Drug Policy

I Was Gonna Legalize Pot, but Then I Had Kids

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Writing in Friday's New York Times, Michael Winerip highlights one of the main reasons drug policy reform did not move as quickly as might have been expected after pot-smoking baby boomers (such as our last three presidents) became politicians: They also became parents. After noting that public support for marijuana decriminalization (or even outright legalization) seems to be growing, Winerip offers a caveat:

The 20-something me believes marijuana could be legalized, regulated and taxed like alcohol, providing much needed revenue.

But the 50-something me, the parent of three boys and a girl, ages 14 to 21, is not so sure. The 50-something me—who hasn't smoked in more than 20 years—knows stories in our little suburb about classmates of my kids smoking pot in middle school, using heroin in college, going into rehab, relapsing, trying again. The 50-something me has seen the eyes of those boomer parents—good people—seen the weariness and fear, and thought, "There but for the grace of God. …"

I think Winerip's discomfort accurately reflects the feelings of many baby-boomer parents who, even if they continue to believe that their own youthful pot smoking was no big deal, are nevertheless alarmed when they see their offspring engage in the same behavior. As I've said before, the official warnings that today's marijuana is a different drug because it's so much stronger than what people smoked in the 1960s and '70s are best understood as a way of legitimizing this emotional reaction, which is a perfectly natural one (and not just when it comes to drug use). Yet the fact that parental anxieties are natural does not make them logical.

Winerip acknowledges that the vast majority of pot smokers turn out fine but worries that making marijuana more readily available will result in more heroin addicts, since people who smoke marijuana (especially at a young age) are more likely to use other drugs. Like other advocates of the "gateway drug" hypothesis, he conflates correlation with causation. It may simply be that people who ultimately try heroin (only a minority of whom become heavy users) tend to try other drugs first, and that the sort of people who are inclined to like heroin are also inclined to use drugs at an early age. Furthermore, it seems likely that the association between pot use and heroin use is at least partly a product of prohibition, which throws both drugs together in the same black market, in which case the link would be weaker if marijuana were legalized.

Not all parents of adolescents support the war on drugs, of course. Winerip's article opens with comments from Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, who reports that his daughter, now 20, grew up understanding that smoking pot does not make you a screw-up or a bad person. One of my daughters recently turned 16, and I have yet to recant my views about the evils of prohibition. Clearly, then, it's possible to move beyond the sort of fear-inciting anecdotes on which Winerip relies to ask whether the experience of smoking marijuana in itself increases the risk of becoming a heroin addict—not to mention considering all of the other relevant effects of repealing marijuana prohibition, only some of which have to do with the welfare of Winerip's children.

NEXT: Thwarting a Genetic Predisposition to Risky Behaviors

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  1. But the 50-something me, the parent of three boys and a girl, ages 14 to 21, is not so sure.

    That’s because becoming a parent made you fucking stupid.

  2. I think our mistake is in thinking that people are actually consistent in their thinking. We underestimate their ability to say, “Sure, I smoked pot and nothing happened to me…but I was young and stupid, and I was very lucky!”

  3. The 50-something me-who hasn’t smoked in more than 20 years-knows stories in our little suburb about classmates of my kids smoking pot in middle school, using heroin in college, going into rehab, relapsing, trying again.

    Bullshit. Self-justifying urban-legend bullshit on stilts.

    I’m willing to bet he doesn’t know one single person who knows a person with a kid who has spiked up. Much less that he has looked into the eyes of innumerable boomer parents with junkie kids who just can’t shake their jones.

    Any families he knows with kids who have any kind of serious drug abuse problem are guaranteed to be on prescription drugs, not China White.

  4. But the 50-something me, the parent of three boys and a girl, ages 14 to 21, is not so sure.

    This. Is. Infuriating. This is an insanely illogical, self-absorbed point of view. “It was fine when I did it, but not now.” Just like these assholes waxing nostalgic about not wearing bike helmets and playing with their friends until dark without parental supervision, and then turning around and demanding mandatory helmet laws and thinking there’s a sexual predator behind every blade of grass. I hate these people, and unfortunately, they’re most people.

  5. I think there’s an entire basket of behaviors that the boomer “do as I say, not as I did” prohibitionists are concerned with, and that much more plausibly explain their change of heart on pot than bad arguments about “gateway drugs”.

    Boomers connect pot smoking with:

    1. Sex.
    2. Defiance of authority.
    3. Sex.
    4. Lifestyle experimentation.
    5. Silly youthful political extremism.
    6. Sex.

    They don’t want their kids to engage in any of those, largely for prudential reasons. 1, 3 and 6 have obvious potential practical downsides, and 2, 4 and 5 might interfere with the boomer master plan to make all of their children into hyperachieving joiners. So it’s not hard to understand their attitude at all. It’s just hard to respect it.

  6. Pot is illegal because William Randolph Hearst ran a smear campaign in the 1930’s to protect his interests in the timber industry. Because hemp was poised to replace wood as an inexpensive raw material for the manufacture of paper.

  7. I smoked alot back in the day. It’s really tuff waking up in the morning and trying to remember why the collie is looking at you funny.

  8. Lust, introspection, carelessness, anger, booze, daydreaming, timidity, chronic recurring stupidity and other human beings have caused more misery in my life than weed has.

    How can I keep all those away from my kids?

    Or rather, how can I imprison hundreds of thousands of people and suspend at least half the bill of rights in a failed attempt to keep those away from my kids?

