Baby Boomer Parents, Have You Come Out of the Cannabis Closet to Your Adult Kids?
Until recently, I mostly avoided talking to my two kids about my cannabis use, justifying my radio silence by thinking, “They know their parents use cannabis the same way they know we had sex (at least twice, or else they wouldn’t exist). But that doesn’t mean we have to discuss it openly.”
Many of my dear friends who are parents have never made much effort in concealing their cannabis use from their kids. But my wife and I were always more furtive, which was easy, because for the 20+ years we were raising our children, we’d rarely partake.
We drank alcohol, of course, but (mostly) in moderation. The kids may have occasionally caught us adults acting more silly than usual at parties, but certainly witnessed no wild bacchanals. (At least that I recall.) But the idea of pairing a glass of alcohol with your meal has historically been more widely accepted than the idea of casually rolling a joint or puffing on a vape pen at a family barbecue. The relatively commonplace acceptance of one substance compared to the stigma of the other resulted in my reluctance to discuss my cannabis use with my kids.
So when was I finally compelled to have “The Talk” with my kids? I got a job with a firm that invests exclusively in cannabis-related businesses. Accordingly, I felt an obligation to my offspring to clarify my position on cannabis. In the spirit of full disclosure, that meant not just my position on issues such as legalization, but if, when, and how their mom and dad use cannabis themselves.
I wish I could say I sat my kids down in front of a carefully prepared PowerPoint presentation projected on the dining room wall, allowing for a brief period for questions before concluding with, “We’ll not speak of this again. Who’s ready for dessert?” But that’s not how it happened.
Instead, “The Talk” kind of leaked out over a period of months, mostly in subtle acknowledgements (“We spent the weekend at the Leibovitzes’ cabin. Terry brought some of his homegrown [strain name].”) Gradually, my kids and I moved to more direct conversations about cannabis, but we came short of actually consuming cannabis during those conversations, even though they’re all of legal age.
Eventually, we all shared cannabis together. It was just the four of us at a desert lake resort we’ve been visiting since the kids were little. We played card games, ate well, strummed the guitar and sang, made one another laugh hard. The vape pen was passed around a few times. Ironically, I don’t think we talked about cannabis at all. Instead, our actions together resonated more clearly than any “Talk” could have.
Have you spoken with your now-grown children about your cannabis consumption? If so, what did you say and how did they react? Share your experiences in the comments!