Sense & Sensitivity

Reader Wants Kids to Steer Clear of Weed

DEAR HARRIETTE: Now that weed is becoming legal across the country, I am having a hard time convincing my teenage children that they shouldn’t smoke it. They shrug off my warnings that it will make them less productive in their schoolwork. They say I am being old-fashioned. Basically, they have stopped listening to me.

I am not against the legalization of marijuana from the perspective that I don’t think people who sell or use it should go to jail. In that way, it’s like alcohol. But I don’t want my kids to drink either. I want them to stay focused on their schoolwork and their future. How can I get that point across without seeming out-of-touch? -- No Weed, Denver

DEAR NO WEED: Lead with your vision for them. Tell them to think less about the law and more about their future. Anything that they consume that could cause them to be distracted from their future is a bad thing. Make sure you tell them that this doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t explore their lives fully, but using weed in any of its forms -- including the many edibles that are available -- is not the answer. Explain that weed can make you less productive at the very time when they need to be strong students preparing for college. Here are medical insights on what marijuana does to the brain:

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

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