Parenting: Marijuana in the house

Having raised 4 close-in-age teenagers in the late '70s-early '80s time frame, I can agree wholeheartedly with the posters recommending a united front. Teens can readily pick up on weak points in the parents and Work them to their advantage. Are they devious, you betcha!

Marriage is tested big time when dealing with teens - natural or step-kids.

Good luck!


It sounds like college should be off the table until he can get his life together. There are underlying issues for the partying and failed classes. These issues need to be addressed and college can wait until they are. He should be given a clear set of rules and expectations and then a chance to meet them (and he should also start doing something full-time whether it's a job, volunteering, etc).


I don't think you are overreacting to pot in the house. I do think you are overreacting by throwing him out; how will that solve anything? Have you discussed the fact that you do not want it in your (all of yours) house and is your wife on board with that? You're not going to get him to stop smoking pot, but he could at least be discreet about it. I agree that the college route should be stopped, but if so, he needs to get a job! He can't just be hanging out doing nothing.

I have three step-children. I also had my nephew living with me from 14 until 20. Believe me when I tell you, I get it. It's kind of funny (now) because when my late husband's kids would do something wrong, it was his little angels. When my nephew would do the same thing, it was all hell breaking loose. I was the good cop then. It's hard to have perspective when you have not seen them since they were babies.

My stepchildren know now that I only wanted the best for them, which meant trying to teach them how to act like adults. My husband was the same with my nephew; he really did only want the best for him. Unfortunately, they never got the chance to come to complete truce. That is a regret my nephew has, and has told me so.

I am glad that I've made my peace with my step-children. They are really excellent people and friends, not to mention family. Love them to pieces.


I'm not going to weigh in on the consequences, but I do feel strongly that the appropriate thing is to discuss it with your wife, with or without a professional present, and come up with a unified working plan. I raised a stepson from the age of 6 to maturity, but no matter how much I love him I would never feel that I could make unilateral decisions about his future.

And for God's sake, take down this conversation. It's a huge breach of trust and totally inappropriate. If I found out my husband was publicly posting his issues with my child on the town message board, it would blast a big hole in our marriage.


I appreciate everyone who has taken time to respond in this thread.

I realize that my attitude needs to drive in a different direction. I wanted a different set of eyes on this situation and I now have plenty thanks to you. There were some questions and I will answer/respond to them shortly.

Thanks again


jmitw said:
Also, it usually is not pure. It is usually laced with more potent and addictive substances.



Please cite sources for this.


eliz said:


jmitw said:
Also, it usually is not pure. It is usually laced with more potent and addictive substances.
Please cite sources for this.

A friend of a friend knows a guy whose cousin heard from a co-worker who heard this from a cop, so it must be true


spontaneous said:


eliz said:


jmitw said:
Also, it usually is not pure. It is usually laced with more potent and addictive substances.
Please cite sources for this.
A friend of a friend knows a guy whose cousin heard from a co-worker who heard this from a cop, so it must be true

If ever there was an argument for legalization and regulation.....


cupoftea said:
@susan1014
I LOVE the way you phrased this thought. This statement is as true as it gets!


susan1014 said:
If parenting teaches us anything, it often teaches us how far off-base our preconceived models of parenting were, when applied to the actual unique individuals who were born into our homes.

I also thought this was a great post. Words of Wisdom!


I can't do good searches and links on my phone, but if you search google there are some pretty good explanations about why "today's pot is stronger" falls somewhere between highly suspect and outright false


There are tons of these stories online...

www.nbcnews.com/storyline/legal-pot/legal-weed-surprisingly-strong-dirty-tests-find-n327811


I don't want to sound flip, and it's surely about more than the weed, but I might turn the tables and take it out of the equation, or even refashion it as a personal goal along these lines:

You're not going to smoke in our home. It's illegal and I find it distasteful. I also think that it's dangerous and is a major contributor to the other problems you're having.

However, I do know that there are many recreational pot smokers who live healthy, productive lives both at work and within their families. If the enjoyment that you get from smoking is that important to you, and you're willing to accept the legal and health risks, why not set a goal to be someone like that?

Start taking school seriously or find a job where there's potential to grow into a living wage. Save some money that you can put toward a place of your own. As a young person just getting started in life, you'll still need parental support financially and in other ways. Your odds are much better there if our relationship is cordial rather than a constant struggle.

