My 19 Year old dope smoking son


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My son is a freshman in College and after seeing his spring grades today I hit the roof. I have been on him about his dope smoking for a while and he refuses to stop. Not sure about other states but here in California weed is very legal and most of the kids have medical marijuana cards so it is basically legal. So all I hear is "everyone does it, " you just dont understand" etc... He says that it helps him wind down and get to sleep, reduce anxiety, nail biting. etc. I know that all of his friends smoke, and most of their interactions all involve smoking dope.

Although he has been in a little bit of trouble he is a good kid and does not have any behavioral issues. Has a part time job and is an all around good young man. He was diagnosed with ADHD at 13 and was on Adderall for a few years but grew tired of it and hasnt taken it for a while. He seems to have grown out of the HD part but the AD part is still there.

Even though it is technically legal I am against it and know first hand what it can lead to. I am also concerned it is hurting his studies.

Today I threatened to kick him out of the house and take away his car if he didnt stop and told me I was being ridiculous. Am I over reacting?


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I'll give you my opinion only. Can't speak for anybody else.

First of all, it is YOUR hosue so if you don't want pot in your house, that's a rule he needs to abide by. I never allowed cigarettes in my house, let alone pot. And people need to agree to follow your rules in your home.

My second part is more complicated. I don't like pot or alcohol. It is an equal hatefest to me. If I had a college kid in California who smoked pot out off of my property and never got into any trouble, worked, had a good attitude about most things, was respectful, and is not ready to be kicked out of college, I don't think I'd do anything. His life/his choice. Pot will be legal everywhere soon and if we allow our kids to drink, I think it's hypocritical not to let them smoke. Now if you have any reason to suspect he is heavily into drugs and if his grades fell off massively and if you think he may have quit some classes, that's a different story.

But if he's a good kid and he just smokes pot and does it legally I know I'd probably not even ask my kid about it UNLESS I found it on my premesis, the same as if I would find cigarette butts in his room.

I don't believe everyone smokes pot just because it is legal. Not everyone drinks. If he smokes every day and you see a change for the worst, he may be one of those kids who can't use pot safely, just like some people can't drink alcohol. Then it does become an issue of addiction. Yes, you can get addicted to pot and need it to function. Then to me that's like being an alcoholic.

I'm actually far more afraid of Adderrall than pot. My daughter used to do drugs and Adderrall was one of their favorite drugs to take. It is speed and they crushed it in pillcrusheshers and snorted it either alone or with other drugs, like cocaine. Then she'd have to take a sedative to sleep. Their street value back then (ten years ago) was $10 for one little pill! All ADHD drugs except for Straterra are abused on the streets. College kids also pop them before exams. Just a bit of trivia that I know about because my daughter knew and shared when she got clean.

So many factors in play here.
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Hi Acxpert

You may have to decide what battles you are going to fight and the potential for success. While your son's grades dropped,he is in school. There are pluses:
he is a good kid and does not have any behavioral issues. Has a part time job and is an all around good young man

However much we don't like marijuana, it seems like society is viewing it as a non event.
Now that you have calmed down a bit could you talk to your son and ask him how he makes sense of the fallen grades and together, make a plan?

While understandable, I fear that coming on too strong may make the problem bigger.
Other parents will respond and they all have a great deal of wisdom and experience. I feel confident that you will be able to cobble together a plan that makes sense. Take care.
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I agree with how bad Adderall is. My daughter will tell you that it was her gateway to meth. Not pot. I also know a lot of daily pot smokers (you would actually be surprised how many people smoke and you have no idea! ) who are quite successful, but like anything, it depends on the person...


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I agree with how bad Adderall is. My daughter will tell you that it was her gateway to meth. Not pot. I also know a lot of daily pot smokers (you would actually be surprised how many people smoke and you have no idea! ) who are quite successful, but like anything, it depends on the person...
My daughter said exactly the same thing.


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Even though it is technically legal I am against it and know first hand what it can lead to. I am also concerned it is hurting his studies.

Unfortunately for you, it is legal. You can do nothing about the pot smoking. Here's my two cents on this. He is living at home, working part time, going to college, and apparently driving one of your vehicles. Ignore the pot issue since it is legal. Good grades mean that the status quo is maintained. Bad grades mean consequences. Start with the car. If his grades are faltering then take the car. He will complain "But how can I get to work/school without the car?!?!" Your response, "Bus pass or black Cadillac's."

