Recreational Use of Marijuana by Adults

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Questions

Should I switch from wine to marijuana?

Aug 2011

I have noticed in the last few years now that I am in my late 40s that when I drink wine the next day my face is really puffy and looks old and tired which I don't like. So I had this crazy thought that maybe I should switch to marijuana to avoid this. I am a modest drinker, on Fri & Sat nights if home, I like to have 2 glasses of wine. That's it. If we eat out, I have one glass of wine, period. But still I look foward to it. I have never ever been a drug taker of any kind, even pain meds after child birth etc. I did try marijuana once at 15, just one time. So I have no experience whatsoever with marijuana. I am just wondering if I did it, what worries would I have? Such as if I had a modest amount in the evening, how would I feel the next day? Would I still have a puffy problem? How long does it show in the body if I had annual general medical tests? (I don't work so I don't have to worry about work testing). I travel alot - would dogs sniffing at the airport notice it - not that I would ever travel with it, but would it be noticeable in some trace amounts in my luggage? I guess I was thinking I would grow small amounts of it, maybe that is stupid I have no idea. I know this is kind of crazy but I am just looking for honest thoughts on this. My desire is to have a stress relief to look forward to but one that does not age my face. I am not really interested in ideas like yoga instead for stress relief as I exercise daily and am fit. I am a responsible sahm and have always been a law abiding, goody-goody so would this idea be too crazy and stressful for me? My husband would probably have a fit as he so law abiding he freaks out when a library book is overdue. Any experience with spouses who may feel differently? cathy


While I don't necessarily think that marijuana is more dangerous than wine, it is illegal, and the production, purchase, and distribution of marijuana (except perhaps in medical marijuana contexts) involves violence. People getting killed and put into jail. That's a moral issue for me, whatever I might think about the question of whether it should be legal. Frankly this is one of the thing that bothers me about attitudes in the Bay Area; smoking a little grass to ''chill'' avoids the issue of what happens to the people who provide it. And since you mention childbirth, you have at least one child. Right now the child might be small, but as s/he gets bigger, what kind of thing do want to model? Again, teen drinking is as big or bigger a problem as teen marijuana, but there are reasons to avoid smoking for your kids' sake. Would you like for them to buy or sell marijuana at school because Mom smokes it, so it's OK? Having a kid in high school has opened my eyes to the cultural issues surrounding marijuana, and I don't want my kid hanging with the kids whose parents light up at home. it's still illegal


This is pretty funny. Why don't you try it to see if you like it. It's gotten pretty strong so don't try a lot the first time! It's hilarious that you are worried about luggage and dogs...I mean, how much are you planning on smoking/consuming?? Just get a card. It will be pretty legal then. Don't turn into a stoner. rw


I don't know about switching from wine, but you can legally buy, grow, and use marijuana if you have a medical marijuana card, which is easy to get. There are many places to get the card in the Bay Area. You can even Google it. It usually costs around $100-$200 in cash for the appointment and card.

If you do that, you will be law-abiding in your use of marijuana. The people at the dispensaries are VERY helpful for someone unaccustomed to smoking, eating, etc. marijuana. They can give helpful advice, answer questions, give dosage suggestions, and more. I recommend you get your card, get a little marijuana, and try it. You might find you like it. You might find you don't.

I used to do it a lot in college, but more recently when I started looking for an alternative to some RX medications, I found that I actually did NOT like marijuana and the affect it had on me. Like any other medication or drug for relaxation and recreation, it will have effects that you may or may not like. So, try it and see what you think. If you do it with a card, you are not breaking the law.

Oh yeah, and never EVER travel with it. EVER. Unless you are traveling within California. That's a whole other issue. The residue should not be significant to alert dogs in the airport and, if by some weird fluke it did, if there is no marijuana in your bags there is nothing to ''get'' you for... Hope that helps! Much simpler than you think!


Before you make this potentially major change in your lifestyle, why don't you try asking your doctor about the puffiness? And do some online research on it. Is it possible it's not the wine, but something in it, i.e. nitrates or such? Maybe there's a wine that's free of that. (Also - do you like beer?)

Aside from the legal & interpersonal questions, what I would see as a risk is that some people get very hooked on pot, which becomes a hassle.

Also, you might be tempted to drink wine along with it, since pot doesn't really ''replace'' the alcohol glow. In that case you'd be worse off than before. Interesting question! T


I love your question! It is so honest and real life. I'm sure you'll get some responses about legality and addiction and maybe how vain it is to worry about your face... This would be a different answer if you were drinking every night. I have the feeling most people on this forum have younger kids and are really in the hard years and subject to a lot of external and internal pressure about being a good parent, which I totally understand but have a different perspective on now.

I'm the mother of an older kid and most of my friends' kids are in high school or out already. I noticed when they all started leaving the house it came out with these different friends (all in separate instances, not as a group) that they smoke pot to some degree. These were all goody-goody, participating, law-abiding types, soccer coaches, teachers' helpers, field trip drivers. One totally successful guy I know does it every single day and always has. Successful in work and fun and a good person, good husband, good dad. Now that I don't have to do the role model thing, I every now and then partake but I'm not one who gets a lot of satisfaction out of it. I learned to give it a try through all my friends! And I've done it with my kid, there I said it. And I'm not the only parent who has. I know a college professor who gets high with his kid now and then. It can enhance the relationship at that point.

As far as I know, pot does not have many or ANY side effects the next day. I think it's a great substitution to make. Stick with small doses, do it at home after the kids are in bed. Try not to carry it ever in your luggage. I do know of a couple of people who have one or two plants but I would probably avoid that. I think it's a felony or something. I know several people who have medical cards, a chiropractor can give you a referral, then the people at the medical pot dispensary can really educate you about the different effects and you know it's all clean. Some good side effects can be great sex, a lot of laughs (if your husband does it with you), and the light-hearted resolution of conflicts.

And yes, I think wine does make the face puffy. I don't think there's anything wrong with looking forward to the stress relief on the weekend. go for it


As far as I am aware, marijuana is not legal except for some medical exceptions (in some places). I believe that a lot of the pot smoked in the US comes from Mexico, which means that if you buy pot illegally you may be contributing to a brutal, devastating drug war. Of course this statement could serve as a plank in a pro-legalization argument, but so long as marijuana is not legal and the purchase of it is part of such a violent situation I'd stick with wine and suffer the puffy face. Former resident of Chateau


Hello Cathy. I'm a 52-year-old SAHM, a long-time technology communications professional, also a medical cannabis patient. Drinking alcohol at night makes me feel lousy the next morning. Using medical cannabis to ease muscular tension and calm menopausal jitters has improved my health & well-being. However, I don't smoke it, I use a vaporizer. Smoking anything is harmful to your body.

No need to buy or grow ''black market''/ illegal pot anymore. Many online resources help potential cannabis patients determine correct types and amounts of cannabis to use. You could start here: http://www.canorml.org/prop/patientsguide.htm

California's Proposition 215 allows medical marijuana to be used for any serious condition for which marijuana provides relief. Cannabis has a remarkably wide spectrum of medical uses, ranging from chronic pain, muscle spasticity, nausea and appetite loss to psychiatric conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.

