What Should You Tell Your Kids About Your Drug Use

What Should You Tell Your Kids About Your Drug Use
Posted by FoM on November 17, 1999 at 15:42:53 PT
By Patricia Pearson
Source: USA Today
Not long ago, I attended an elegant wedding in which, among the victuals circulating as the party approached midnight, were a hash pipe, courtesy of one guest, and a hydroponic pot joint, courtesy of another.
A small, appreciative crowd gathered around the pipe owner. ''Wow,'' murmured a stock broker, ''I haven't seen hash in years.'' The architect who'd brought the pipe nodded.''You certainly don't see good hash much,'' offered a TV producer. ''Sometimes you get stuff that looks like reprocessed record vinyl. But otherwise I see only pot.'' The hash, everyone who puffed the pipe agreed, was smashing. A velvet high, inspiring some happy, witty repartee. The hydroponic pot, on the other hand, proved a bit strong, causing one fellow to forget what he was saying in the middle of a joke.''You have to be sparing with hydroponic, I find,'' said a lawyer, as the stoned fellow apologized with a laugh. ''One hit usually does it.'' What was remarkable about this wedding party was the fact that it was actually unremarkable. Marijuana in one form or another is so common at the weddings, New Year's Eve parties and dinner soirees of thirtysomething professionals in urban America that it doesn't merit scandalized remark. It has come to be perceived as a special-occasion drug, like good champagne or port.Has a whole generation lost its sense of responsibility and well-being? Well, no. You never see a ''pot addict'' who drains his life savings to feed the habit. You don't see an epidemic of slaughter on the highways caused by ''smoking and driving.'' There are no violent uprisings between spouses or at nightclubs after the inhalation of ganja. To the contrary, people who smoke pot tend to lie down on couches and eat crackers.Ah, yes, you may retort, but that's the problem: Pot smokers lose their motivation! No, they don't. Two former dabblers in weed are now the governors, respectively, of Minnesota and New Mexico. One is the laconic, eloquent presidential hopeful Bill Bradley. Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati won an Olympic gold medal, the Grateful Dead became one of the highest-grossing concert acts of all time, and everybody I've ever met who smokes pot now and then, ranging from high-paid scientists to award-winning writers, carries on pro forma.Pot is like alcohol: People undone by it usually are trying to undo themselves because something in their lives is too painful or too scary to confront soberly. The same is true of overeating, workaholism, abusing painkillers and gobbling tranquilizers.This difference between self-abuse and recreational pot smoking is so widely and tacitly understood that the only people who miss the point are the pundits and ''experts'' who shout that pot is just one step down the road to heroin, crack cocaine and death. Everybody else, including several squirming politicians, remains silent, preferring to keep the secret -- of how they found a baby sitter last weekend, smoked pot, went bowling and had a blast -- to themselves.A few years ago, my local newspaper ran a big feature about what steps parents could take to warn their teens off pot. We're talking about baby boomers here, who, according to the paper, were supposed to say to their kids: ''I did try marijuana when I was your age, but we knew very little about drugs then, and it was an experience that I regret.'' Yeah, right. Like you regret the time that you smoked a bong with your first boyfriend in college during the Summer of Love and stayed up all night talking about philosophy and listening to Van Morrison and then made love in a bubble bath.Furthermore, you rue the time that you tried honey oil on a cigarette at a King Crimson concert one beautiful night in July, and it was like, the best concert you ever attended.And that time you were on your honeymoon in Jamaica and someone offered you ganja tea, and you sat on the beach in mellow bliss until the sun set? Never again, you vowed. Either your teen is an idiot, or they're gonna look at you like you're one.Is it not far more credible than playing this hypocrite's game to instruct our youth -- 23% of whom have tried pot, according to the Parents' Resource Institute for Drug Education -- on wise, sparing usage? We might tell them, for instance, that hydroponic is awfully strong, and too much will play havoc with their short-term memory while they're stoned, making it difficult to follow the plot of a movie or the gist of their friends' conversations. Best to go home, in that case, and just listen to music. We must tell them that they should never make hash brownies and leave the pan on the kitchen counter without telling anyone else who might be tempted to eat them what's in the ingredients.We should prepare them for the enhancements of their perception, which will make them more appreciative of music, comedy, beautiful starry skies and raw cookie dough, but can also enhance their self-consciousness so that they keep wondering whether they just said something stupid. Heightened awareness cuts both ways. They need to know that.When I was 14 and was found face-down in a snowbank, blotto on Kahluha, by my best friend's dad, he knew exactly what to do. He knew how to sober me up, and he knew how to counsel me on appropriate drinking. I learned from him, and over the next few years of trial and spectacular error, I figured out how to drink.My friend's dad had no corresponding knowledge of pot, nor did my parents. They worried; they panicked; they overreacted; they wondered what was so funny. We do have the knowledge now. Our kids can use it. So let's regain some credibility and stop pretending that we didn't inhale.Patricia Pearson, a freelance writer in Toronto, is a member of USA TODAY's board of contributors.Published: November 17, 1999 Copyright 1999 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.  Related Articles:So, What Did You Smoke, Mom? - 11/11/99 Parenting Problems Of Pot - 8/12/99 Waffling May Boost Teens' Marijuana Usage-7/27/99 
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Comment #7 posted by Doc-Hawk on November 19, 1999 at 06:29:03 PT:
Permanent Archive
Hi FoM,Thanks for all your hard work! During the last month, you have contributed over 250 articles to ! I have had the pleasure of posting a few now, and only wish that there were more committed folks like you out there.The link at the bottom take you to the MAPInc posted story.Peace,Doc
What Should You Tell Your Kids About Your Drug Use? 
