Telling your parents that you smoke weed can be a daunting prospect. My parents have both passed, but I recently told my older sister that I’ve been an occasional user for a few years. I had no idea what kind of reaction to expect.
Would she be furious? Curious? Would she express sadness or disappointment, or would she simply shrug it off with an “okay, bro”?
Thankfully, she chose the last option and was completely non-judgmental about it. In an ideal world, we would all be able to break the news and receive support and understanding – but we don’t live in an ideal world. Coming out the closest with your cannabis use could go either way.
If you’re planning on having this talk with your family, there are a few things worth considering before you open up.
Know Your Parents
If you’re lucky enough to have loving, supportive, and relatively open-minded parents, this will be a far less daunting prospect than admitting your weed smoking to super-conservative parents. You should have an idea what kind of reaction to expect by knowing your parents and their views on similar issues.
Your relationship with your parents is a factor in how the conversation will be received – are you close, or is your relationship strained? If it’s the latter, this news may possibly do more harm than good. You have to consider any potential conflict this may cause. If you’re not sure of their stance, try to gauge it by bringing up the subject in a way that doesn’t include you, for example, mentioning a news story or local legislation.
Do Your Research
It might be helpful to be present some statistics to ease their fears. Some parents may be concerned about the potential health risks of cannabis use or be scared you might develop an addiction. Most parents simply want their children to be safe and healthy, no matter how old or young you may be. The news you’re smoking weed may be upsetting or fearful.
If you get this kind of reaction, you have an opportunity to set the record straight – delicately – by being able to recite statistics that can correct any misunderstandings your parents may have when it comes to cannabis use.
Another potential area of concern is legality. Depending on where you live, you may be able to talk to them about the legal status of cannabis in your area, State, or Country. Explain how laws on cannabis use are constantly evolving and relaxing as more and more benefits become scientifically verified.
Tell them why you Smoke
You’ll almost definitely be asked to, so tell them your reasons and explain any benefits you’ve noticed. It might be for medical benefits such as pain relief, anxiety reduction, or to help you sleep. Maybe you use cannabis purely for recreational use to help you de-stress after a hard day at work and switch off.
You could point out that prescription medications are available for each of these issues, which are expensive and potentially far more likely to be addictive, some of which list troubling side effects. Perhaps you simply use cannabis as your preferred method of unwinding instead of alcohol. In this instance, there are plenty of studies you can use to your advantage.
Don’t be Confrontational
If your parents react badly to the news, the best bet is to remain calm. You want them to see your point of view, but you should try to consider theirs, too.
For some parents, especially those with a small understanding of cannabis, this could be devastating. They may hear “I take drugs,” and everything else gets shut out as they go into a tailspin of fear and panic. If they get angry, try to let them vent and be the calm one. You won’t convince anyone of anything by screaming or swearing at them, and you won’t make the situation any better by meeting them head-on with your own fury.
Instead, keep calm and present your case rationally. When all is said and done, you can at least console yourself with the fact that you were level-headed. Remember, this is not an argument to be won or lost; this is a conversation to be held where (hopefully) an understanding can be reached at the end.
Educate and Inform
Unfortunately, some parents will use the gateway drug argument here. Or mention the genuine risks that cannabis can pose in some people. While the world gains a greater understanding of cannabis and its many benefits, some people, unfortunately, believe that cannabis is nothing other than a hazardous recreational drug.
This has been a long-held view despite scientific evidence to the contrary, cultivated through years of intentional misinformation. Again, make an effort to educate your parents gently (parents seldom respond well to a lecture!). If possible, explain the differences clearly while reminding them of the recorded benefits of cannabis use.
We live in an age where a more liberal view of cannabis is becoming the norm. Still, admitting cannabis use to family – especially parents – is still potentially a perilous sea to navigate. Keep a cool head, stick to the facts, allay fears where you can. And, whatever you do – don’t tell your parents you smoke weed while stoned.