  9. Come on guys. You know there is a giganitic pool of people who are just itching to become heroin addicts and crack whores.

    Me for example. My dream is to leave this middle class existance behind and ride that pony wherever it can take me…

    …but I won’t cuz it’s against the law.

  10. The obvious answer is for Michael Winerip to abort his children.

    Then he won’t have to worry about them anymore. That will be the most effective ban.

    Another thing: it’s fairly obvious that having children rots the brain.

  11. “Lust, introspection, carelessness, anger, booze, daydreaming, timidity, chronic recurring stupidity and other human beings have caused more misery in my life than weed has.”

    That is a really good Tim. This reminds me of the old debate about pornography. Feminists would always point to the old fallacy about how so many rapist and sex offenders read pornography. Of course, what they never could explain was how it was that perfectly normal people could turn into Ted Bundys by just looking at porn. The idea that perhaps crazed sex perverts look at a lot of porn because well they are crazed sex perverts and not the other way around never entered their minds.

    It is the same fallacy here. The 50 something in this dumbshit’s head might want to consider that the kids who smoke pot and end up on heroine were fucked up kids with compulsive behaviors. The ended up on herione because they were fucked up in the first place, not because they smoked pot.

  12. They just happened to smoke pot along the way to herione, just like they probably happened to smoke cigerettes, watch the Simpsons and any number of other behaviors that millions of non fucked up people also do.

  13. Epi-

    Those people have a hard time getting along with me, too.

  14. And our music was better, too!

  15. I’m fine with my own brand of domestic tyranny as I exercise my patria potestas, but I’m not fine with turning over the whip to the government.

    My chance to make sure my kids don’t engage in too much stupidity (no stupidity is impossible, of course) is during the ages of 0 to 18, with the influence diminishing in the later years. After that, they’re on their own, hopefully adequately armed against an insane world. What I don’t need is Leviathananny exercising bibertarian policies to protect my kids from themselves.

  16. Timmy-

    Are sure it wasn’t June Allynson?

  17. Yo, Pro Lib, “Leviathananny” is totally sweet coinage.

  18. I think it should be set to music.

  19. Fluffy-

    “Hyperachieving joiners.” Like the phrase. However, IMO, one could argue that joiners, by definition, can not be hyperachievers.

  20. I always ask people who think being a hooker is ok what they would think if their daughter was a hooker. In fairness, I should ask myself the same question about drugs, what if my daughter was smoking pot. You know, unless she was a degenerate who did nothing but smoke pot, I really wouldn’t be that concerned.

  21. WHEN WILL THE BABY BOOMERS DIE!?

  22. Keeping marijuana illegal makes it easily accessible to children, while legalizing it for adults will severely restrict the ability of minors to access it.

    Mr Winerip, as a parent and upstanding member of society, should be campaigning more for legalization now that he has children than when he was 20 and safely enjoying the herb.

  23. ProL, will you let me know when your daughters turn 18, please? Cell phone numbers would be good, too.

  24. Oh, come on. Nobody here has had kids?

    I spent the last part of my daughter’s childhood on a constant mental teeter-totter between trying to relax and let her grow up her own way, and the impulse to nail her bedroom door shut and feed her through a slot till she was forty. The very thought that she might try the things I did casually when I was her age used to make me sweat.

    Hypocrisy? Hell, maybe. It’s also human. Granted that I didn’t want to solve my “problem” by passing a bunch of oppressive laws for everybody else, but still. You worry about your kids. You worry about your kids doing the shit you did, and not getting away with it.

  25. Are sure it wasn’t June Allynson?

    Was that the golden lab? My memories not so good anymore.

  26. The only reason marijuana is a gateway drug is because it’s illegal.

    Basically, once they start using it, they’ve already broken the law, so there is less inhibition about using other things, and moreover, once they realize that the anti-drug rhetoric is bullshit in one case, it becomes difficult to decide what to believe when it comes to things like heroin and cocaine.
    Plus, once you have to go through illegal channels to get pot, you come into contact with people who are more likely to be using other things.

    If it was sold in the grocery store next to cigarettes, kids simply wouldn’t be interacting with this black market underworld that’s involved in all sorts of crime.

    IMO, if I had kids I’d want them to be able to get marijuana from a pharmacist, so they wouldn’t have to go wandering into slums or interacting with criminals to get it.

  27. Drunks scare me far more than stoners.

  28. Episiarch,

    It’s too late. Remember that brainwashing bit in A Clockwork Orange? I used the same technique to program my daughters to flee from you. Not anyone else, just you.

  29. “””Boomers connect pot smoking with:

    1. Sex.
    2. Defiance of authority.
    3. Sex.
    4. Lifestyle experimentation.
    5. Silly youthful political extremism.
    6. Sex.
    “””””

    Wasn’t that the excuse to outlaw alcohol?

  30. “Hypocrisy? Hell, maybe. It’s also human. Granted that I didn’t want to solve my “problem” by passing a bunch of oppressive laws for everybody else, but still. You worry about your kids. You worry about your kids doing the shit you did, and not getting away with it.”

    Your kids are individuals. They are going to do what they want to. The idea that you as a parent can steer them properly and protect them from the pitfalls of being human or somehow doing what they would have done anyway is the height of self absorbtion.