My partner does not use cannabis, never has, but appreciates and respects the all-positive effects of cannabis on my health. Best wishes for good health! Cannabis patient


A fascinating question. More than two glasses of wine interferes with my sleep and makes me tired the next day, so I usually drink a bottle of good-quality beer, cool as opposed to cold, with my dinner (unless it's pasta; pasta demands wine). I agree with the respondent who said to talk to your doctor, as most wines do contain all sorts of sulfites, nitrites, etc., and you may have grown allergic to them over the years.

Anyway, try organic wine, if you haven't already, which doesn't contain such preservatives. Locally grown marijuana, legal or il-, might work for you, too, but keep in mind that marijuana is much stronger than it used to be and should be approached with care.

Lastly, I don't know if you enjoy spirits, but as an old lady, my late mother swore by a shot of good Scotch in a lot of water, which she then would slowly sip from 5 p.m. until bedtime. Ma lived to be almost 99 on a healthy diet, exercise, good genes, and Glenfiddich. Melanie


Oh man, some of these responses.. whew! I love your question. Im not a drinker at all, and I do sometimes partake. I think its a very personal decision. Most likely it wont do it for you, or you would already be a toker, not a drinker. It doesnt have the same side effects, but you are still pulling burning smoke into your lungs. May not be as bad as cigarettes, but still... As for your husband not knowing, though, this is a recipe for bad, bad news. And since it is illegal, well it seems he'd be in the right to have a problem with it. All the people who talk about attributing to violence, while it is true that unfortunately that exists, most likely what you get in CA, this part anyway, is grown in CA. probably by your neighbors.

So, my advice. Get a card. Not hard to do, and you can tear it up if you change your mind. Buy the smallest quantity you can and experiment no more or less than 3 times. give it a decent run. Unless you hate it the first time. And log it. How you feel before, after, etc. This is important!It's is a key ingredient to any kind of lifestyle change. And if you decide to go for it, never have it in your home. Not until your husband is on board with your own use. Its a respect thing. Only get it as you use it. Then, as someone pointed out, theres never a need for worry. Under an ounce is a misdemeanor now (thanks Arny:), and thats a whole lot more than you will ever use! seasoned mother toker


My husband has started smoking pot again - I don't like it

May 2009

when i first met my husband he hadnt smoked pot in 1 1/2 years. now he is smoking again. the only reason i liked him sooo much was that he didnt smoke pot. i dont like it at all. he is even the ''middle'' man for his friends which i think is worse. i love him so much but i dont want him to smoke it most of all deliver it for his friends. i dont know what i should do. should i leave him? give him a choice the pot or me? anytime i get upset he knows why but still askes then when i say it is the pot that bothers me he gets mad and we fight. please give me some advise i want him to stop but i am afraid he wont. what do i do? tracie


A very sensitive situation but needs resolution if it makes you unhappy. You can either forget it and let it go and just realize he's a pothead and hope it does not get you into trouble (especially if he's dealing and transporting) or the hardest but most effective solution would be to deliver an ultimatum, get help and quit or lose me. It's not a we'll see or I'll try based upon trust, it is a now or never ultimatum. Make sure someone you trust is there in another room when you deliver this ultimatum to reduce the possibility of hostility. It will be one of the hardest things you have ever done. Just remember, there is someone out there for all of us who can make us happy! Britta


It's hard to address the issue fully without more information. What don't you like about your husband smoking pot? Is it just that it's illegal, or does his personality change when he's smoking? People can and do become addicted to marijuana, just like other drugs. Perhaps an Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meeting or three might help you sort out your feelings, and your options, if you think he's an addict. - - in recovery myself


If your husband is the middle man, he may have enough pot around to ultimately be charged w/ more than just a misdemeanor. Keep in mind that if you own any property (even just a car), anything that is used in the transactaions (driving the car to make deliveries, storing the stuff in your home) can be compensated. I know of a man who lost his home for that reason. It's not worth it. If you're married to him, you're going to lose financially too (and you may want to check if you've got any liability). Protect yourself first. I personally have little against pot smoking, having smoked as a youngster, but I can't see the point of it now that I have responsibilities and have to get things done. Given that you don't like it at all, you might want to consider the possibility of giving him an ultimatum, particularly given the legal ramifications.


Tracie, Question...is it the pot only or are there other things about the relationship that have changed since your husband started smoking pot again? I think that far too often people judge pot smokers in a way that they don't judge people who ''have a glass of wine''. I think that you should take a deep breath, then take a really good long look at your relationship with this man. Is he responsible? Are you happy in all of the other areas of your relationship? If you two love each other and are compatible in every other way then I'd say try to figure out a way to not be so judgmental about the pot smoking. A lot of people smoke pot for medicinal reasons or for the same reasons that other people ''have a drink''. I think its unfortunate that we continue to criminalize them. All relationships have challenges, so if the act of smoking pot is your only issue then I'd say try to get over it. But if there are other things that are going on as a result of the pot smoking, then you may need to reconsider the relationship. I would not worry about him contributing it to his friends. If you really love eachother, then I'd say let him be. I learned late in life (I'm almost 40 now) that my father smoked pot almost every day for years. He was a great father, and husband. My mother did not smoke pot but she allowed him to be himself and she had her occasional glass of wine or brandy. He was and still in an incredibly smart and responsible man. He took great care of our family and they two of them are still married over 40 years. They have a great life and love each other and most importantly, they let each other be who they are individually. Of course they had their ups and downs in the relationship but I'm glad that she let him be himself and didn't judge him for smoking pot. I turned out fine, have multiple degrees and now my parents are wonderful grandparents. Just something to consider. Good luck. The Daughter of a Wonderful Pot Smoking Dad


I too know what you're going through. My husband has smoked weed our entire relationship. At first I was very angry and mad, but came to figure out that it could be worse. He actually has a RX for it. He has also mentioned that is has help curbed his other habits to other drugs that he did when he was younger. I've come to learn to accept the smoking, which is to be done solely outside the home, due to having kids. I think alcohol is a much dangerous habit than weed smoking. There are no reports that adults die of weed smoking, but there are many stories daily about DUI accidents and health risks and problems.

Your husband needs the numbness for something, which has recently returned. Let the man smoke! It could be much worse. He could be taking some crazy anti depressant drug that has worse effects, like suicide.

I don't like it either. I quit over 10 years ago, and I also hate how much it cost to buy, but there are much more worse habits he can have; like alcohol, affairs, porn...etc etc.. Be happy that his at home in your presence and not doing something much worse than smoking weed. Ease of and take a toke yourself!! Bless. Worry about something else!!


