I live in Denver, where parents are talking a lot about marijuana.
Of course, we are all worried about our children in this new landscape of legalized (and readily available) weed. Rightly so. There is nothing trivial about the effects of drugs on a developing brain.
Many are concerned we are sending inconsistent messages to the younger generation. And we are. And it's a big problem. Many are concerned that society's cavalier and comical approach to pot-smoking confuses kids. And it does. And that's a big problem, too.
But here is where I tend to diverge from more popular rhetoric: I submit we are having the wrong conversation. The new accessibility of weed is only one of many, many challenges facing our kids. As we decide how to talk to them about drug use, let us look at how we talk to them about everything.
Let's talk about THIS:
Adults Send Some Pretty Messed-up Messages about Some Very Serious Things.
Just a few examples, collected in a just few minutes on adult facebook and twitter pages:
Check out: 13 Ways to Smuggle Your Booze
Gambling and Other Addictions
Marriage & Fidelity
Every Single Thing about Being an Adult
Dignity & Self-Respect
There is no end to the predators threatening our teenagers. There is no end to their adolescent need for rebellion and risk-taking. There is no end to the vigilance required to raise them into adulthood. Legalized marijuana is another snag in the complicated fabric of raising teenagers.
I worry we are looking too hard at the trees of the legalization question and failing to see the forest, which is the question of how we teach our kids to act responsibly, safely and independently, no matter what obstacles they face.