    I got a newsflash for you. You really are not making any difference as a parent. All you can do is put a roof over their head and keep them safe as best you can and hope for the best. If your kids decide to be pot heads and drug addicts there is not a God damned thing you can do about it.

  31. ProL, it’s a good thing that the picture you used to brainwash them was not actually of me, but of Meatloaf. Thankfully I look nothing like that asshole.

  32. Born in the back half of the baby boom, I grew up watching the older boomers breaking every rule in sight and proudly screaming about how they were going to change the world.

    When they got their chance, they gave us Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich. Talk about bait and switch.

  33. Another theory about the boomers.

    The majority of boomers were not, in fact, at Woodstock but at their local church engaging in wholesome youth group type activities and alternately feeling contempt and envy at the exceptionally small number of hippie types.

    Now that everybody has grown up, the hippie types who went to woodstock still get all the airtime but the vast majority of everybody else looks at stuff like smoking “grass” with the same attitudes they’ve had for the last 40 years.

  34. “Now that I have kids, I’d like to increase the chances that they’ll be sent to jail.”

  35. I got a newsflash for you. You really are not making any difference as a parent.

    You get from age 0 to about 13 or 14 to make an impact. After that, you just get to hope they survive until they’re 23 or 24.

  36. I always ask people who think being a hooker is ok what they would think if their daughter was a hooker.

    Why? I think being a migrant farm worker is ok but I wouldn’t want my daughter to be one. Not sure what that says about anything. Same thing goes for prostitution, fishing in Alaska, logging and any number of other “ok” jobs.

  37. Winerip acknowledges that the vast majority of pot smokers turn out fine but worries that making marijuana more readily available will result in more heroin addicts, since people who smoke marijuana (especially at a young age) are more likely to use other drugs. Like other advocates of the “gateway drug” hypothesis, he conflates correlation with causation. It may simply be that people who ultimately try heroin (only a minority of whom become heavy users) tend to try other drugs first, and that the sort of people who are inclined to like heroin are also inclined to use drugs at an early age.

    His fears may be lessened (or increased) if he reads the H&R article immediately prior to this one.

  38. Here’s what I don’t get… Cigarettes are illegal until you’re 18; alcohol until you’re 21. Presumably if pot is legalized it would still be illegal for those under 18 to purchase. So with respect to a kid in high school, how does legalizing pot change the status quo other than requiring your kid to score weed from a college kid/older sibling who’s of age instead of a dealer?

  39. “The majority of boomers were not, in fact, at Woodstock but at their local church engaging in wholesome youth group type activities and alternately feeling contempt and envy at the exceptionally small number of hippie types.”

    I have posted about this before. A lot of boomers fell into the other ditch and became evangelicals. Instead of going to Woodstock and smoking dope, they found Jesus and started a youth group. It is the same psychosis just with a different manifestations.

    But there is a third group. That group wasn’t hippies and didn’t go to church but shared the rest of their generation’s self absorbtion and desire to change the world. Those people went to college, got jobs and joined the PTA. And then they had kids and started worrying about the environment and vaccines and smoking in public. They took thier boomer puritanical urges and instead of turning it into policial and personal excess like the hippies or towards God like the evangelicals, they turned it toward the mundane and gave us kids wearing helmets on their bycycles and no running at recess. I think this guy belongs to the third group.

  40. “Now that I have kids, I’d like to increase the chances that they’ll be sent to jail.”

    Not their kids, Jesse. Their children are angels who don’t do bad things or perform oral sex on boys in the car after half a bottle of Cisco and some Percodan, because, after all, oral and anal don’t violate the virginity rule. NTTAWWT.

  41. That’s because becoming a parent made you fucking stupid.

    I’ll be the first to admit then when we had our first baby my IQ dropped a good 10 points. Still, it didn’t make me THAT fucking stupid.

  42. “Why? I think being a migrant farm worker is ok but I wouldn’t want my daughter to be one.”

    Why not? What if it made her happy. Some people like that kind of work. It is not for me, but if that is what she wanted and it made her happy, I wouldn’t worry.

  43. “””The only reason marijuana is a gateway drug is because it’s illegal. “””

    I call BS on the gateway drug concept. It’s the person’s desire to experiment with mind alteration substance. If one were to buy into the gateway drug concept, then alcohol is THE gateway drug.

    Starting with the position that one wants to experiment with drugs or mind altering substances, say you try pot first, liked it, and wanted to try something else. It isn’t the enjoyment of pot that makes you try something else, it’s the enjoyment of a mind altering substance, that leads you to the next. IOW, it’s not the drugs, it’s the desire to experiment.

    I would agree that keeping pot illegal gives it a certain taboo that is attractive. Many residents of Holland think pot is a silly drug for American tourist. It’s plentyful, it’s pretty much legal, and it’s no big deal.

  44. “Not their kids, Jesse. Their children are angels who don’t do bad things or perform oral sex on boys in the car after half a bottle of Cisco and some Percodan, because, after all, oral and anal don’t violate the virginity rule. NTTAWWT.”

    That is right. And if their kid did do something that got them in trouble, it would be someone else’s fault.

  45. Who gives a shit what he worries about. Live your fucking life and I will live mine. Besides that if you insist on telling me how to live expect that one day I might force my views on you in return and with more force than you used on me. It would be for the children of course.

  46. That is right. And if their kid did do something that got them in trouble, it would be someone else’s fault.

    Yes…mine. Ah, memories.