I had to write when I saw that most of the responses you received were supportive of your husband. My first husband was a daily pot smoker. I partied only occasionally. We were young when we met, so it was no big deal. But, after awhile, I began to see that he used it to tune out on life. His personality changed when he was high. He never did anything around the house. He had no ambition other than to ''be happy''. I always felt like we were ''missing'' money, but he managed to convince me that I was crazy. He would also act as a middle man for his friends, using MY vehicle to do it. He was eventually arrested, and I was darn lucky that my vehicle was not taken from me. I realized that I wanted a life that included a home and children, and his addiction didn't fit with that dream. I was also tired of being labeled as ''The Bitch'' by his friends because they all saw pot as harmless. I finally left my husband, and he started in Narcotics Anonymous. The change in him was amazing! It was too late for us as a couple, but we were able to remain good friends. Unfortunately, a few years later, he started smoking again. He met a lovely woman who lived with him for years but who had to leave him for the same reason. I know that we're in Berkeley, where everyone is supposed to be cool about all pot smoking, but it is a drug, and people become addicted to drugs. Would you put up with your husband being drunk every night? I agree that most things are fine in moderation, but you have the right to have a partner who doesn't check out every day. Please talk to him and tell him this. NA has lots of meetings, and the people are there to help. At the very least, you might want to check out an al-anon or noc-anon meeting-these are for the loved ones of alcoholics and addicts. New husband doesn't check out


I have to give a different opinion. I am normally very progressive and open to things, but not when it comes to drugs. I don't think pot smokers are ''great people''. There's a reason potheads are easygoing - it's because they don't have the balls to deal with life's headaches. They are avoiders and the burden of responsibility falls on someone else's shoulders while they get to play nice guy. How is that fair? They instead escape from their anger, stress, and overwhelm through pot. It's a way to check out and I'm not having it in my life. Be engaged and present or get lost.

I know the common sentiment these days is acceptance of marijuana. To me, it's serious and absolutely a deal-breaker. If my partner decided he wanted to smoke pot, I would tell him I've loved our relationship and will miss him. Then I'd say we need to make our separation plans, because I won't be involved with a pot smoker. Not even occasional use.

In your case, I think you need to first determine where you stand on the issue deep in your heart, and let your heart and goals lead you to your best decision.


Smoking pot for relaxation & pain, still breastfeeding toddler

April 2008

I've been toying with the idea of smoking marijuana for relaxation and pain management. I have a 13 month old daughter, and am still breast-feeding definately mornings and nights. Sometimes during the day, depending on the situation and the environement. My question: how safe, or not, would it be for my child ,if I were to smoke a toke or two, let's say twice a day? Every advice welcomed. Thank you anon


Guilty. My kids (2) are fine. Ages, 2 and 4 1/2. I bf them until over 21 months each. Didn't bf while I was under the influence. Guilty


Medical marijuana is available in California for good reason- it can help with several conditions, including pain management and anxiety reduction (it's the Cannibis indica strains that help with those two, however they also tend to make you sleepy so you might not want to use it during the day). I can't answer your question about the safety with breast feeding, but I can suggest an evaluation clinic in San Francisco called Green Relief Natural Health Clinic, 415-351-1989. I experienced the doctor that I saw there for an evaluation as quite responsible, and am sure that he could answer your questions. Rather than smoking, to avoid lung damage you can purchase and use a vaporizer- not a water pipe or hooka, which only cool the smoke. There are many dispensaries in the area, the one that I like (because it's run very professionally) is Patient's Care Collective on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley). Anon


Please don't smoke pot while you are breastfeeding. It does get into the baby. THC is fat soluble and can build up in your body if you start using, even once or twice a day. Since breast milk has such high fat content, the marijuana levels in breast milk are high. Studies show that marijuana can be found in the urine of breastfed kids and that kids whose moms smoked while breastfeeding showed delayed development. Not a great way for a baby to start out in life. Please, while you are nursing, find other ways to relax and manage your pain. concerned


Are you kidding?! Bad idea. I certainly wouldn't do it. Kelly


It is totally safe as far as breastfeeding goes. That would not be my concern. You just don't want to smoke so much that you are unable to properly care for your child. Another thing--because it is fat soluble, it can show up in your toddler if you are breastfeeding, which isn't a big deal, but can cause problems with CPS (not saying that you're dealing with them, but it has been an issue for others). Oh, and if you're going to smoke regularly, look into getting a vaporizer--much healthier and no smoke! anon


Nothing against smoking the M (even though I don't) but if you are still breast feeding, there will definitely be THC in your milk. Takes about 3 days (on average) to leave the body completely. Do you really want to subject your toddler to that? And if someone saw you doing this, they may call Child Protective Services. If you have pain challenges, you may want to try another route such as pain management yoga. For relaxation, try yoga breathing and/or meditation. You did not mention what kind of pain, so start with these links:
http://www.yogaprops.net/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY_Code=yp_Code=6_BNSR http://artmam.net/Pain_Management-8.htm http://parents.berkeley.edu/recommend/medical/back.html http://easternholisticcenter.com/education.htm 
I just googled ''Pain management + yoga + berkeley'' you may want to try something similar. You may also want to get a mother's helper so that you can relax, but above all, do not toke while you are breast feeding. Stacy


PLEASE don't do it. I grew up with a mom who would smoke marijuana in her bedroom. It reaked up the house, and I felt ashamed. I, and 3 out of 4 of my siblings, developed serious addictions later in life (including pot which is not a mild drug as people want to make it - it's ruined many lives). Pot is a drug. Yes, the whole issue of medical marijuana and why can folks legally drink and not smoke pot, blah blah blah....You're talking to a long-term pot smoker. Please, don't do it. sister


Marijuana does kill brain cells, and it impairs your fine motor skills. If you don't want to do that to your baby, then either don't smoke or don't breastfeed. Since you don't know how it will affect your baby, who is at an extremely important part of his life in terms of brain development, I absolutely wouldn't take a single toke and still breastfeed. (They are still growing at a phenomenal rate, and you dont' really want to adversely affect their future.)

It makes me apathetic, it makes some people judgemental or paranoid. It may do neither to you, but if it does, do you want that around your baby? Would you smoke a cigarette around your baby? Is pot smoke really that much different? Do you want to tell your baby, when she gets older, what you're doing? How would you feel about it if your baby starts a little early herself (say, at 8 or 9, which is when I started experimenting w/whatever I could get my hands on)?

You may want to look for more long-term, sustainable stress-relief and pain management (which may be interconnected).


If you are saying that you are ''toying'' with the idea, sounds to me like you are already doing it, feel guilty about it and are looking to the liberal BPN community to give you permission to expose your child to drugs. You are already putting in her system even if you are smoking it around her. This would be considered abuse by CPS. Who is watching your child while you are taking your 'toke or two' twice a day? Hopefully not you. While you should be nurturing and protecting your child, you are impairing your own abilities to make solid judgments and debilitating her growth in many ways. You have probably stopped reading this by now, but you were the one who put it out there. I smoked my share of pot years ago when I was single and childless, but I consider it in the same category as exposing my child to any other drug or impurity. If you do smoke, I suggest that you don't physically expose her to your drugs in any way, which means immediately weaning and doing it outside after she's gone to bed at night. anon


It does not seem like a good idea to smoke pot while you breastfeed-it will definitely have an effect on your child, and you don't want to mess around with his/her development. Smoking pot twice a day is also a lot-I'm wondering if you might want to find other ways to cope with stress (bodywork, therapy, massage, exercise). they are finding that pot is much more potent than it used to be, and that while people say they are not addicted, they really are. you also shouldn't expose your child to the smoke. e


Unfortunately its terrible! It is a carcinogen (causes cancer) and is addictive even if inhaled as second hand smoke. Please find another way to take it if you need to - teas, mixed in food. Another thing to consider is if your child will be safe being taken care of by someone under the ''influence''.

