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Unless you’re Seth Rogen, starting the marijuana conversation with your parents probably shouldn’t go like: “Mom. Dad. Let’s get high!” As the times and generations change, so too do our attitudes on topics that were once considered taboo, like cannabis. Although it might seem like there is no way in hell that your parents would ever consider trying marijuana, success is all about how you approach the subject. It takes a delicate balance of providing accurate information and equal understanding that your parents will be hesitant to hear you out, at first. Just remember that they grew up in a different time where cannabis was not as widely accepted as it is today.

If you’re ready to have “the conversation”, arm yourself with this handy step-by-step guide on how to best approach the subject with your parents.

Do your research

Don’t expect to convince your parents that marijuana is the almighty wonder drug unless you have proper evidence to back up your theory. Take time to read some of the vast resources available on health conditions that cannabis is proven to help treat or even resolve. If your parents suffer from ailments such as chronic pain caused by surgery or arthritis, sleep deprivation like insomnia, glaucoma, skin conditions like psoriasis, neuropathy, and even IBS (I know, who would want to know that about your parents?), using marijuana for medical benefits is not just a muse; it’s science.

Read real scientific studies on the positive effects of cannabis for your specific topic through a simple scholar.google.com search, and reference a Guide for First Time Cannabis Consumers for more solid information on using marijuana for the first time.

Choose the right moment to start the conversation

The success of having a meaningful and informative talk with your parents is all based on finding the right time to start the discussion. Don’t expect to have a fruitful conversation if you decide to start talking about getting high with your parents in the middle of American Idol.

Make sure you have their undivided attention and let them know that this is something you have thought about in great depth and they will be much more likely to listen to what you have to say. Since this can be a serious topic for some, it might make sense to set up a time to talk with your parents beforehand. Try approaching them like this:

“Mom(s), Dad(s)- I really want to speak with you about something that is really important to me. When would be a good time for us to get together and talk?”

See, that wasn’t too hard after all! This approach will also buy you some time to prepare as well as give your parents heads-up that whatever it is you want to talk about with them is important, thus giving you a much better chance at having a meaningful and productive conversation.

The conversation

You’ve done your homework, the date and time are set for “the talk” and now all that’s left to do is the most difficult part –actually having the conversation. Start off by laying your proverbial cards on the table. Tell them that you are concerned about their health and only want to offer your help and support. Briefly discuss some of the most pertinent research you’ve done related to cannabis and why it would benefit them and be sure to ask them for their opinions on the subject.

Unless you’re an expert, don’t worry that you won’t be able to answer every question they will have. Simply point them to some of the links/articles/studies you’ve come across and let them do their own research. Act as their younger tech-savvy guide and lead them to information that will help them make the decision that is right for them. After all, having the marijuana conversation is not about convincing your parents that they should use cannabis; it’s about informing them on the subject enough to make their own educated decision whether or not cannabis is right for them.

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