  47. baby-boomer parents…are nevertheless alarmed when they see their offspring engage
    in the same behavior.

    A little historical accuracy, please. The first Boomers were born in 1946. Their kids are in their 30s and 40s now, have been out of the nest for quite some time, hold professional jobs, and vote. I seriously doubt the early Boomer parents are monitoring their kids’ drug use and being “alarmed” at it. Even the last Boomer, born in 1964, now has grownup children, or close to it. Most of the children alive today were born of post-Boomer parents. It’s always convenient for Gen-Whatevers to blame their woes on the Boomers. This particular argument doesn’t hold water.

  48. Clubmedsucks, Very true. But it shouldn’t be a surprise because those people want to ban liquor and cigarettes too. So you’re using evil to make an arguement for more evil.

  49. Yes…mine. Ah, memories.

    It’s fucked up you corrupted those poor people’s sons, Epi. 😉

  50. The 20-something me believes that the 1st Amendment protects againg boomers’ right to spout liberal PC nonsense.

    But the 50-something me, the parent of three boys and a girl, ages 14 to 21, is not so sure. The 50-something me-who hasn’t bought into liberal nonsense in more than 20 years-knows stories in our little suburb about classmates of my kids listening to dumb ass boomers talk about the need to have the drug war and the need to regulate and tax commerce to keep it from becoming cowboy capitalism, and those kids ending up at Obama rallies and reading Noam Chomsky and turning into mindless, idiots that generally embarass their entire family. The 50-something me has seen the eyes of those boomer parents-good people-seen the weariness and fear, and thought, “There but for the grace of God. …”

  51. From my own experience –

    After I tried reefer and realized that all of the warnings about the daqngers of the herb we’re just propoganda bullshit, I discounted the much more valid objections to other drugs. They lied abot pot, they’re probably lying about LSD, cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, barbituates …

    Better try them myself because you sure can’t trust the old farts to tell you truth.
    ——————————————-
    Legalizing pot will increase teenage use. Not by a lot, but by measurable amounts. Claiming otherwise is disingenuous.

  52. I was very drunk and curious, Art. Don’t tell me you haven’t done the same.

    OH GOD WHAT DID I DO

  53. Altered States of Consciousness:

    Birds get completely bonkers eating fermented mulberries while the berries are still on the tree.

    Animals of all kinds will eat fermented fruit off the ground.

    Humans are just a little bit better at remembering to how they did it last time and how to improve the high the next time they do.

  54. “Legalizing pot will increase teenage use. Not by a lot, but by measurable amounts. Claiming otherwise is disingenuous.”

    I am not sure. First, I always found pot to be easier to get in high school than booze. Dealers never check for an ID. Even if what you are saying is true, it would increase marijuana use. I don’t see how it would increase use of other drugs. Since I don’t think marijuana is any worse than booze, I really don’t see that as that big of a deal.

  55. The 50-something me-who hasn’t smoked in more than 20 years-knows stories in our little suburb about classmates of my kids smoking pot in middle school, using heroin in college, going into rehab, relapsing, trying again.

    And rainbow parties! Don’t forget rainbow parties!

    It’s frightening to watch perfectly rational adults (OK, maybe not all that rational) turn into blubbering idiots when they read about the latest trend that teenagers have.

    I freely admit to being one of those idiots when it comes to letting the yougnins’ out of my sight. I know that nothing has changed since I was a kid, we’re just more aware of the horror stories. I’m guessing by the time they’re 11 or 12, I’ll be able to deal with it better, but right now both of them are impulsive head cases and I don’t trust them to not get themselves killed on a lark. We have some true fuckwits driving on my ‘hood’s streets. One of these days I’m going to hide out with a BB gun and pelt the fuckwits with luke-warm lead.

    That said, I feel guilty as shit about how we’re robbing our kids of a “normal” chiildhood.

  56. “””Legalizing pot will increase teenage use”””

    A little, I agree. It’s hard to say how much. You would see a huge jump, but a lot of that would be people who previous lied in past surveys. Any statistic on pot use is incorrect becuase it’s smarter to NOT admit breaking a law. Once it’s no longer against the law more people would be willing to admit to it.

  57. “””I was very drunk and curious, Art. Don’t tell me you haven’t done the same.”””

    Reminds me of the Dangerfield joke.

    The other night I tried pot. I had know idea what I was doing, I was high on Cocaine.

  58. ed-

    Folks born in 1964 are, today, either 44 or 45. What percentage of 44 and 45 year olds have grown children, say 21 and over?

    I submit that the VAST MAJORITY of 44 and 45 year olds, who have kids, have minors-under the age of 18. Keep in mind some basic demographics like marrying later, etc.

  59. Jacob, is the post title an Afroman reference or is it an amazing coincidence?

  60. Even the last Boomer, born in 1964 1957, now has grownup children, or close to it.

    FTFY. And, no. Born in ’61 and have kids in elementary school.

  61. A little historical accuracy, please. The first Boomers were born in 1946. Their kids are in their 30s and 40s now, have been out of the nest for quite some time, hold professional jobs, and vote. I seriously doubt the early Boomer parents are monitoring their kids’ drug use and being “alarmed” at it. Even the last Boomer, born in 1964, now has grownup children, or close to it. Most of the children alive today were born of post-Boomer parents. It’s always convenient for Gen-Whatevers to blame their woes on the Boomers. This particular argument doesn’t hold water.