Please consider carefully! hope this helps


Have you tried yoga? You may want to...it sounds like it will solve your problems and you won't have to worry about digesting and processing a lot of conflicting information about the long term affects of smoking marijuana around young children. -anon


DON'T SMOKE POT WHILE STILL BREASTFEEDING!! Pot contains psychotropic chemicals (ie THC) which make it fun to smoke as an adult, but could seriously harm or change the brain chemistry of your baby who has a rapidly growing brain. Those chemicals are lipophilic (fat loving) and most certainly will get into your breast milk. Either wean your toddler or go see a doctor about other pain management options.

If you decide to wean your toddler and use pot to manage your pain, remember to not smoke pot around him/her as second hand smoke from pot is still second hand smoke and is a cancer/asthma/SIDs threat to your baby (not to mention a cancer threat to you). anon


Husband's recreational pot smoking stinks

May 2007

My husband is a recreational pot smoker. He smoked before we were married and I was aware of it. The actual smoking doesn't really bother me too much. He does it outside far from the house and he cleans a lot when he is stoned. But I do mind the smell of the smoke. We've had two main conversations about his smoking. One...I insisted that he doesn't ever smoke when he is caring for our kids alone. If I'm not home (even if they are asleep) no smoking. And two...I don't want to smell it on his clothes, his breath, his person. He agreed, after some back and forth, to both.

So the other night, I come out from putting our oldest to bed and go into our bathroom, where my husband is brushing his teeth. And, it smelled horrible. Like he was smoking in the bathroom. It was that strong. I said, ''Dude, that is gross.'' He looked at me funny and walked out. The smell was still there after he left. So I went up to him and said, ''I don't want to have to deal with that smell.'' He looked at me like I was crazy and speaking in some foreign language. He started to rationalize what happened (how he had ''just'' come inside, blah, blah, blah). I said that I didn't ever want to smell it and he said there was some level of smoke that I would ''always smell'' and I needed to just ''deal''. I disagreed and said that I shouldn't have to ever deal with it. I said that I was dealing with him smoking at all, but no, I didn't need to deal with smelling it. We got into a big, icky thing about this. He thinks I should just accept it, and I don't think I should have to.

So my question? What the heck do I do? With very few exceptions (this being one of them), he is an excellent husband and father. But it seems totally unreasonable to me that I should have to smell his smoke. I personnally think he shouldn't smoke at all since it is illegal and gross, but I knew this when I married him, so I accepted that fact. But...do I need to have it shoved in my face??? No smoke please...


I hate to say it, but I think you are over reacting. I'm sure others will write in support of your views, and all of you are entitled to your opinions, but in your specific case, you're not being realistic.

The first line of your letter is My husband is a recreational pot smoker. You said he is one. Currently, as well as in the past. You knew that about him before you married him, and in your words, I accepted that fact.

I have to agree with him that you should expect a minimal amount of awareness that it exists. By your own account, he had just come in from smoking and was immediately brushing his teeth. Good on him!

I'm not into alcohol, but almost every woman I've ever been with has drunk alcohol around me, and turned into a louder, less considerate version of themselves. Not to mention smelly!

Please put everything into perspective. You said, With very few exceptions (this being one of them), he is an excellent husband and father. This is the guy's only fault and you're riding him for it? I'm sure you're not the only person on this list who loves almost everything about their spouse, but has to deal with a smell that is less than desirable.

You literally asked, do I need to have it shoved in my face? but from what you describe, it sounds like he is considerate of your desire and is trying reasonably hard to minimize your exposure. If you stick to your guns and demand that you absolutely never smell it, then for him to do this thing that he does, he'll have to go away from you. Do you really want that?

You are setting up a dangerous dynamic where the only time he experiences pot is when he's away from you, with him possibly feeling excluded, or separate from you emotionally, or shamed. For the sake of your relationship, I think you'll be much happier if you practice accepting all of him, and allow him to feel comfortable around you.

By the way, your thinking that he shouldn't smoke at all is kind of like him thinking that you shouldn't like one of the things that you like. It'd be an interesting opinion, but it isn't going to make you stop liking it. And it might leave you feeling judged, or rejected, or angry. I really don't recommend it. Thomas


My husband also smokes pot and I don't like it. But I will always remember something I read once written by a woman whose husband smoked pot. She hated it and forced him to stop...so he started drinking. He became an alcoholic, with far worse consequences than smoking pot, and she has ever since regretted making him stop smoking. If your husband is great in every other way (as mine is), and the pot does good things for his behavior (you said he cleans), then I would say try not to make too big a deal about it. What if he was the kind of guy who took really smelly dumps, and the smell in the bathroom grossed you out every time? That's the attitude I would take - i.e. the smell is something unpleasant, annoying, but temporary. Our society vilifies smoking in general, so it is easy to act like he is a pariah. But he sounds like a good guy except for this one vice, so I would say find some way to not be so annoyed by the smell (it is hard to control the smell of smoking, and smokers are the least able to notice their own smell). I know it is illegal but, honestly, I do think it is far better than alcohol or any other vices a man could have. Wife of pot smoker too


If it is really just the smell that you object to, why not get your husband a ''smoking jacket'' to wear outside while smoking. However it sounds like the issues might be deeper than that. I would say a husband that smokes pot only and then cleans the house is pretty harmless. Sometimes in a marriage it is a good idea to pick your battles and save your ammunition for the stuff that really matters. alexis


Hi there -- I'm sorry that this is an issue, but I wanted to ask: Are you sure that your husband is just a ''recreational pot smoker''? To me, ''recreational'' means that you do it at an occasional party and never in the house when your kids are around. And you certainly don't hide in the bathroom to smoke if your wife is concerned about it. In my limited knowledge of addiction (my dad was a functioning alcoholic), if you choose the substance over family (for example, your wishes not to smell it) then he is heading towards addiction or is addicted. I I hope this helps....


No offense but I think you are lying. It sounds to me like you really resent the fact that he smokes at all. You are trying to control his smoking by controlling the smell.

He is an excellent husband and father. (And you claim this is an exception to that?) He doesn't smoke once the kids are in bed when you are not home and he takes steps to insure that the smell associated with his smoking is as little as possible. And you bust his chops about it and talk about how unreasonable he is?????????? He is absolutely correct when he says that if he smokes he cannot be completely smell free.

