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MMJ and teen children

Thread starter #1
Hi, This post could probably be filed under the topics of MMJ, Addiction, and Parenting. I’m struggling to gain a foothold on this issue, so please bear with me as I try to work it out.

I use MMJ. I have a card with a dx of ptsd. I have been using daily for over 12 years, since I was pregnant with my younger son.

In that time I have had a daughter, started working at a school, earned my teaching certificate, recovered memories of preverbal trauma, cut off my primary abuser, left a narc eX, and moved into my own home for the first time in my life and support myself financially.

Hey, maybe I’m doing pretty good.

Fallout... marrying and having kids with a former drug addict high school dropout who became a smooth talking narcissist turns out to have some consequences.

Our oldest is 15 and has been smoking weed for over three years, by his own admission. He also does acid and any hallucinogen he can get his hands on, by his own admission. He says what he does is no worse than what I do and just because he’s growing doesn’t mean it will hurt him.

We started going to an IOP. We went to one session. He says he will never go again and that group therapy only works if the person wants to be there.

I have sought out group therapy for myself: Codependents Anonymous and Parents of Addicted Love Ones. Going to my first meeting of each this week.

Am I addicted to marijuana and have no place telling my son to stop?

Am I an adult, who is managed by my doctor and my therapist, who responsibly checks in with people who look out for my best interests?

Am I an adult who has every right to believe that it is wrong for my son to smoke weed but helpful for me to use it?

I’m having a hard time putting these pieces together.

I don’t allow my sons to drink beer and I would be concerned if they were, even though I drink 1-2 beers per day.

I don’t know how I can help my son. It might be a coparenting issue too. His dad is in denial that there is an issue, so that is sending our son the message that it’s okay.

My ex says if I stopped using then our sons (the younger son uses too) wouldn’t use. And my sons tell me it’s wrong for me to use. Like they are my parent.

I’m working on maintaining boundaries and expectations with my sons, hence the need for CoDA and PAL.

It’s a lot I’m trying to process! If you are a parent who uses MMJ and you would also be alarmed and think it’s a big problem if your child was using (not to mention the psychedelics!) please share some support or encouragement.
 
#2
Am I addicted to marijuana and have no place telling my son to stop?
What you do has little bearing on what you're telling him to do.

He's 15. Many studies have shown that marijuana harms brains that are not fully formed - i.e. teenage brains.

You're taking medicine for PTSD. Your son is too young to use it for medicine, and the other drugs he uses are not used medicinally. He has not given therapy a real try. But most of all - your house, your rules. You're the parent.

Imo. Ymmv.
 
Thread starter #3
But most of all - your house, your rules. You're the parent
Yes, I might try writing this in my journal every day.

So maybe I should just get that part of the confusion cleared up for myself and focus on why I don’t feel strong in that belief sometimes.

I need to accept that what eX and the boys are saying to me is wrong, particularly eX. He is an adult with stunted emotions. I need to recognize and accept that he is saying the wrong things. Period. End of story. And when he says the “right things”, he is only saying them in that moment, he doesn’t really mean it.
 
#4
I don’t have good advice cause I’m not a fan of mj and don’t have my own kids. But speaking from a teen perspective- be very careful about the do as I say not as I do and my house my rules philosophies. I get the reason behind them, but that’s a sure fire way to trigger some serious rebellion. They’re old enough to have adult conversations concerning the risks and creating some kind of compromise (I.e. you can use mj and live with me but not the other stuff- those you’ll have to find another place to live and be prepared for them to choose exactly that).

Essentially the more forbidden a thing is the more desirable it becomes.

***edited to add I’m in my 30s and not still a teen lol.
 
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Ronin

MyPTSD Pro
#5
Ok, perspective come from - Don't do MJ, lack experience there, but I have parented kids who smoked weed -

I would try to keep the perspectives of you are adult, kid's a kid, separate.

Drugs used medicinally and recreationally are wiildly different animal, even without addiction issues present.

Second, or more like first too, biologically & developmentally, adults and kids are incomparable.

This is one of the points I'm absolutely not willing to debate with kids in my care. You are a kid. Adult rules don't work here, period.

Even if we adult-rulebook other things... not as physically harmful as drug use is.

Third, so kid's messing around with everything he can get his hands on? Yeah. Incomparable. Acid & Weed, one would be bad enough, is just a bad combo.

I'd seek out services the most you can - and consult who can drag him to help if it needs be.