    You discount who sits in the halls of government, who votes in higher percentages than 18-34 year olds.

    I’m a boomer and I agree that the hypopcrisy of my generation has kept the drug war going far too long.

    Lastly, marijuana is not going to replace paper, oil, sisal or cotton. It was not a conspiracy by lumber barons trying to protect their industry. Prohibition was caused by fear of, and bigotry towards, minorities. One need only read that lying asshole Anslinger’s testimony to ascertain that.

  62. TrickyVic-

    At your age you should be reading the papers, not rolling them.

  63. OH GOD WHAT DID I DO

    OK, this is hilarious. 😀

    That said, I feel guilty as shit about how we’re robbing our kids of a “normal” chiildhood.

    Eh, normal’s overrated. Most of the best people I know had paents who were slightly overprotective. Of course, if their parents tried to raise ’em on some sort of “compound”, well that sort of thing tends to backfire.

  64. That said, I feel guilty as shit about how we’re robbing our kids of a “normal” chiildhood.

    Then…stop. Parents today are complete control freaks–they have to control every aspect of their children’s lives. Even my mother, a control freak nanny statist, wasn’t this bad when I was young, thankfully.

  65. “Then…stop. Parents today are complete control freaks–they have to control every aspect of their children’s lives. Even my mother, a control freak nanny statist, wasn’t this bad when I was young, thankfully.”

    No shit. You are the adult, grow a pair of balls and make a decision.

  66. I am not sure. First, I always found pot to be easier to get in high school than booze. Dealers never check for an ID. Even if what you are saying is true, it would increase marijuana use. I don’t see how it would increase use of other drugs. Since I don’t think marijuana is any worse than booze, I really don’t see that as that big of a deal.

    We disagree about that one specific only. I could make a case that legalizing reefer might/would decrease teens and young adults trying other, more dangerous drugs.

  67. “””At your age you should be reading the papers, not rolling them.”””

    First one, then the other. No particular order.

  68. “I could make a case that legalizing reefer might/would decrease teens and young adults trying other, more dangerous drugs.”

    I think you could and you might be right. In the end I think kids abuse drugs, whether it be booze, pot or whatever, in some part because we never teach them how to use them responsibly. If pot were legal and we had a more open and healthy attitude about drugs, we would be a lot better off.

  69. There’s a rather straight-forward economic explanation for why parents become much more risk-averse with their children than they were themselves which I believe Steven Landsburg offers in one of his books (maybe The Armchair Economist). Parents bear essentially all the costs associated with the acts of their children yet receive virtually none of the benefits. In other words, whether you’re talking about drugs, sex, or even something as simple as building a jump for your bicycle, the benefits (i.e. the potential exhilaration and enjoyment) are entirely the child’s, while the potential risks are felt just as keenly (perhaps even more so) by the parents. It seems natural that parents would see the risk/reward trade-off much differently than their children

    One implication of this theory is that you should expect to see less risk-averse behavior from parents the more they are able to share in the rewards of their children’s behavior. I’d argue that most sports participation is an example of this. Whether the parent benefits through ego by seeing others recognize the “greatness” of his offspring, vicariously by enjoying athletic success that he never had, or in the dream of raising a future college or pro star and the potential massive financial reward, the reward side of the ledger is much greater for the parents with respect to organized sports. Even though the risk side is almost certainly larger as well, we don’t see many parents arguing to make playing football illegal or even trying to stop their kids from engaging in such “risky” behavior.

  70. Then…stop. Parents today are complete control freaks–they have to control every aspect of their children’s lives. Even my mother, a control freak nanny statist, wasn’t this bad when I was young, thankfully.

    I’m working on it, but I told you, it isn’t rational. Fear of the unknown (and knowing how your kids are) is one powerful motherfucker.

    Being a parent *is* being a control freak. It’s in the job description. My son told me the other night about how he didn’t like the way I was raising him and telling him what to do all the time. I pointed to the door and told him to have a nice life. He’s 9.

    My job is to make sure they don’t turn out to be wastes of oxygen and be decent, productive people. I don’t want anyone to have to suffer my kids because I couldn’t be bothered to do my job as a parent.

  71. No shit. You are the adult, grow a pair of balls and make a decision.

    I did make a decision. They don’t leave my sight for now.

  72. Blaming (or crediting) a “generation”–a term which is almost meaningless in its wholesale and arbitrary assigning of traits and values to individuals born at a certain time–for anything is silly. It’s a sociological sideshow, a time-waster, a big bucket of bullshit for the intellectually lazy.

  73. If pot were legal and we had a more open and healthy attitude about drugs, we would be a lot better off.

    I’ve heard in Italy and Spain, it’s considered really bad form to get stumbling drunk. As in, people might stop talking to you and you won’t ever again be invited to parties. And this is among teenagers and young adults.

    That those cultures also introduce drinking as something to be done in a family / dinner setting, and in moderation, rather than hidden binging may have something to do with it. The cheesehead zero tolerance culture we have in the States is really counter-productive.

  74. My job is to make sure they don’t turn out to be wastes of oxygen and be decent, productive people. I don’t want anyone to have to suffer my kids because I couldn’t be bothered to do my job as a parent.

    Take a step back, have a scotch, and lighten up, dude. It’s really not good to micromanage your kids like that. It makes them resentful of you, and more likely to act out.