The tone of your letter suggests that you believe since you knew he smoked from the beginning that you are not entitled to object now. But the truth is that you do object now whether in your mind you are entitled to or not. Perhaps you have been secretly hoping he would change once you were married with kids. You need to start telling the whole truth (even the contradictory parts). If you continue with this tack you are on I predict that he will come to resent you in a very ugly way. I would strongly recommend that you find a loving, compassionate place within yourself and bring this to your interactions with him around this.

Of course, you also could use this as an opportunity to deepen within yourself. What if you held it as though he wasn't doing anything to you but that instead your reaction was about you? What if you let yourself feel what arises for you around this without any story or making anyone wrong? Try turning your attention away from him and toward your inner self, to the feelings instead of the thoughts? By lashing out at him you are avoiding something juicy for you. anon


My wife was uncomfortable with the smell of smoke. I went and got a vaporizer and it helps immensely. It is also healthier for you than pipe smoking. There is a local company that creates vaporizers, vaporstore.com, and you can buy them at Al's Smoke Shop on Telegraph. pot smoking hubby


Oh boy. Here is my take. Warning: you may not like what I have to say.

I smoke pot almost every evening after work to unwind. I generally do it after my child goes to bed, but I sometimes do it beforehand. I smoke in my home, but always away from my child. My kid is in a great school, and I have a great job. Everything concerning my child is handled by me. If I have something to do with my child or for my child, I do not get stoned. I feel that I have a right to my one vice if I am responsible about using. I know it is illegal and that people die over it since it is illegal. I believe it should be legalized, and I find it benign compared to alcohol.

My husband was like you. He HATED that I smoked pot. He comes from a law enforcement family, so he is completely against it. By the way, his family LOVES me, and one of my in-laws is aware of my habit as are my clean-as-a-whistle parents. I told them because it IS illegal and I didn't want them to be blindsided by the information if anything ever happened to me (like, if I get hit by a bus, I don't want them to be shocked if an autopsy shows that marajuana was in my blood). None of them complain about my filthy little habit anymore because I am the one who handles the important details about our life and our child, and I do a better job than my husband does. After 10 years with me, his views about pot and its effects have changed, and he no longer considers it worth it to complain about my habit. I told him that he could leave if he was not happy with our marraige. I am economically independent, and he is aware that my choosing to be with him is just that: a choice.

If he is not cheating on you or selling all of your belongings to get drugs, and he makes you happy in all other areas, I think you are being selfish, petty and picky, but my opinion doesn't count. Yours does. If this is a deal-breaker for you that you didn't realize would affect your marraige so much, leave him. Smoking marajuana in the United States IS illegal, and if you feel that strongly, you should leave him. He is an adult making a choice, and so are you. If you can't accept it, you shouldn't. If living without him is worth it, then leave him to his pot. If it isn't worth it, then leave him alone and let him smoke in his home with plenty of Lysol behind closed doors away from your children. Anonymous, of course!


Oh this sucks. I was in the same position. Luckily, for me, he pretty much stopped. First he stopped buying it, so he would only have some if a friend gave it to him. Then, it really just started disagreeing with him. Either from being older or just not smoking it much, it started affecting him badly. After a huge fight when he was acting really weird and wouldn't admit that he was on something, the next day he admitted he had smoked pot before coming home from work(!) and said he was going to stop. Of course, a few days after that he did it one more time to assert his independence or something but since then we have not had any problems. So I don't know if you should hope for some big incident or what, but I'm sure you know that nothing good will come of discussing it when he is freshly doped up. If you can (I know it's hard!) don't yell, just be cold and distant and talk about it the next day. I really don't see how with two kids he has enough opportunities to still get high. Maybe your next rule needs to be, No smoking when you are at home with the kids at all--not just when he is alone with them, because that is not fair to you. If everyone is home and he slips away to get high while you put the kids in bed, not only have you done all the work, but you also get to spend the rest of the night with a stoned loser guy.

Also, many of my friends had parents that smoked pot when they were young and hid it to various extents--all of them knew that something weird was going on and did not like it. So you may bring up the fact that he is going to have to quit sooner or later unless he wants to really freak out the kids. It will have to be something for ''special ocassions''-- just like parents who like to drink don't get totally smashed unless it's new years eve and the kids are with a babysitter for the whole night. I know I know pot smokers will say that a joint is like 1 glass of wine but the point is we all have to control our behavior for the common good. anon


You say you accept the pot smoking, that the actual smoking doesn't really bother you ''too much'', but then you say that you don't think he should smoke at all since it's illegal ''and gross'', and it doesn't sound to me like you do accept it at all! It also sounds to me to me like you're looking to the BPN community to make your husband ''wrong'' for doing it at all- I suspect that you'll get plenty of responders willing to do that, so I'm going to speak from another viewpoint.

I think you're being unreasonable- you say, ''what the heck do I do?'', but what the heck do you expect your husband to do? You knew this about him, you like the bennie that he cleans when stoned, but you think that it's possible for you to NEVER smell any at all on him- ? That's impossible, all sorts of smells stay on a person until they have a chance to clean up, whether it's manure from working in the garden or garlic and onions from cooking. His ''rationalizing'' that he just came inside ''blah, blah, blah'' might very well have been the simple fact of the matter- you walked in on him (did you knock?) when he was brushing his teeth and working to get rid of the smell so that you wouldn't have to deal with it! I don't call that ''shoving it in my [your] face''.

Or maybe it WOULD be possible to never smell even the slightest hint if you required him to build his own personal shower in the back yard, set up his own personal clothes hamper outside of the house, and keep a supply of clean clothes outside the house!

Really- it sounds like you are trying to make him succumb to your desire that he not smoke at all by setting up impossible hurdles for him rather than working out a realistic compromise. Being a total pothead who is rendered incapable of being ''an excellent husband and father'' because of drug use is a whole different ball of wax from what you are describing.

This issue is bringing something up for you, and I think that you are so set on being self-righteous and right, that you aren't looking at yourself and where your need to make him wrong is coming where. I wonder if he gave up the pot if you would come up with some other way to make him wrong.

