I have something of an ethical dilemma regarding discussing drug use with Katie.
I know that my personal views about this subject definitely differ from those of some of my friends here. I think recreational drug use should be decriminalized, but I also believe drug use of any kind absolutely cannot be used as a mitigating factor when considering any kind of wrongdoing. I think adults should be free to do as they please with their own bodies.
Personally, I am scared to death of people who I perceive to be out of control, and I choose not to be in their company. I very seldom drink, and never to excess. I choose not to be around those who are drinking to excess. And I don’t want to be around illegal drug use, simply because I don’t want to deal with any legal repercussions.
I’m not here to debate my views, but I wanted to make them clear.
When talking to Katie about moral/ethical issues, especially, I try to let her know about the views her father, Wayne, expressed on them—especially when I know that they differed from mine. It’s something I would have liked for him and others to do if I were the one who died and he was raising her without me.
I’ve never tried any illegal drugs, other than drinking as a minor. Considering my weird reactions to too many prescription drugs, and my fear of being out of control, I find it extremely unlikely that I’ll ever try them.
Wayne did. In fact, he used marijuana very heavily and was a fairly regular cocaine user at one time. I suspected him of cocaine use a few times during our marriage but then realized he just had serious anger management issues. While he didn’t connect them, during the time that he was a daily marijuana user, he was suicidally depressed and his life was pretty much going to hell in that proverbial handbasket. He was living in apartments down in Techwood. His first wife was raped by a neighbor who was their main dealer, and they didn’t report the crime because they didn’t want to get in trouble for the drugs or lose their source.
But he did not stop using drugs because of any bad experiences. He stopped because I completely disapproved, and he lost contact with the crowd through whom he knew he could buy in relative safety. (I think he stopped, anyway—I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he used marijuana again later during his chemotherapy, and I would think it would be a perfectly reasonable way to deal with the pain/nausea from what I’ve read.) As far as I know, he really didn’t have any strong political beliefs one way or the other about decriminalizing drugs, and apparently, he and Katie never discussed drug use to any significant extent.
As she gets older and we discuss current events and people we know and fiction and so on, drug use comes up. And I feel torn—how do I tell her about this and express her father’s views without sounding like I’m attacking him? I mean, I don’t whitewash the man’s memory, but this is a damned touchy subject. She knows he was homophobic and just accepts that as one of his flaws. She knows he was an extremely angry person and could be violent when he was angry. She experienced those traits first hand. The drug use, though—she didn’t experience that as far as I know.
The only instance in which I think anything related came up was when she was being left at home with her teen stepsisters regularly. Apparently, some of their friends smoked pot there at some point, and the wrath of deities did not fall on the stepsisters or their friends (it would have had I learned of it in a timely manner!)