    I’m telling you this as someone who does shit, no matter how stupid or dangerous, just because someone told me not to. You are raising your kids to be just like me. Think about that for a minute.

  75. Blaming (or crediting) a “generation” . . .

    People try to put us down . . . .

  76. TrickyVic-

    You know, Rodney had good wadrobe insights-like the desirability of the brown necktie for those of us who smoke and drink too much coffee.

  77. I’ve heard in Italy and Spain, it’s considered really bad form to get stumbling drunk.

    This is 100% correct. But I’m not sure if it’s just a Mediterranean thing, because the Northern Europeans introduce alcohol early too, but have no (major) social proscription against getting wasted.

  78. Am I being rational for being more afraid of my son being strip searched at school or being branded a sex offender for taking part in “sexting” than for worrying about what he might choose to do if marijuana were legalized.

  79. Epi-5:30

    Do not, under any circumstances, have carnal knowledge with the sister of Mad Max. Do not. I forbid it. Do you understand me?

  80. Chicago Tom-

    Actually, not completely.

    Implicit in your question is the premise that if your son chose to have some reefer you would have something to fear.

  81. Implicit in your question is the premise that if your son chose to have some reefer you would have something to fear.

    Well I would fear he wouldn’t share with his old man 🙂

  82. My daughter told me the other day that her boyfriend smokes pot. She told me he did it because of the stress from his family. I laughed. I said, “Baby, he smokes pot because he likes it.”

    If he (or she) smokes pot… really none of my business. As with any vice, I hope she does it intelligently and doesn’t get busted on some bullshit drug charge. But hey, it’s her life now.

    Frankly, I think the “there but for the grace of God” hand wringing is a steaming pile of horseshit. Pot is just no big deal.

  83. Do not, under any circumstances, have carnal knowledge with the sister of Mad Max. Do not. I forbid it. Do you understand me?

    Must…fight…compulsion…

  84. Take a step back, have a scotch, and lighten up, dude. It’s really not good to micromanage your kids like that. It makes them resentful of you, and more likely to act out.

    Dude, there’s a lot of shorthand going on here. I don’t micromanage them, in fact, I give them a fairly free reign when it comes to personal time. But, if a parent doesn’t have authority over their kids, if you let your kids walk all over you and do whatever the hell they want, then they aren’t a parent. I let my kids do all sorts of shit that isn’t being talked about here, which pisses off my wife to no end.

    I ask that my kids speak respectfully to me and my wife, do their chores, go to school and do well, don’t give me endless grief when I tell them to do something and just plain old listen to what I say. That’s about it.

    In my house, my word is the law. It isn’t a democracy and while I am paying for every aspect of their life and am legally responsible for anything they do, it’s my way or the highway. I’ll listen to arguments in favor of what they want to do and I’ll cut all sorts of deals to get what I think is best.

    I’m not an ogre, but I am a benevolent tyrant.

    I’m telling you this as someone who does shit, no matter how stupid or dangerous, just because someone told me not to. You are raising your kids to be just like me. Think about that for a minute.

    Yeah, yeah, I get that. I’m not an idiot, but I suspect you were going to be who you are no matter what. I know that my daughter is pretty much going to do whatever the hell she wants to do after she’s 13 or so when she’s out of our control. I’ve been predicting that she’ll come home one day with a labial piercing since she was 5. Any day now….

    My job before then is to instill a moral and ethical code that hopefully will keep her out some trouble. I have a pretty good relationship with her, better than her mom does, so that will count for something I’m sure. I plan on giving her the lowdown on teenage boys in the most graphic description possible. My father-in-law’s talk for his teenage daughters was “men will fuck dirt.” I liked that.

  85. That those cultures also introduce drinking as something to be done in a family / dinner setting, and in moderation, rather than hidden binging may have something to do with it. The cheesehead zero tolerance culture we have in the States is really counter-productive.

    That’s my plan when they turn 13 or 14, wine with dinner, and I know my wife is going to fight it tooth and nail.

  86. So, as a parent, this asshole Winerip wants his kids to be thrown in jail, branded with a criminal record if they try smoking dope?

    What a dear, loving father he must be.

    -jcr

  87. I plan on giving her the lowdown on teenage boys in the most graphic description possible.

    I believe I could be of some assistance in that.

  88. My father-in-law’s talk for his teenage daughters was “men will fuck dirt.” I liked that.

    I’ve done worse.

  89. If MJ were legal, I could call the cops when the rotten little bastard pinches my stash.

  90. Warty knows that fat chicks are like mopeds: they’re both fun to ride until your friends see you on one.

    I have a pretty good relationship with her, better than her mom does

    Most teenage girls fight with their moms endlessly. You might want to invest in some earplugs.

    My father-in-law’s talk for his teenage daughters was “men will fuck dirt.” I liked that.

    “Sweetie, I’m going to explain to you how much of a horny pig your dad, and all guys, are. Especially NutraSweet.”

  91. @ Brian Courts

    What I get from your risk analysis is, “Get stoned with your kids”

    I like the boomer argument that most weren’t hippies or evangelicals but statists that had to change the world. That makes some sense to me. I amgoing to put forth the argument that they (boomers) didn’t have parents that smoked pot, so they only had examples of hippy use. Now there are more children and grandchildren that have forebearers that either used and came out ok or still use responsibly, and this allows for the “It’s not that bad regardless what the authorities say” mentality. Empirical evidence may just win out in the end.