Because better be a 'bad Mom'...
Than have the kid dead.
Or hurting someone else.
Or both.

If the youngin clearly can't decide on these issues in a healthy way?
He doesn't get to decide.

Trust to make decisions about own body / health needs to be supported by the people making responsible ones. He ain't doing that, so far.

And that isn't a failure of yours or your parenting.
That's just a teenager...
That needs profound help, pronto.
 

Ronin

MyPTSD Pro
#6
I need to accept that what eX and the boys are saying to me is wrong, particularly eX. He is an adult with stunted emotions. I need to recognize and accept that he is saying the wrong things. Period. End of story. And when he says the “right things”, he is only saying them in that moment, he doesn’t really mean it.
And this, since an interrelated Q...

He's not an adult with stunted emotions.

He's an abusive adult.

Who is abusing you, his sons, and you *through* your sons and undermining your parenting.

None of that is your fault.
You are in an incredibly difficult position - both as a parent and as someone abused, and abused through their kids turned against them.

Of course it is confusing as hell and hurts one heckuva bloody.

That doesn't mean you are caring wrong.
 
Thread starter #7
I'd seek out services the most you can - and consult who can drag him to help if it needs be.
Good news is that we are already thick in the services part. Just trying to wrap my head around the “me yes you no” thing.

Agree the stuff about kid vs adult is critical. Just no argument.

I’m going to just hunker down with insisting he attend the IOP and expecting him to refuse to go and then start taking away his privileges. That’s what parents do. That’s boundaries.

He's not an adult with stunted emotions.

He's an
*thud* truth. thank you. I have to be careful about using those words though because of custody stuff. I’m not going to a court battle. But I can hold onto those words. Sometimes the truth is the least listened to, but it’s still there, in a pocket of my heart.

That doesn't mean you are caring wrong.
This is kind of you to say and a strong affirmation. I hear the words. I know what they mean. I believe they are true. I can slip this one into my chest of beliefs to build upon.
 

Ronin

MyPTSD Pro
#8
Yeah, I get that if there are legal battles to deal with, some issues in the relationship need veery careful labeling and even where it's the truth, would not stand the same or sound an exaggeration legally, or be hard to prove without assistance.

Still, cheers on the awareness and on keeping what's what, and for which audience, straight in your head.

That's a no small feat.

Glad you already have at least some support in place for dealing with kids addiction and use respectively, hope they'll be beneficial or can refer to a higher level of care if needed.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
#9
Hey @Self-Determined - you’ve gotten great advice here, I just wanted to share some thoughts from a different angle...

Am I addicted to marijuana and have no place telling my son to stop?
Lets just take the first part of that - it’s a brave and important question to ask yourself. Do you think you are addicted? Would you say you’re dependent on it? (Those are two different things, it’s useful to consider both).

You could be completely addicted and smoking recreationally, and you’d be able + justified to tell your son to stop. My point is: you’re the parent, and can lay down whatever boundaries you believe are best.

But I think you’re also aware that part of parenting is modeling behavior. It’s not unusual that your kid is playing the “you do it, so you can’t tell me not to” card. Modeling the behavior you want from your kids definitely makes it more straightforward, for both of you.

If you decide to stay on the medication (mmj) that helps you - which is totally justified - is there a way you can use it that would lessen the challenging aspects of it, for your son? Like, if you currently smoke it - have you tried switching to edibles? Can you eliminate the sight/smell of it from your home in some other way? It’s likely your son has developed a dependency (on weed), and if you could support him in breaking that habit a little more actively by making some changes yourself, it could go a long way towards improving the situation.
He says what he does is no worse than what I do and just because he’s growing doesn’t mean it will hurt him.
I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but he couldn’t be more wrong. And by combining weed and psychedelics (doesn’t matter if it’s at the same time or not) he’s playing Russian roulette with his neurological function. It’s actually possible to fry your circuitry (in essence) - and being in that 12-17 years old zone puts him in the high-risk category. Also, if there’s even a chance he’s carrying some mental illness genetic load - especially if there’s family history of bipolar or schizophrenia - it’s been evidenced that the LSD/THC combination can “turn on” some latent genes and activate these conditions for some individuals, and young men are especially susceptible.

I get extra passionate about it because I’ve seen someone actually sustain real and permanent neuro-damage just from recreational use of weed and acid. It’s really a thing, it really can happen, and it’s as life altering as anything. No teenager/young adult believes it will happen to them (of course)...but it happens. And it’s not gradual.

