A curious son

Talking to My Son about Cannabis

Last year, my son came to me and said he wanted to “try pot.” 

I paused before answering to collect my thoughts. I noticed that, even as a regular cannabis consumer and advocate, I still considered his use of cannabis more serious than a sip of beer or wine. I reflected on this and asked myself why.

A curious son

It was probably due to being raised and socialized in a society where cannabis was illegal. Despite growing up in a cannabis-positive household, I was always aware we had to hide that fact.

I knew this moment with my son was coming and, to be honest, I was surprised he waited as long as he did. He already was four years older than the age I was when I first smoked. But it still left me with a dilemma.

Do I just tell him to figure it out on his own leave me out of it?

Do I take an active part in his exposure to cannabis?

Do I just say no?

Here’s what I did…

First, I gave him a hug. I told him, “Thank you for including me in your decision.” I told him how proud I was that he trusted me enough to ask for my permission and support. I also asked if he would wait a bit so we could come up with a plan together. 

Letting him know I was okay with it took away the urgency, and we didn’t talk about it again for a few months. Then I proposed a plan to him.

Young Cannabis plants

I wanted him to experience cannabis as a plant. I wanted him to see it growing in the earth, and for him to take the time and energy to tend to it. 

He was stoked.

We got some plants and he helped me plant the clones in pots. He took them out into the sun each day and back into our sunroom overnight until they were big enough to go outside.

I had him choose one plant to connect with. Throughout the growing season he helped to water and prune. Then he helped harvest and trim and dry the flowers. 

Once the harvest was ready, we sat down together and I showed him how to roll a joint. I explained that my relationship with cannabis was personal and that I did not want to smoke together. This was my boundary.

My advice to him was this: have his first experience alone and then consider who he might want to smoke with and how often. I encouraged him to be mindful about how he wanted to incorporate cannabis into his life. I wanted him to determine the value this plant could bring into his life on his own terms.

I feel really good about how we have walked through this rite of passage together.

We are in our second year now and have another round of plants in the sun room. He has chosen another plant as his own to tend to and has only had a few tokes since last year’s harvest and only ever smoked flowers from the plants we grew here in our yard.

Have your kids asked you about smoking cannabis? What did you say? What are some challenges or triumphs you have experienced as a parent who consumes cannabis?