There are sooo many things way worse than being a recreational pot smoker, whether it's legal or not (and there are many good arguments for decriminalizing it- for adults, not for minors). Anon


This one is easy -- get him a vaporizer. They are sold in several head shops on Telegraph Ave. See http://www.vaporbrothers.com/ for details on one particular brand. There is no smoke involved at all -- the THC is vaporized at a high temperature and inhaled. No smoke, no smell. anon


This is an easy one! Have him start baking pot cookies. No more smoke. Anon


Wow. i just read the first responses to your question, and I just wanted to say that I don't agree with those--and even you--who say that you ''knew this when you married him'' so it shouldn't matter now. People grow and change. What didn't bother you at age 25 might really bother you now, and that's okay. It's pretty clear from your message that you need something different now, but feel guilty about that need. Is his ''need'' to smoke pot more important just because it's been the longer pattern? No. You count too. You do need to deal with your own feelings here, and be honest with yourself first. How important is this issue? Can you deal with it in yourself by yourself, or do you need help? Do you think this is something you and your husband can work on,or do you is there a bigger issue lurking? Sounds like it's time for a little soul searching, and realignment as a couple. The happiest marriages aren't between people who never change. They are between people who support each other during the changes that inevitably happen in the course of a lifetime and have learned to grow together. Sounds like you're at a point where you need to see if you can do that. It can be scary, but from your post it also sounds like it's worth it. Thoughts on the other side


It didn't even occur to me to respond to the original post until I started reading the responses, which reminded me of my first marriage. My ex smoked every day, which was fine at first. Then, I started being bothered by the smell, the money spent, etc. After a few years, I realized that it was his way to be emotionally absent from our relationship and his life. I couldn't live like that, but his friends kept telling him that there was nothing wrong with it and that I was being a b#*%@! I was accused of being controlling, when I really just wanted a marriage where the other person was actually ''there''. We divorced, but remained good friends. Coincidentally, his current long-term girlfriend has been battling him over the same thing for years, and he still seems just as willing to lose her instead of the pot, just like he was with me. I wonder if the original poster might be concerned with her husband's need for escape more than the smell but is too afraid to even approach that subject. I don't know how bad this battle is in your home, but counseling to discuss your concerns in a safe place might not be such a bad idea. I do agree with some of the other posters when they pointed out that ''social smokers'' don't smoke every day. Just another angle to explore. Married to Clear-Headed Husband Now


Fascinating responses to the woman who wrote that her husband's pot smoking was a problem for her! Yes, she probably wasn't being honest that the smell was the main thing that bothered her about it; she probably would rather that he not smoke at all.

Whether or not the smell of pot is really the original poster's main problem, or pot should be decriminalized, or that he's a good husband in other respects, or he could buy a vaporizer to reduce the smell, is beside the point. His pot smoking is causing a problem in their marriage.

Apparently doesn't care. He thinks that by smoking outside and brushing his teeth right away, he's doing his bit. That would be fair if we were talking about some really necessary habit or bodily function.

But smoking pot isn't actually a necessity of life. If someone feels compelled to engage in basically superfluous behavior - be it pot or cigarette smoking, alcohol, binge eating, downloading porn, surfing the internet for hours, gambling, shopping for Manolo Blahniks (and yes, I compare them equally because they are all, strictly speaking, unnecessary) - and it is a constant source of conflict in their marriage, and they still refuse to give it up, it's the user who has the problem.

If you need to get even mildly high to unwind, get to sleep or get through the day, you're addicted, no matter in what quantity you use. Her husband needs to address why he is compelled to use in spite of this being a point of contention.

And both he and she need to think ahead to the fact that their kids - unless they are blind, deaf and hard of smelling(!) are going to pick up some pretty poor relationship modeling from this kind of sad stand-off between their parents. Seeing clearly through the smoke


Your arguments with your husband sound like the ones I had with my husband in the beginning (although years before we were married). For years he made it seem like it was me who had the problem. He denied he had an addiction and refused to see how it was affecting our family. He had smoked for 17 years and it had made him extremely emotionally immature and unavailable. And while smoking pot in general doesn't bother me, it wasn't okay for me to live with someone who NEEDED it to function. When he'd tell me ''it's JUST pot'' I'd have to feel strong in ''but I'm not okay with it.'' I hesitated talking to people about our problem because I knew most people would think I was just tripping and that I needed to lighten up - but what they didn't see was how his progressive addiction got to where his smoking, and trying to hide his smoking, was affecting every facet of our family's life. Finally, I'd had enough and I think he realized that losing me and his son was not worth it anymore. Nor was being totally emotionally dependent on a drug to stay calm and functional. He got help and he's been completely sober for 4 years now. It was very tough for him to stop. The difference I see in him as an individual, husband, father, and friend is unbelievable. He talks about it now and admits how much of his time and energy he spent being high, thinking about getting high, thinking of how to hide it from me and others, and planning our days in such a way that he could break away to smoke. He completely validates all of my previous concerns and is so happy that it isn't his lifestyle anymore. He's an addict- he always will be- but he's a recovering addict now and I've never seen him happier.

I tell you all of this because I want you to realize that it isn't always ''just pot'' and it can be a very serious problem. Take your concerns seriously and don't let anyone talk them down if they are really things that bother you. If it really is just the smell, then there isn't that much I can do to help you with that one (although I have heard you can blow out a tube with a dryer sheet on the end of it).

Good luck. not just the smell


Persuading someone not to drive while high

April 2007

I am trying to talk to someone about what happens if you get pulled over for driving while high, but it's difficult to find any concrete info on this. There's lots of info on blood alcohol levels, but what about pot? Has anyone ever been pulled over while high (on pot alone) and if so, what happens? What are the legal fines, can you be arrested, higher insurance, etc? Rationally it seems like a very bad idea to drive while high, but since alcohol has been proven to be even more idiotic (and I agree), it's hard to argue with someone about this. Any info appreciated! anon


is this person a parent? driving is dangerous enough. i don't mean to sound harsh, but, imagine if this person were to get in an accident while stoned, kill his/her child or someone else's. isn't that enough of an argument not to drive? as for the law, my neighbor is on the jury for someone who got a DUI for driving while under the influence of Ambian. if this person continues to drive stoned, perhaps they could put a sticker on the car that says: stoner on board. good luck concerned driver


You can get a DUI while driving high from pot. The Oakland Tribune did a great story on this around New Year's.

DUI - driving under the influence - is not necessarily related to alcohol. It's under the influence of a mind-altering drug. Gee - remember when the guy got a DUI for driving under the influence of too much Kava tea a couple years ago?

So your friend can get slapped with a DUI - and believe me, it's NOT a fun experience. It's costly, your driving record is ruined for 7 years, your insurance skyrockets and on and on.

And worse - your friend can seriously hurt or kill himself OR someone else under the influence. It's unbelievable how stupid and selfish people are. Whoops. Did I just get on a soapbox there? My bad. --Tell your friend to lay off the weed when driving


Hi, I just posted in answer to your question and mentioned the guy with the Kava tea DUI. Wanted to add that the penalties for DUI are the same regardless of whether it's alcohol or any other drug, like marijuana. --It's NOT worth it


Driving under the influence of anything that impairs one's ability to drive is a crime in violation of Vehicle Code section 23152(a). It can be alcohol, illegal drugs, even prescription drugs. The legal test is whether ''as a result of consuming an alcoholic beverage or taking a drug'' one's ''mental or physical abilities are so impaired that'' the person ''is no longer able to drive the vehicle with the caution of a sober person, using ordinary care, under the circumstances.'' All the consequences of violation of the law -- loss of license, jail time, fines, drunk-driving school, felony treatment if someone is injured or killed, increased (or terminated) insurance -- apply, whatever the chemical source of the impairment. It may be harder for a DA to prove impairment from marijuana because there is not an easy benchmark for impairment through blood-THC levels as there is for blood-alcohol levels. But driving under the influence of marijuana is equally illegal, and doing it risks arrest, prosecution etc. More important, driving under the influence of marijuana is risky to everyone's safety. So don't drive if you are impaired by anything. Ever. Seen All Kinds Of DUI Cases


