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There are only about a handful of really uncomfortable conversations most of us have had or will have with our parents at some point, no matter what age you are. There’s the puberty talk we all get when we all go through “the change”, then there’s the question tons of parents probably dread most “where do babies come from?” or the infamous “sex talk”. Another topic that may be somewhat challenging for some parents is explaining what certain curse words mean and come from. No matter how old you are, you can’t forget about one of the most awkward topics on a long list of things you never intended on disclosing to mom: The Weed Talk.

Most of the time parents aren’t doing their own individual research and are being misinformed about cannabis and the benefits it carries. Here are some steps to take to make this awkward conversation slightly more simple and some facts that even your folks can understand, as long as they have an open mind.

Whether you got caught smoking in your room or you’ve always kept your recreational smoking habits on the down low. Either way, this conversation isn’t the easiest for either party. So, how do you break the ice and explain to your parents that are a little more on the conservative side that you’re an avid pot smoker? Hopefully mom and dad are willing to keep an open mind. But just in case, here’s some topics to discuss and some questions you may hear from your parents.

  1. Deal with the fact that it’s going to get awkward

Sparking up is perfectly normal – for you. Your parents could be a completely different story and could be coming from zero/limited firsthand experience. They might not have any 420-friendly friends, and for the most part they’ve probably had decades of exposure to the War on Drugs hype. So be aware of the circumstances at hand and remember that delivering the news could potentially be an emotional rollercoaster. Be ready for bewildered and awkward silence. Possibly some yelling. Maybe a few tears from mom. Also possible: laughter, because they’ve known the whole time, for years and ask if they can join in on the fun. Always remember: have confidence!

  1. Give them some background on your experience

Now that the hard part is over, be open with them and tell them your story and history with the plant. Tell them why you use cannabis and what made you to decide to start smoking. If you’re using cannabis for medical reasons, talk to them and explain what else you tried before finding cannabis to relieve your symptoms. Sometimes people who are unfamiliar with the plant often don’t know the differences between medical and recreational users – make sure they get the difference.

  1. Mention some good role models who also partake

Name-dropping is usually a huge turnoff for most; but in this case bringing up a few famous pot-smokers that your parents may already approve of can launch your credibility to the next level. I mean come on, even the President Obama has tried it once or twice. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is making efforts to legalize it. Even Martha Stewart has bragged about her joint-rolling skills. Pulling out a few examples of successful, smart people out of your pocket – who also happen to smoke pot – can give parents think again before they decide you’re wasting your life.

  1. Set rules for talking to the kids

If you have kids yourself, you’ve probably already thought about how you want to bring up the topic of cannabis with your children once they’re hit the right age. The last thing you want is Grandma winding them up with crazy stories in the meantime about mommy and daddy’s “special cigarettes.” Make sure to have a chat of your own with your folks about how you’d like them to respond when/if their grandchildren ask about marijuana. A simple “maybe you should ask your mom or dad about this” might be the way to go for now.

  1. Questions to address
  • What are the effects of using marijuana?
  • Does marijuana affect the developing mind of young adults?
  • Will smoking marijuana in your youth make you lazy and unmotivated?
  • Are pharmaceuticals safer because marijuana isn’t scientifically tested?
  • Can you get addicted to cannabis use?

The list goes on and on but those are just a few questions that may come up during your talk.

Bottom line, when you finally decide to lay it all on the table, have confidence that your family members or parents will be open minded to understand and learn about your personal experience with cannabis. Make sure you are also prepared to address or answer any questions your child may have about pot.. Opening up to your parents can be a positive step toward talking to your own child about marijuana.

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