  92. Most teenage girls fight with their moms endlessly. You might want to invest in some earplugs.

    That started years ago. Daughter has one volume setting: extra fucking loud.

  93. Crap, submitted too soon.

    Earplugs? That’s what martinis and tequila are for.

  94. My father-in-law’s talk for his teenage daughters was “men will fuck dirt.”

    Teaching your daughters to call their genitals “dirt” doesn’t promote a very healthy body image.

  95. I believe I could be of some assistance in that.

    Ummm, no, I’m good. No, really, I got it.

    “I don’t want to hear about what you found at Uncle SugarFree’s house this time! Just point to where he touched you.”

  96. JW,

    I was thinking more along the lines of telling a story about the time Uncle Episiarch found that roadkill deer that wasn’t totally roadkilled yet. It would contain the phrase “spasmodic deergina.”

  97. I told you that in confidence, you jerk!

  98. Soon to be “sweet 16” is just getting over the hate. She’s got dope around her but claims to abstain, not so on an occasional drink. Twelve year old boy has aready expressed interest in “weed” and will be partaking soon if he isn’t already. Screw parental responsibility, that’s the funnest and least dangerous age to experiment with it.

  99. The kids do however have to tow the lion on lying, littering and liberty.

  100. When marijuana is finally legalized, anti-pot groups will have a heyday with the “sudden increase in marijuana users”. What they WON’T realize is those “new” users will be long-term cannabis consumers who no longer feel threatened to come out of the pot closet and be counted.
    There won’t be an increase. There will be a long-overdue accounting of experienced pot smokers. And many of the faces will surprise you…

  101. “The kids do however have to tow the lion on lying, littering and liberty.”

    If they are anything like tigers then towing a lion in any way is a really bad idea. Trust me.

  102. “stories in our little suburb about classmates of my kids smoking pot in middle school, using heroin in college, going into rehab, relapsing, trying again.'”

    Have you seen anyone argue against any degree of pot decriminalization without making the move to a “harder” drug in about 10 seconds flat? They know or at least suspect that mary jane will not lead to reefer madness so they have to make that move rather quick.

    In reality it appears that a very small amount of people use heroin or cocaine, and a smaller amount do so with regularity.

    http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/pdf/t375.pdf

  103. What I get from your risk analysis is, “Get stoned with your kids”

    Really? How? Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course.

  104. @ Brian Courts

    Well, the analysis was that parents don’t get to enjoy the benefits of the risky behavior but they have to shoulder the risk. The solution implied to me was share in the benefit like sports. I’m pretty sure that I was pretty amusing to the outside observer when I was young and high. So at least the parent would be entertained.

  105. In reality it appears that a very small amount of people use heroin or cocaine, and a smaller amount do so with regularity.

    What’s more, the results from Portugal and the Netherlands indicate that the number of addicts will drop when they are legalized.

    -jcr

  106. In reality it appears that a very small amount of people use heroin or cocaine, and a smaller amount do so with regularity.

    Ugggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! No offense, MNG, but this annoys the fuck out of me! How could anyone in their right mind compare these two and put them in the same category? I would consider cocaine far, far, far safer than heroin. If I had kids who were my age (21) I would rather have them split a gram with a few friends than a comparable amount of alocohol.

  107. In reading these comments, I must disagree with the idea that pot is harmless. The disgusting language and lack of humanity displayed here is atrocious, and I can only assume that this is a display of the ‘harmless’ effects of marijuana use.

    I was married to a very intelligent man of thirty five who ‘only’ smoked pot. He was a hard worker, a good man, and a good father. After five years of pot use, he couldn’t even form a proper sentence. He wasn’t fun anymore, and he wasn’t the man I married anymore. I watched him become more and more stupid as the years went by, and he didn’t even know it.

    Yes, I will do what I can to give my kids the best life possible… and that includes protecting their brain cells for future use.

  108. @ paradox 4

    Yes, I will do what I can to give my kids the best life possible… and that includes protecting their brain cells for future use.

    That’s great. You have no right to try to protect mine, however.

  109. “This is an insanely illogical, self-absorbed point of view.” – Episarch

    Oddly enough, the same self-absorbed POV probably influenced his drug using in his early years which is now inspiring him to support laws to prevent his kids using.

  110. When will people understand that if they treat their children like responsible, knowledgeable, and functional human beings they might just turn out that way!? Children may be growing, and need guidance, but if they are given the knowledge they can learn right from wrong. Micheal Phelps and Barack Obama both smoked marijuana at younger ages and they turned out just fine. This war drugs must end, so everyone can learn the real truth about both drugs and one another.

  111. If I had kids who were my age (21) I would rather have them split a gram with a few friends than a comparable amount of alocohol.

    You must be an incredible lightweight if a gram of alcohol has any effect on you.

    -jcr

  112. half a bottle of Cisco

    I’ve heard rumors of kids getting stoned on all kinds of things, but cisco? How would that work?

    -jcr

  113. The disgusting language and lack of humanity displayed here is atrocious, and I can only assume that this is a display of the ‘harmless’ effects of marijuana use.

    I’ve never smoked marijuana in my life; in fact, I’m a teetotaler.

    You may need to revise your assumptions, sunshine.

    I will do what I can to give my kids the best life possible… and that includes protecting their brain cells for future use.

    Your kids’ brain cells are in rather more danger from drunk drivers than from dope smokers.