Driving while high is can result in the same and worse outcome as driving while drunk. The law includes being high which is why it is called driving under the influence now. When stopped by law enforcement they will do a blood or urine test and if the test shows any illegal drugs in the system, he/she can also be charged with a drug offense. The bad thing about that is that some drug offenses require the defendant to register as a drug addict. So the long and short of it is that driving while high is no better than driving drunk. defense attorney

 


Partner continues to smoke pot - I want him to stop

June 2003

Here is something I have been struggling with since my partner and I had kids (over 9 years!). We have been together since our very early twenties and are now in our early forties. We have since those early days of our relationship enjoyed smoking pot on a daily or nearly daily basis. When I became pregnant with my first child, I stopped smoking pot. After the birth of my first kid, I started smoking it again--and didn't really feel like it was much of an issue until after kid number two (when I found out I was pregnant with #2 I stopped during my pregnancy and started again when #2 was born).

I have long been the kind of person that doesn't crave pot, but smoked because (a) I enjoyed it and (b) it was available. I also suspect that I have smoked pot because my partner did, and it became a habit that we shared. Since becoming a parent to two kids, my sense of responsibility for my behavior has increased. I don't want to be stoned while I am caring for my kids, for fear that something could happen that I didn't respond to appropriately because my judgment was impared. In addition, I have realized that I don't like to be stoned like I used to (though once every other other week or so is still ''fun''), and that I can stop without any problem. In fact, I have expressed to my partner several times since becoming a parent, that I think the habit should cease, with both of us. He gets very defensive about it, says he enjoys it and that it doesn't hurt anyone. I disagree that it doesn't hurt anyone--it hurts me that I ask him to stop, but he doesn't (I don't help if I continue to partake--even if much less frequently that him). It hurts my kids in that their parents are engaging in a behavior that is not healty. I am concerned about my kids learning what that smell is that they have said on occasion smells like skunk.

My partner has on and off complied with my request that he smoke less habitually -- he can go a week or so, but then always reverts to the daily or near daily habit. I want to be a good role model for my children--and I want him to be one too- -how can you ask a child to do as you say, but not as you do? I feel like I am complicit in his habit by continuing to smoke myself, but I am ready to stop --and I really want him to stop. I just don't know how to help him do it. By the way, he stopped smoking cigarettes almost a year ago (on my pleas) but now is addicted to nicotine gum!

I have become a much more health concious person since having kids--I work out, I eat healthily, and I try to take care of myself. I want for my partner to do the same, but know that I can't force him. I think that he has various problems (adequacy (i have been the stronger wage earner for many years, abandonment by his father) that he needs to address that he avoids by smoking pot. The fact that he continues to smoke pot despite my many requests that he/we stop is damaging my esteem for him. How can I help him (and us)?

Needs to find a solution


Maybe your partner is depressed. My husband has similar ''addictive'' qualities. He stopped smoking several times around the birth of our child, and now he's been smoke free for over two years (cold turkey - never with nicotine supplements). He also has used pot a lot when it was available to him, and admits it was an escape, but he ''could quit any time''. Finally, he DID run out, the connection to get it was severed, and he realized how much it was costing him a month - and that was that - he ''quit''. While he admits to craving it often, he has been on a better path since he started anti-depressents. The anger and anxiety that the pot used to soothe, are no longer as prevelant. He is in general more easy going and pursues things that he loves with the ''addictive'' quality he once pursued smoking.

I am not a user and never have been, so I always readily admit to him that I don't really know what it's like, and he has assured me repeatedly that when he's high he's no danger to us or himself and I shouldn't make a big deal about him being high around our child. Indeed, he seems very much in control (and giddy!) when he's high, but never dangerous or foolish. But again, he was using a lot when there was a lot of turmoil in our lives and he was spending time with a friend who always made it available. That friend is not part of his life since he realized having him always led to wanting the other.

I agree that you both should try to set a good example. But pot's a vice, just like smoking and drink. I never asked him to quit smoking pot or cigarettes, but championed his efforts when he decided to quit on his own. I believe it's really the user's decision, and nagging him is not the answer.

Hope this helps. Good Luck! pot partner


A couple of suggestions.

First of all, as you know, you have to stop smoking pot yourself. If the ''do as I say, not as I do'' logic won't work with your kids, it certainly won't work with your partner. So stop it. From now on, no more pot period.

Secondly, try to find other things to do instead of smoking. Busy him with pleasurable activities so that the moment for smoking passes. anon


Perhaps as an incentive to your partner, you can point out that the children will not respect him or his authority when they realize he is stoned a significant percentage of the time they are with him.

My parents smoked pot at least once a week, and usually much more, throughout my childhood. I understood at a very early age (5?) that the skunky smell meant that my parents would be in a complacent mood and used it to my advantage a lot.

I don't remember the age when I realized that what they were doing was illegal, but it was before age 10, and with a young child's understanding of the law, I was confused and hurt that they would do something that could result in them going to jail and abandoning me.

And as a teen, their attempts at setting boundaries to my behavior were met with sarcastic derision and complete disobediance. Why would I respect their rules when they didn't respect the law? Why should I respect the law if they didn't?

I didn't turn into a huge druggie, but I did experiment a lot, and with many stronger things than pot and other types of risky behavior. I was lucky and didn't suffer any (noticeable) consequences of some very stupid decisions.

But I still have difficulty respecting my parents. Of course there are other issues other than the pot smoking, but they continue to think that their use (still frequent, although I think it has tapered off) is and was not a big deal. I've tried to explain to them my early anxieties that the cops would come and take them away and they refuse to accept it was a valid fear.

And when, later, I realized that had something happened to me while they were stoned, they wouldn't have been able to react quickly and clearheadedly to care for me, my anger was intense.

You may not think it is a big deal, and your partner certainly doesn't, but your children may. (Not saying that every kid will experience what I did, but the risk that they might should deter you both, if nothing else does.)

You are parents now, you need to put the needs of your children before your own ''fun.'' Being stoned is hardly terrible behavior, but it is not responsible, either.
Child of Stoners


I have strong opinions on this issue, based on both personal and professional experience. Personal first. My husband and I used to smoke pot frequently in our 20s. I quit about 10 years ago, for a variety of reasons. He kept using, daily or almost daily. It became a HUGE issue, as after I quit I began to notice what a profound effect it had had on me, and still had on him (and us). He was emotionally absent, often anxious, self-centered, and immature (yes, he has good qualities too!) Months and years of arguing, cajoling, trying to ignore it, etc. followed, and finally I decided I simply couldn't take it anymore and made him move out. Well that same month I found out I was pregnant. After much soul searching he entered an outpatient treatment program for marijuana addiction. It's now three years later and he is clean, goes to Marijuana Anonymous meetings, and has also gone through incredible growth as a person. We are both so happy that things ended as they did.

