prolonged use. Burning cannabis also quickly eliminates most of its medically beneficial properties This question was quickly followed up with "...then, what is the least harmful way to use cannabis?" Ugh... Ok, so after a little more research I found that vaporizing organic cannabis flower (pesticide free) seems to be one of the least harmful ways to use cannabis. I told him edibles are off limits! They are largely uncontrolled and can often times have imbalanced measurements in the ingredients and can lead to excessively high THC levels. If it is made in a lab or someone's kitchen- leave it alone! So the next day I saw an empty package for a new vaporizer in his trash. Heavy sigh... My first thought was "That's it! He's grounded!", then after more thought, I quickly realized he IS listening to me. I certainly did not suggest a vaporizer for him, just answered his question truthfully. In fact it, I suppose, could be seen as a little move in a good direction. He no longer uses synthetic cannabis products, shatter, oils or waxes. He now vaporizes organic flower only. Yes, he is still using it; but in a less harmful way. The ground rules stay in place: If you are suspected of using cannabis while driving a car, your license and car keys will be taken (by me). If you are using it in our home, with younger siblings around, same consequence. If you are caught at school with cannabis, same consequence. This is really hard. He had a big school dance last night, off site at an event hall in the city. He went with 15 of his friends. The event did not end until 12am. (Why do schools organize events that are off site, in the city and so late at night? How can we parents possibly protect our kids??). I was terrified he would get into an accident so I waited up for he and his friends to get home. We talked in the kitchen until after 1am, then they went to bed and were up again at 5:30am to go snowboarding. I got up before that and made a big breakfast and checked in with all of them again. Another sleepless night as a parent of a teenager... Exhausting...
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Thank you so much for posting such a thoughtful response to my situation. I really appreciate the feedback! He has told me why he likes it, where he cited school pressure and college prep being high on his list for stressers. He said it helps him relax. He is a high performer at school as well as in his work, music and sports. I think he puts a tremendous amount of pressure on himself to exceed any excpetations. We discussed how and where he buys it, what he uses, when he started and how frequently he uses it. We talk about everything. I have been careful not to over-react or judge him in any way, which is hard. I want so badly to say "Stop It! or you will be grounded!"... but that I fear will lead to him doing it secretly and feeling as if he needs to lie about it. I just don't see that working. I know about a little about medical cannabis and have done quite a lot of research. He asks me lots of questions about it. I try to be as honest and clear in my information as I can, without tilting to approval. I tell him I don't approve of it, it is illegal for a minor and generally a bad idea for a developing brain to have to process. I also explain I am a realist and know that if I am not available to help and answer questions he may feel he needs to go elsewhere to have support and accurate information. I value our relationship too much for that. We are very close. One of my biggest concers is he seems to be interested in synthetics and cannabis products like wax, oils, shatters and the like. I told him I really feel that is not a good idea. The THC levels in some of these products are alarmingly high, and dangerous in my opinion. He took the information and and said he understood. My recommendation was to steer clear of all of these types of products, including edibles. I will take your advice on dicussing with himthe good / not so good aspects in his opinion, making a list, talkig about it. I will also make clear my rules: 1) do not use it at home, there are younger siblings here 2) do not use it and drive, or drive with anyone who is using cannabis 3) do not have it on school property, ever. 4) if you are in trouble or need help, please ask me right away and I will help, no questions asked. Again, I really appreciate the discussion and advice. This is hard!
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I am the parent of a 17 year old young man who has taken an interest in cannabis. He now seems to use it frequently, often times while alone. I have had open and honest discussions on the dangers of useing cannabis as a young person; legal, health, social, acedemic... It does not seem to change his mind. He claims he is very descreet about his use and does not bother or harm anyone. Any advice from paranets that have gone through this before?
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