The air is thick with a sweet, skunky smell. It burrows deep into your facial smellin’ holes and sets up base camp in each of your pores.
It lives there now.
The sticky, carpeted floor is littered with candy bar wrappers, vacant vessels which once housed the crunchiest of potato crisps, and post-mortem half-pint ice cream containers; memories from the delicious love of a bygone hour.
The stylus of a record player scratches and skips unnoticed. “The Dark Side Of The Moon” by Pink Floyd stopped playing about 20 minutes ago, brah.
Two shadows emerge from the blacklight-lit haze. Red, bleary eyes struggle to find focus. Squinting through tiny slits, recognition creeps in.
It’s time to talk to your parents about smoking the devil’s lettuce.
It doesn’t seem so long ago that the roles were reversed. We would prepare for the inevitable, positing hypotheticals through shuddering breaths:
What should I tell my parents when I get caught smoking weed?
Will my parents know that I’m high?
Or even worse:
Will my doctor tell my parents that I smoke weed?
But, the times really are a-changin’, and the issue seems to be less about cannabis use by the youth, and more about marijuana use BY PARENTS! This issue needs to be addressed, and the youth of today desperately need the necessary tools in order to adapt. We at Higher Mentality are here for you. Here are some useful strategies to help you get in the right headspace when the time comes to talk to your parents about marijuana use.
Don’t Be a Judgy Jason/Jennifer
Approach the subject of weed consumption with an open mind and an open heart. Parents can react like frightened animals when they feel threatened, and they may shut right down if they’re feeling shamed or judged. Try to understand why your parents may choose to smoke reefer in the first place. Stress at work; problems in their marriage or dating scene; a bad Yelp review about their restaurant or bodega; conflict with their kids; any of these issues can cause even the most straight-laced parent to turn to cannabis. They may smoke to relax or loosen up. Maybe they want to look at a problem from a different angle. Maybe Daphne from HR tried a dab or two and your folks want to fit in. Maybe they just wanted to try something new and experiment a little. If marijuana is legal in your neck of the woods, and your parents aren’t breaking any laws, take that into consideration. Most importantly…listen.
Look at The World Through Your Parents’ Bifocals
Remember, you’re getting older every day. One day you may even be a parent yourself – no pressure! – so, try to identify and put yourself in their orthopaedic shoes. Think about how you are addressing your parents. Stay away from condescending words or overtones. Consider how you would want your future child(ren) to approach you.
Establish Boundaries and Objectives
Talking to your parents about weed can be difficult, and the ultimate goal should be to reach a common footing. This should be the first step in an ongoing and open narrative about cannabis use. Try to establish stressors or triggers, and offer support where possible. Find out how often they are consuming and try to get on the same page regarding appropriate or inappropriate times to get lifted. The age of your parents may come into play as well. For instance, your 40-something parents may just want to unwind, whereas the over 60 crowd may be smoking the chronic for pain relief or other medicinal/therapeutic reasons. All of these factors may alter the overall goal of these conversations.
Be Easy, Kid!
Don’t roll up on your parents in a rage or scattered state. Relax! Take a deep breath! Your elders will pick up on your mood and reflect it right back to you. If you’re experiencing anxiety before talking to your parents about marijuana, find a way to mellow out. Take a stroll, try meditation, talk to your peers about how they may have approached the situation. Remember, everyone needs to feel supported.
Positive Vibes Only
The tables can turn very quickly if your parents are approached with anger, shame, disappointment or threats. Let them know you are interested in what they have to say and understand their reasons. Show them that you are curious and open, and always be respectful.
Talk TO Your Parents…Not AT Them
Nobody wants to feel as though they are not an active participant in a conversation. Talking down to – or lecturing – a parent may cause them to get aggro and shut you out completely. Engage them in a welcoming dialogue which invites their input and welcomes their perspective. These first conversations will set the tone and opportunity for further discourse, and if your parent is excited to keep the conversation going, then all the better.
Pick Your Moment and Read the Room
Most of us – regardless of age – have been approached with those unnerving words, “We need to talk.” Bad mojo right off the hop. Bad scene. Don’t do it. These conversations tend to be met with resistance and apprehension before a single word is said. Try to approach your parents with a casual spontaneity in a comfortable environment. Get outside…take a stroll…but try not to choose a distracting location. Focus is key, but stay away from confined spaces which can create anxiety or unease.
Crossed Arms are Harm…ful…Harmful. They’re Harmful
Body language. Posturing. All of it. Use poise and be aware of it. If your parent is comfy-cozy in their favourite chair, you should be sitting too. If they’re on their feet, invite them to curl up next to you on the chesterfield. Position yourself as equals. Open gestures like uncrossed legs and open arms yield tastier fruit than closed gestures such as crossed arms or a pointed finger.
These are just tools to help get you started when it comes time to talk to your parents about marijuana use. Maybe you are a consumer yourself and they know it. Maybe you’ve even smoked together and you really just want them to do it a little less frequently. These are all important elements to consider, and you should tailor your conversation accordingly.
Remember…All parents were your age once.
They know how you think.
Attempting to outsmart your parents isn’t going to help anyone.
Be respectful, open, kind and welcoming.
These are the people who brought you into the world, and despite any behaviours which you may deem detrimental or depraved, they deserve to be approached without malice.
This is your opportunity to make a difference, and you may never get another chance. So, talk to your parents about weed! Find out how often they’re consuming. Get to know their friends and potential influencers. Take an interest in how their day was. Be the best offspring that you can be.
Most importantly…choose joy, youngblood.