If nothing else - personally, I’d recommend investing a lot of energy in getting hallucinogens off the table. They can go bad on their own, but the weed makes it much more likely. At least til he’s past his early 20s.

Sorry for the lecture.

On group therapy - it does actually do something, even if the person doesn’t want to be there. And their odds of getting more interested in being there def increase, if they’re going.

This is tough stuff, really admire you taking it head-on.
 
Thread starter #10
Thank you @joeylittle . Lots to digest. My first reaction to all you said about the dangers is, “Yeeps!”

Son said no way will he ever go back to group therapy and unfortunately but predictably eX is supporting him, says the IOP is too much time per week, corona, and “all we need to do is... yada yada yada.”

*silently beating head against brick wall*

I like your idea of trying to do something to face my own usage. When I moved into this apartment I had to switch over to vaping because smoking was too obvious and I had no outside to go to. I continued to smoke flowers when they weren’t here, but I think you have a good point about examining myself.

I wouldn’t let older son off the hook so I said I said if he wouldn’t go to group therapy he needed to go to individual therapy and he agreed, after much back and forth.

I called the IOP today and told them about that and the person on the phone said the director would call me back later to talk about and give me a referral.
 
#11
What you do has little bearing on what you're telling him to do.

He's 15. Many studies have shown that marijuana harms brains that are not fully formed - i.e. teenage brains.

You're taking medicine for PTSD. Your son is too young to use it for medicine, and the other drugs he uses are not used medicinally. He has not given therapy a real try. But most of all - your house, your rules. You're the parent.

Imo. Ymmv.
I disagree....your house, your rules, you're the parent-doesn't wash if you are addicted to it....it's no different than having alcoholic parents. Without teaching values....right and wrong....with reasons why weed is bad at a young age.....you aren't behind the 8 ball on this one. A child doesn't get "don't smoke because it will damage your brain." They do get....I smoke because you do......

I agree @joeylittle Your kids first learn by what they see us do as parents. If we use polite language consistently, and you expect that in your home.....you walk your talk, then if they don't when you set t he same rule about polite language, as the parent, you have the right to give consequences.....and the consequence make sense in that scenario-because it is a value....a consistent expectation. Consistent consequences typically bring about change.......over time.....but consistency and parental modeling is key. Respect is earned.

So, you can make all the rules you want, but when the kid is telling you that you shouldn't smoke weed, and you do......kids are black and white thinkers....particularly if your weed use is used as their excuse to smoke or drink. If you want to teach your child that MMJ is not okay....then find another way to manage your PTSD. Continuing it's use.....is modeling and approving of it's use as an adult. I don't see MMJ as medicine.....it is an option to reduce "feeling" the symptoms of PTSD. Kids don't see it as medicine....so I wouldn't use that excuse to them. It's all about your values, what you are willing to model as a parent, what you are willing to give up to model for your kids. So, IMHO, the only way you might make get their attention, is if you quit. Good luck on this one.
 
#12
I disagree....your house, your rules, you're the parent-doesn't wash if you are addicted to it....it's no different than having alcoholic parents. Without teaching values....right and wrong....with reasons why weed is bad at a young age.....you aren't behind the 8 ball on this one. A child doesn't get "don't smoke because it will damage your brain." They do get....I smoke because you do......

I agree @joeylittle Your kids first learn by what they see us do as parents. If we use polite language consistently, and you expect that in your home.....you walk your talk, then if they don't when you set t he same rule about polite language, as the parent, you have the right to give consequences.....and the consequence make sense in that scenario-because it is a value....a consistent expectation. Consistent consequences typically bring about change.......over time.....but consistency and parental modeling is key. Respect is earned.

So, you can make all the rules you want, but when the kid is telling you that you shouldn't smoke weed, and you do......kids are black and white thinkers....particularly if your weed use is used as their excuse to smoke or drink. If you want to teach your child that MMJ is not okay....then find another way to manage your PTSD. Continuing it's use.....is modeling and approving of it's use as an adult. I don't see MMJ as medicine.....it is an option to reduce "feeling" the symptoms of PTSD. Kids don't see it as medicine....so I wouldn't use that excuse to them. It's all about your values, what you are willing to model as a parent, what you are willing to give up to model for your kids. So, IMHO, the only way you might make get their attention, is if you quit. Good luck on this one.

Every single word of this!!!!
 
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