I personally wouldn't start threatening to kick him out as long as he is doing nothing illegal, is obeying the rules of your home, is working, and is making the attempt at school. As SWOT said, she doesn't allow certain things in her home legal or not. My wife and I recently quit smoking but before we quit, we didn't smoke in the house or allow others to do so. If he is doing things in your home that you don't allow then he is being disrespectful and disobedient.


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Welcome Acxpert. Your post is very relevant to me. First I was just in San Francisco and saw firsthand pot being used openly on just about evry corner. I had my two adult daughters with me and yes the one found a way to make friends with someone so she could smoke a joint. Second I am in Ohio and we are going to have that issue on our ballot in November. There is a lot of argument going on here about it, but from what I can tell I think it is going to pass. I am not in favor of it and saw what it did to my daughter.

Now for my personal experience. Our daughter began drinking and smoking pot at 14. By the time she was 18 she had been arrested numerous times for delinquency, underage drinking and drug paraphanelia. She even spent a weekend in juvie. Her behavior at home was awful. She began stealing from us and staying out for days. People tell me pot is suppose to make you calm, ha it made her beligerent. She left for college after barely garduating high school and lasted six weeks before she was arrested for smoking pot in the dorm and was kicked out of college. She had not attended one day of classes.

That led to a couple years of being kicked out of the house, living with druggies, going to rehab and living in a recovery house for six months before getting a job, smoking/drinking 24/7, losing the job and finally today where she is living with her boyfriend who doesn't have a drivers license at the age of 29 because of dui's. She is working but she still drinks an excessive amount and probably will lose her job at some point because of it.

And yet state after state is making pot legal and everyone tells me it's safe. For some people perhaps it is. For my daughter, she has the addictive gene and it causes a huge problem in her life. If she could smoke pot occassionaly and responsibly and still do well in school and job I would be much better able to accept it. But for her that can't be done. I am so torn about this issue because while so many proclaim its benefit I only saw the consequences.


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He wouldn't be driving MY car if there was a possibility of him being under the influence of pot.
Um, I wouldn't kick him out for smoking pot in his own enviroment (not at home), but he would never get to drive my vehicle either. If he wanted to drive he'd have to buy his own car and pay for his own insurance. It is not safe to drive when your senses are slowed down and your reflexes aren't sharp. Drinking is legal, but you really shouldn't drive even if you are just buzzed. To me the same with pot. The car issue would be a dealbreaker. "Not my car." I don't know why anyone would knowingly give a drug user of any kind their car to drive. You are liable for anything that happens and your vehicle could be destroyed. Pot stays in your body for a long time. It is a risk every time your son fires up the engine and is on the road.


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I agree with others.... you cannot control his substance use. Unfortunately, I sure wish we could and I have sure tried with my son and it never worked. The thing to focus on is not the substance abuse directly but the behavior that may come from it. So yes look at the grades, if he is tanking in all his classes do you still want to help pay for school? Or will he still get scholorship/loan funds? If you think he is driving under the influence then he should not be driving. If he starts being disrespectful to you then deal with that. If he steals from you then deal with that issue. In other words focus on the behavior and deal with that directly..... and definitely support the good things he is doing.

Kicking him out can be a very tough road. It is a road I know because I have been there. We had to kick my son out when he was 18 because of his behavior (due to his drug use I am sure) but he threatened me and I was worried about my younger daughter. It was a very hard time for all of us. He lived with friends for a while and then ended up homeless and on the sreets for a couple of months. That was definitely a very tough time for me. It was awful really..... I am sure my experiences with that are in these archives somewhere! So really I do not recommend kicking a kid out unless you really feel you have to for safety sake..... cause it can be gruelling for you!!

I am now in a very different place with my son. He is a bit older now (23), and is living out of state but the big thing is he is working and holding down a job which is huge. He is mostly supporting himself although we are helping him out here and there. I know he is drinking and probably smoking pot but I no longer ask him about it. I know if his drug use gets really bad that he will crash and burn and it will become obvious. At this point he is talking to us, sharing a bit more with us, and doing a lot of good things too. He is trying to get his life together and really he is the only one who can.

If you can find an alanon program for parents I really recommend it... it has helped me immensely to get to this place we are at now.



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Pot can be a gateway to much worse drugs. My son smoked pot and when offered heroin he accepted and that led to his downfall and horrific addiction. If a person has an addictive gene then in my opinion, it's best to avoid all substances if possible. Legal or not, it's bad news. Thankfully my son is doing very well at the moment thanks to the program he's in. He doesn't even smoke cigarettes anymore. So there is hope but my 2 cents, pot is not good. And kicking your son out is very tough and heartbreaking.. So use that as last resort. Best of luck to you!