Long time smoker, first time writing in. I've been enjoying the benefits of cannabis for a long time now. My children are all in their twenties and I was wondering if you had any thoughts on when it's OK to smoke up with your kids. Is it ever OK?
— Marijuana Mama
You are in good company when it comes to the topic of smoking pot with your kids. Musician and known cannabis connoisseur Melissa Etheridge recently made headlines for admitting that she gets high with her 20-year-old daughter, Bailey Jean, and 18-year-old son, Beckett. And while that might be all well and good for the Etheridge family, is it OK for yours too? Let's explore.
When it comes to kids and cannabis, it can be challenging for parents to figure out what to do or say, especially if you happen to enjoy a joint yourself now and then. Many parents spend a good amount of time cautioning against marijuana when their kids are younger. So it might be a head trip — so to speak — to figure out how to go from cannabis controller to joint passer.
I will say that I, personally, would never suggest or recommend doing anything illegal with your children, so if they are under the legal age to use recreational cannabis (if it is legal where you are) then I would think twice.
Melissa Etheridge might be cool with smoking with her legally underaged kids, but shockingly, this marijuana mom is not! However, once your children are legally able to get high, you can assess the situation accordingly and go from there. But before that? Well, it's a grey area that everyone needs to wade through knowing what is best for their family — and what the potential ramifications could be. With the current political climate and the federal government (i.e. Attorney General Jeff Sessions) voicing their disgruntlement about states with legalized cannabis, it just doesn't seem like the best idea to me.
That said, if your kids are old enough, it might be perfectly fine to pass around the family bubbler from time to time. Like with most parenting-related decisions, only you know best. Would smoking together undermine any important family dynamics? Would it seem like enabling a child who has other issues going on (and has a troubling relationship with cannabis)? Or would this be an awesome family bonding experience that would bring you closer together? For some families, it could be no different than sharing a bottle of wine at dinner (but, to my point above, I would not casually share a bottle of wine with my kids under the age of 21. I’m OK with a sip or two here or there, but not OK with my young kids drinking regularly.)
Will the first time be strange? Probably. I remember smoking up with the parents of a friend when I was in college. It was totally weird at first — mostly because I couldn't see getting high with my own folks. But since that first time, we've probably smoked together on a handful of other occasions and it's just like sharing a joint with friends, only two of them happen to be my parents' age.
Getting high with your kids has the potential to be an amazing experience. It could help lower some walls, create a space for you all to talk freely, or just provide some hilarious moments that you'll all look back upon fondly. For the most part, group smoking sessions of any kind have the ability to bond folks together, and this could be a wonderful way to strengthen an already-solid bond (particularly if your kids have moved away).
Just as with any parenting decision, be prepared for any potential judgement or side eye from others, but know in your heart that you and only you will make the best decision for you and your kids!