How to Talk About Marijuana

Where do you start? What do you say? We’re here to help. Between legalization, increased normalization in pop culture and new ways of using (edibles, vaporizers, concentrates), it’s becoming more and more complicated to know how to address marijuana use with your kids.

Get in the right frame of mind

Whether you are planning to discuss marijuana or other substance use, the following are keys to setting the stage for an effective conversation:

What do I say?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a script for talking about marijuana, but there are some common arguments and questions that you’re likely to hear — and suggestions for how to respond.

They say: “I’m only doing it once in a while on weekends, so it’s not a big deal.”
You could say: “What would make it feel like a big deal to you?”
Why this works: This gets them to think about the future, and what their boundaries are. It will give you insight into what’s important to him or her. If use progresses and some of these boundaries are crossed, you can bring that up at a later date.

They say: “Would you rather I drink alcohol? Weed is so much safer.”
You could say: “Honestly, I don’t want you doing anything that can harm you. I’m interested in knowing why you think weed is safer than alcohol.”
Why this works: This reminds your child that you care about his or her well-being. Expressing genuine curiosity about their thought process is going to help them open up.