I am also a mental health professional. In that capacity I have seen many, many people addicted to pot. Yes, it is addictive. It's effects are more subtle than those of other drugs, but believe me, it can really stunt a person's emotional capacities and growth. I really think it is one of the most underrecognized addictions out there.

So, what can you do? Start with yourself. Check out the MA website, and go to a few meetings. Educate yourself about the effects of long-term marijuana use on you and your kids. The heartbreaking part is that you can't make your partner stop. You can talk with him, and share your experience, and see what happens. Good luck. anon, please


Many people believe that smoking pot is a victimless crime. They often say things like, ''I'm not hurting anyone'' or I'm not hurting anyone but myself.'' Unfortunately, the daily use of pot injures relationships, wears on one's self-esteem, costs money which takes from the family and maybe the most difficult of all dulls the person's emotions to the point where they are unavailable.

Also, If someone is smoking pot daily, makes promises to quit and doesn't or promises to ''cut back'' but ends up right back where they started hints at addiction. I know this is probably not what one wants to hear. However, addiction isn't about the substance, the amount one uses, or the lifestyle one leads - it's about one's inability to stop using, increased use (or maintenance use), continued use in spite of negative consequences and psychological dependence or physical dependence. When one uses to avoid working through issues in one's life, e.g. abandonment by father, inadequacy, etc. the use of the drug becomes the way to cope with emotions and makes one unavailable to those they love and who love them. Pot is one of the best drugs for dulling ones senses and emotions.

It actually seems that you have a choice. Leave your partner alone to smoke pot daily and not be available to you or your children and ask yourself why you want to be with someone emotionally unavailable who prefers smoking pot to you or your feelings, continue to demand that he stop (which isn't working), or get help for yourself and figure out what you want to do.

The advise you want is probably how do I get him to stop smoking pot every day. The answer is you can't. He will do what he wants. I doubt he can do anything else (if what you say is true), but you can do something about you.

Sorry, probably not what you want to hear. meddling old fool


You are in a hard situation. I wanted to respond, not because I have the best answer for you, but I wanted to give you some perspective on what it can be like for children growing up in a house where there is drug use. My father continues to smoke pot daily, and smoked pot throughout my childhood. When I put all of the pieces together I was nine and I was terrified. I had learned in school that drugs were BAD and to know that my father did drugs was scary. I think that realization created a fear that forever altered my relationship with him.

By the time I was 12, however, I was smoking pot. The first pot I smoked I stole from my father and I smoked pot throughout my high school years, occassionally even smoking with him. It was considered an ok thing to do in my household. I believe it stunted my growth and I definitely used it as a means to escape during the gray days of highschool. In looking back at that time I get upset with my parents for not considering my health and try to provide some parental structure and guidelines about its use. But it's hard to say ''you can't eat any icecream,'' when you are licking an icecream cone.

I continued to smoke pot until I got pregnant, and haven't since. I, like you, do not think it is necessarily a bad thing. But like any ''altering'' substance, if you use it as an escape or are addicted to it then that addiction significantly affects the people around you. My father is somewhat unbearable to be around if he is not high. This hasn't always been the case, it has definitely gotten worst as he got older and more addicted. This happens slowly, so I think you are very wise to pick up on what seems like ok behavior maybe leading in the wrong direction.

I would advise you seek help for you partner for your sake and your children's. I know my friend sent her husband to a program similar to AA -- but for pot smokers and he was able to quit and stay off pot. She lives down in LA, but I imagine there are similar programs here. Perhaps some people will suggest them to you. She said it was very hard for him to accept the fact that he had a problem, but they are both much happier now. Sounds like you would be too.

Good luck. anon


My partner also smokes pot on a nearly daily basis. I guess I think of the kind of pot smoking that he does on the same level as a daily beer or glass of wine. He doesn't smoke a huge amount, and I can't compare it to what your partner smokes, but I don't find a lot of harm in it, and actually, a fair amount of good. It helps him relax, and he is less stressed out. He smokes quite discreetly, and I don't think that my kids have figured out what it's all about. I don't think I'd have a hard time explaining it to them either.

The only real problem I have is the expense and the (minor) legal risks. anon


Narcotics Annonymous is a great support group for people who want to stop using drugs. It can be intimidating to join a support group, especially if you're not sure you need it. I can only speak for myself and say that my life has become better than I ever dreamed it could be by quiting drugs and getting the support I needed. You really can't do anything for your partner but you can take care of yourself. That is the best example you can set for your kids. I think you will be surprised at how much more you can get out of your relationships with your kids and others when drugs are not a part of your life. I grew up with parents who smoked pot and I know that kids can tell that their parents aren't present. There are meetings at various locations and times to fit your schedule. The number is 444-4673 for more information. Good Luck! anonymous


I read other people's responses to this and wanted to add my own advice and experiences:

My parents were 60's ''hippies'' (my mother had me very young) and still smoke pot on a daily basis, to this day. So, I grew up around it. Personally, I didn't find it scary at all. Also, people are affected differently by marijuana - some people become extremely paranoid when they smoke, while others feel relaxed. I NEVER felt that my parents were emotionally unavailable to me as a result of smoking ''pot.'' Perhaps other people are affected by it in this way, but my parents were not. Also, my parents were never ''impaired'' by their smoking, and I was never in any physical danger.

I do not smoke pot now, and was the only one of my teenage friends who didn't drink or smoke or do drugs while growing up, and none of their parents smoked pot or did any drugs. I tried pot, didn't like the smoke burning my lungs and was disinterested after that.

Secondly, I am mystified by how people can make such a fuss over people ''medicating'' themselves with pot (which is what many addicts are doing, and I believe that includes my parents!), but it's somehow better if they are medicated with anti-depressants instead. I really believe that the two things are performing the same function, just one isn't acceptable to ''establishment'' and one is. Frankly, I think many of the anti-depressants in use now are even more harmful, and more emotionally dulling, from what I've read.

Finally, I agree that you cannot *get* your husband to stop. He is a separate person from you, and will do what he wants (and has the right to do so!). You have the right to choose what you do, including whether or not to remain in relationship with him, should he choose to continue smoking marijuana. I recommend that you do NOT try using the *threat* of leaving to *make him change his ways.* I think you must decide what you can and cannot live with and then let him know, if you decide that you cannot remain in relationship with him if he must continue to smoke. Then leave. Do not make him ''wrong'' or ''bad'' or blame him or accuse him or ridicule him. Just leave. If you decide that you can live with him smoking, then don't make a big deal about it, and your children won't think it's a big deal either. This makes smoking pot it the teen years a lot less exciting. I think that played a big role in why I didn't drink or smoke (pot or cigarettes): my parents never *forbade* me, and they didn't make a big deal about it, so it really wasn't all that interesting to me: it wasn't forbidden fruit, so there was no excitement in *sneaking,* which I think is a big part of the allure for kids (besides fitting in with friends, etc.). My 2 - - uh-- 50 cents! anon