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If you’re like me, a quarter of your high school days involved being grounded for being caught with or smoking marijuana. It’s an understandable parental reaction when you catch your child partaking in an illegal substance. But what happens three or four years later when you’re in your first year of college and your mother forgets to wrap all the Christmas presents on Christmas Eve, and asks if you can help…then rewards you by asking if you want to smoke “the Christmas trees” with a very familiar-looking joint?

Okay so maybe you’re not exactly like me, but my scenario brings up the question: should we simply talk to our parents about pot? After years of being grounded and getting in trouble for smoking, it turns out my mom was keeping my stash for herself! Not to say I was completely shocked – I had to get this tendency from somewhere – but would a healthy and mature conversation about marijuana have helped the issue? Or at least helped me to not feel judged by my life choices.

This is especially applicable today, with more and more states legalizing medical and recreational marijuana. Parents and their (legally adult) children should have healthy conversations about the benefits, opinions, and uses of marijuana. But how do you go about doing it?

Be Prepared

First of all, prepare. Not only should you prepare yourself mentally for diving into this conversation with mom or dad (or both), but also prepare exactly what you plan to say to them regarding marijuana. Gauge their feelings about the substance: did you get in A LOT of trouble in high school if you were ever caught? Do you recall their feelings toward pot? Do you know if they ever tried it? Keep those things in mind when it comes to you approaching them about your stance. Starting off your pivotal conversation with, “Yo momma, I like that loud” may not be the best approach to take if you’re trying to convince them to not judge you and your choice of recreational activities.

If you know your parents are against cannabis, it’s vital that you present yourself responsibly. Obviously, you shouldn’t attempt this conversation blazed out of your mind; they will just be closed off to you. It’s also important to note that if you’re not doing too hot in life – like getting bad grades, still living in their basement, not finding work, or not really doing much with your life besides smoking pot –  you may want to work on that first before trying to present yourself as a functioning stoner. Get a few As and Bs to show that marijuana doesn’t affect your education, have a good, stable job, prove you’re a productive functioning human being, and the odds of them accepting your lifted lifestyle will be more in your favor.

It’s also extremely important to do your research. Parents are always looking for deeper explanations and need some solid facts to trust what you’re saying, no matter what age you are. If you go into this dialogue only knowing what pot does to you, then you’re not ready to have a mature conversation with your parents about marijuana. They’re probably going to shut down you and your ideas about the substance as fast as possible. Even if your parents are like my mother who clearly smoked herself, it’s reassuring to them to know you’re responsible and knowledgeable about what you’re putting in your body.
You can find some handy information to back yourself up here on MassRoots, check out 10 facts about marijuana, or visit Erowid.org for a ton of helpful information on everything cannabis.

Having the Talk

After all of this preparation, it’s time to approach your parents. Catch them on a good day, and make sure they are calm and willing to have a conversation; if they are in this mood, it’s your opportunity to strike, but – as I said before – it’s all about your approach.

Try something like, “Mom, Dad, I just wanted to tell you that I do smoke weed. I’m telling you because I want to be honest and don’t think it’s something I should be ashamed of, so I don’t want to hide it from you.” This is a great springboard into the conversation. You don’t have to make it sound as ‘business professional’ as I did, but your approach depends on your comfort level with your parents. How the conversation unfolds from here is up to your parents and their views and concerns about the issue. This is when you break out your facts and figures to let them know not only do you partake, but you know what you’re partaking in.

And who knows? Your mom or dad may be like mine and be totally cool with it! If not, at least you were honest and can have a healthy conversation with your parents about why you like to smoke and why it isn’t a terrible thing. Help them understand the benefits of cannabis and your reasons for consuming it – if they still don’t approve at least you put it in their minds that you were mature enough to come to them and be honest about it.

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