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on November 18, 1999 at 14:50:33 PT:
Thanks Mark & Everyone For Great Comments!
Thanks for the compliment and I really like: up the good work and we'll all win! If you do a new editorial please send it to me at Cannabis News email and I'll get it posted. Peace, FoM!PS: I checked and the article isn't in USA Todays search tool for Marijuana but it might be in transition. I have seen that happen before. I wish they kept links longer but most papers don't. Unfortunately!
Cannabis News Hot News Articles
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Comment #5 posted by Mark Tide on November 18, 1999 at 10:24:57 PT:
Thanks to & Notice Usatoday Site
Thanks to for posting this (and so much more, of course) online and accessible. It is quite a piece to appear in such media. And persons should know that the - specific link - to it online at -- NOW pulls up today's column INSTEAD of the one by Patricia Pearson. What does this indicate? Will it be possible for internet users who do not visit to access this great and rare column? Perhaps it's only a momentary misconnection down at the shop. But if they erase that column from their website, USA Today would be making a Big Mistake.Mark Tide, The Arcata Journal
The Arcata Journal
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Comment #4 posted by Myopinion on November 18, 1999 at 06:51:28 PT
Tell Your Kids
To think that a letter this intelligent, truthful, andwell written would appear in a national publicationsuch as USA Today actually gives me some hope we can rectify the situation in America!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 17, 1999 at 21:57:20 PT
Great Article
That is what I thought to observer. In USA Today! WoW! The All American Newspaper! Now we need to see an honest article in Readers Digest and I'd really smile!Peace, FoM!
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Comment #2 posted by observer on November 17, 1999 at 21:16:01 PT
McNews Tells Truth in an Editorial!
I had to check twice... this appeared in USA Today? Wow. Especially considering what has been Gannett's goose-stepping confomity in the past!Mon, 11 Oct 1999:``Gannett Co. Inc. human-resources executive Jose Berrios is committed to screening all of his company's new hires for drugs, despite a report that raises new questions about the value of drug testing in the workplace. Like most corporate drug-testing programs, Gannett's policy is strict. No matter what your resume looks like, if you test positive for any drug, you will not work for the Rosslyn-based national news organization. . .'' bet we'll see a lie-packed "rebuttal" from the ONDCP there soon.)
czar: Office of National Drug Control Policy
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on November 17, 1999 at 16:34:49 PT
Cheers for Ms. Pearson!
A rare voice of sanity is heard!Many thanks to the lady from Up North! Only problem is, our own leaders down here, those so caught up in their own Reefer Madness propaganda that they actually believe it, are not going to listen. They won't listen because it is politically expedient for them to ignore their own populace when the special interests can be so much more rewarding. And those special interests know that any resistance, anywhere, must be silenced one way or another. They cannot afford any question of their holy dogma. And so they are trying to export their madness to our neighbors. The proof of that particular pudding was the pressure put on Canada a few years ago to pass their C-7 laws, and the recent stink raised when rumors of Canada being put on an "enemies list" because of the production of (praised be!) 'hydro bud' qualified it for losing anti-drug fund certification.I can only hope that Ms. Pearson and other like minded Canadians continue to call for sanity within their own borders, as it a priori holds up a mirror to the insanity of US cannabis laws.Oh, Canada! Thank you very much!
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