Discussing Drugs With Kids

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!)


Cur­rent Mood: 😕con­fused
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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