    -jcr

  114. It feels strange after so many comments to be the first parent to make this point so explicitly, but here goes:

    My name’s Ken (hi Ken!)

    I’m 41 years old. I have two teenage sons (13 and 15) and I’ve never smoked anything in my life. I work really hard to convince them to make the same choices.

    But … if they do otherwise… I really don’t want them getting a criminal record because of it. Oddly enough, their mother agrees with this indulging attitude.

    Call me a bad parent.

    I’m sorry if I disappoint anybody.

  115. @paradox

    That sounds like some made up shit to me but I’ll reply like it’s true. I mean really who (with no medical reason) becomes a pothead at 35?

    That’s abuse not use. All drugs affect everyone differently so to use one example is disingenuous. If the guy was wake and bake every day and it ruined his life he should quit no doubt. My rule is if you can’t go 24 hours without some drug you need to stop it. I smoked everyday for about 15 years but only AFTER work. I could get totally wasted at night, wake up take a shower and be good to go in the morning. Now I can take it or leave it. I’ll smoke for a week and then not smoke for 2 or 3. It’s the only thing that keeps me from going postal all all the morons. As far as your kids go the more you try to protect them the more likely they are to use so good luck with that you’ll need it.

  116. Can’t parents be scared of their kids using drugs and scared of their kids getting shot/robbed or put in jail as a result of the drug war?

    I will discourage drug use with my kids and will try to accurately portray dangers of various drugs. I still don’t want my kid to live in a police/prison state where the cops are all corrupted by the drug trade.

    Isn’t it a false paradigm to pretend that either parents are “scared” for their kids and thus want a drug war or they love to get high with them?

  117. I can understand Winerip’s concern but, if National Prohibition is a guide, it doesn’t work that way. David Kyvig writes in “Repealing National Prohibition” that
    One reason Pauline Morton Sabin founded WONPR(Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform) was concern for her two teenage boys. She testified to Congress that “In preprohibition days, mothers had little fear in regard to the saloon as far as their children were concerned. A saloon-keeper’s license was revoked if he were caught selling liquor to minors. Today in any speakeasy in the United States you can find boys and girls in their teens drinking liquor, and this situation has become so acute that the mothers of the country feel something must be done to protect their children.”

    Prohibition ended and Pauline never changed her mind, and neither have other Americans, not in 75 years living with legal alcohol.

  118. who ever thinks or says, the said title, is a complete hypocrite idiotic rat bastard. to put it lightly.

    marijuana is not cocaine, or crack, stop categorizing it like it is. and PROHIBITION does not work. you only make gangs possible. IDIOTS.

  119. “marijuana is not cocaine, or crack,…”

    But then, neither is cocaine, or crack “cocaine, or crack”. [scare quotes supplied]

    Both seem to have mythologies, all their own, attached, that are every bit as hystertical as the ones attached to MJ.

    Cocaine could be decriminalized as well. And while consumption would be more open it would likely not increase that much. And the negative effects, such as they are would be easier to trace and mitigate.

    And crack could quite possibly disappear. it is, after all, mostly a product of prohibition. Just like bathtub gin, noone buys an inferior product when a better one is available.

    While pot is the most obvious candidate for legalization, no discussion of drug policy reform is complete without considering harder drugs as well.

  120. paradox4 | May 18, 2009, 9:25pm | #

    After five years of pot use, he couldn’t even form a proper sentence. He wasn’t fun anymore, and he wasn’t the man I married anymore. I watched him become more and more stupid as the years went by, and he didn’t even know it.

    And prohibition completely failed to prevent any of those terrible things happening, didn’t it?

    What you are describing is someone who couldn’t control his impulses with something that he had come to really, really like.

    People lose control over all kinds of things they really, really like. Quite often to the extent that they need help.

    Prohibition has never been known to be the kind of help they need.

  121. Oh, and the decline you describe may not have been the result of pot use but the cause.

    Have you considered the possibility that he may be suffering from an undiagnosed degenerative disease and that he was self medicating his symptoms with pot.

  122. I would rather my 15 year old lived in a reality based world where there wouldn’t even be a reason for a healthy 15 year old to even think about smoking pot. If we had not pointlessly demonized a traditional medical herb pushing into the realm of the taboo, there would not even be any attraction to it. My 15 year old is never the least bit interested in any of the herbs at the health food store.

    You wish your kid could grow up in a world without pot, and I wish my kid could grow up in a world without hypocrites. Neither of us will get what we want.

  123. If you live in California and favor legalizing marijuana, YOU can make it happen. Tell your representatives to support California Assembly Bill 390. It’s easy. Visit yes390.org

  124. It can happen! It should happen! Read a great post today on the subject: http://thestimulist.com/marijuana-legalization/.

  125. After five years of pot use, he couldn’t even form a proper sentence. He wasn’t fun anymore, and he wasn’t the man I married anymore. I watched him become more and more stupid as the years went by, and he didn’t even know it.

    You’re just describing being married, turning 40 and raising young kids. The pot was just a coping mechanism. My personal preference is a good, dry martini.

  126. I didn’t figure that having children makes one suddenly want to put them in harms way by keeping Marijuana illegal.

  127. My immigrant Greek mother used to say to me when I came home a young juvenile drunk-“They say in the village that a crazy man meets a drunk man face to face on the street and the crazy man runs.” A mother might now say that a pothead meats a drunk on the street and the pothead runs?

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