Ask Old Hippie – My Teenage Daughter Started Smoking Pot

Old Hippie Kenobi

A very interesting post on /r/marijuana got over 100 thoughtful responses. Here was mine:

…I think I might be relevant because I also have a 16-year-old at home (although I am a generation older than you…apparently I had kids late and you had them early).

I also started smoking at 15 but hadn’t smoked for 25 years until I started medical marijuana use 3 months ago. Due to that perspective, I will echo what others have said, that she might literally be self-medicating for some condition or other, and if so that condition might be of concern to you. I have experience with that kind of thing too, but I’ll leave that out unless you’re interested.

It’s always possible, of course, that she’s a Typical Teenager and simply “can’t live without it” because all her friends are doing it and she feels it’s necessary for social reasons. In that case, I would agree: she’s grounded 🙂 I would also be far more concerned about alcohol use, not just because alcohol is far worse for you physically than MJ but because alcohol use is more correlated to violence, rape, and auto accidents than any other drug except perhaps meth and PCP…and, unlike MJ, it’s probably available in almost every household.

I know the feeling about the lying…it’s the shock, then after that you worry about all the other things she might still be lying about. And you wonder what the hell is wrong with kids’ lives that they feel they need stuff like this.

Since you say she’s pretty awesome in general, and she’s proved that at least by her grades, I think you ought to talk with her, which you’re doing…and also listen to her. But still you gotta be the parent.

Old Hippie is a father of two boys and thankfully living in California where all this kind of thing is legal. He started smoking marijuana in 1967 in high school, experimented with mind-expanding drugs of all kinds, and then straightened out 15 or so years later to become an airplane pilot. After being diagnosed with depression in 2000, he lost his job and most of the following decade to prescription medications (such as antidepressants) which sapped his energy and will. Finally, a chance conversation with a friend led to a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana (MMJ). This changed his entire life, health, and outlook for the better. is his continuing story. It’s also his way to provide experienced advice on using medical marijuana effectively and responsibly, as well as advocacy, activism, and support for others. Old Hippie teaches about safe use of cannabis edibles, Canna Caps, vaporizers, dosing, and even microdosing.

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