Visualize yourself in a few years with a satisfying job where you can support yourself and your "hobby," living in your own apartment, having us over for a friendly meal as we help you paint or fix the sink. After we've cleaned the dishes and said our goodbyes, you can sit back and relax however you like.


A united front is important. I've seen this twice with 2 different couples and one set is no longer. The son was tossed out of his mother's house and went to live with my friend and her husband. The kid was a disrespectful turd but his dad just threw his arms up while his wife dealt with it. The last threat was job or enlist. Since they are no longer together the boy, who still doesn't have a job and didn't continue with college, is living with his dad at his aunts.

The other young man I know is starting to drive that wedge between the other set of friends. They get him a job, he quits or gets fired. No ambition or direction and, like the other couple, the dad throws his hands up, gives the kid money and leaves the mess for his wife to deal with.

I'm sorry to hear of your troubles but at least you are seeking advice. Good luck.


ParticleMan said:
There are tons of these stories online...
www.nbcnews.com/storyline/legal-pot/legal-weed-surprisingly-strong-dirty-tests-find-n327811

That's different from it being "laced." I'd call it hybridized.

Btw, I have a question for the OP. Did you ever smoke pot? Did you ever do it at home? If so, did you just think yourself more clever than your parents, or were they just turning a blind eye?


marylago said:


ParticleMan said:
There are tons of these stories online...
www.nbcnews.com/storyline/legal-pot/legal-weed-surprisingly-strong-dirty-tests-find-n327811
That's different from it being "laced." I'd call it hybridized.
Btw, I have a question for the OP. Did you ever smoke pot? Did you ever do it at home? If so, did you just think yourself more clever than your parents, or were they just turning a blind eye?

Or did you have a negative experience with a pot addict that informs your reaction?


My answer (for my own personal experience, not the OPs): Both, of course ;-)

marylago said:


ParticleMan said:
There are tons of these stories online...
www.nbcnews.com/storyline/legal-pot/legal-weed-surprisingly-strong-dirty-tests-find-n327811
That's different from it being "laced." I'd call it hybridized.
Btw, I have a question for the OP. Did you ever smoke pot? Did you ever do it at home? If so, did you just think yourself more clever than your parents, or were they just turning a blind eye?

Stoughton said:
I don't want to sound flip, and it's surely about more than the weed, but I might turn the tables and take it out of the equation, or even refashion it as a personal goal along these lines:

You're not going to smoke in our home. It's illegal and I find it distasteful. I also think that it's dangerous and is a major contributor to the other problems you're having.
However, I do know that there are many recreational pot smokers who live healthy, productive lives both at work and within their families. If the enjoyment that you get from smoking is that important to you, and you're willing to accept the legal and health risks, why not set a goal to be someone like that?
Start taking school seriously or find a job where there's potential to grow into a living wage. Save some money that you can put toward a place of your own. As a young person just getting started in life, you'll still need parental support financially and in other ways. Your odds are much better there if our relationship is cordial rather than a constant struggle.
Visualize yourself in a few years with a satisfying job where you can support yourself and your "hobby," living in your own apartment, having us over for a friendly meal as we help you paint or fix the sink. After we've cleaned the dishes and said our goodbyes, you can sit back and relax however you like.

^ If I were 18 and this was told to me in a non-hostile manner, I'd totally get it and respect it. ^



marylago said:

ParticleMan said:
There are tons of these stories online...
www.nbcnews.com/storyline/legal-pot/legal-weed-surprisingly-strong-dirty-tests-find-n327811
That's different from it being "laced." I'd call it hybridized.

I was responding to the post immediately above mine.

spontaneous said:
I can't do good searches and links on my phone, but if you search google there are some pretty good explanations about why "today's pot is stronger" falls somewhere between highly suspect and outright false

Kicking him out is an option, but I can't say. It depends on what alternatives are available and how likely he is to fare. In other words, if he would fare better after being kicked out, it's worth considering. In most cases, it's probably a bad idea.

But that is beside the point. It's not your call to make. You can't kick your stepson out of his mother's house. It is his legal home, and even though he doesn't pay into it, he is right to say it's his home, i.e. where he belongs until something changes. Paying into it is not the only criterion for whether a place is someone's home.


It is not only parents of teens/young adults....many people do not want pot in their home simply because it is illegal. And so their mature, adult friends respect that and don't indulge while visiting those homes. The same should be respected by family members. What the son does outside of the home is something you cannot control.

As for OP dilemma, there is great advice posted here.



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