I Gave My Daughter Her First Joint
I gave my daughter a joint this past weekend.
I do not mean that to sound like it was no big deal, because it was not at all a casual decision. My daughter is almost 15 years old and a freshman in high school, and she has always been very open and honest with me.
Image: Rafael Castillo
Suffice it to say, my husband and I are pretty liberal parents. We try not to judge our daughter and to teach with compassion. Of course, we have already had the talks about sex and drugs with her. I told her that I was almost out of high school before I had intercourse with my college boyfriend. I also admitted that I experimented with marijuana in my teens, but that it was much weaker back then and I did not let it get in my way.
She explained that she learned all about drugs and alcohol in school and knew that if she became a "stoner" that it would interfere with her brain development and maturity level. She confessed that she had been drunk with her friends — one time.
"What did you drink and did you come home that night?" I asked, with perhaps a little more alarm in my voice that I would have liked.
She refused to say, but after I ran through a list of suspects, she admitted it was vodka. With a peach schnapps chaser! She told me that she had slept at a friend's house that night, and I have to admit that I was relieved that I had not failed to notice that she was inebriated.
I often try to conceal my dread that my baby (who is half a head taller than I am) is venturing into the big, bad world. I know I have to keep the conversation open and to not judge her too harshly. I told her why I disapproved of alcohol. She told me that she would only drink if it was a special occasion, whatever that means. I want to keep her from drinking, but short of shadowing her to every party or coordinating a detail of private detectives, it is really out of my control. This is what they are talking about when they’re talking about "letting go."
Then she told me that she had not tried pot … yet. She said she wanted to and that if I didn't already know it, that everyone in her school got high. I said I had no doubt it was widespread, but that I still wished she would wait. She looked at me with the same look of pity that I looked at my mother with when I was her age, and she then reiterated her intentions to experiment with it.
We discussed how openly her father smoked. I explained that he worked really hard, was very responsible and considered marijuana to be a form of relaxation. I expressed my desire again about how I wished she would wait until she was older, but also had to admit that this was the time in her life to be curious.
She said she was going to sleep over at a friend's house and that they wanted to try it together. She said it would be so simple to take some of her dad's stuff, as he leaves it in an unlocked cabinet, and he would not even notice. She then asked me if I had a joint.
I had long kept a joint in my underwear drawer as security, in case I had a bout of insomnia. We looked for it and discovered that it was gone, taken by my husband, I guessed, when he was running low.
"Why don't you ask your dad?" I asked.
"No," she answered curtly, "and don't you ask him, either!"
I told her that I would have a discussion with him over whether it was the right thing to offer her some.
"I can get it from a junior I know …" she mumbled under her breath. I thought about how her dad got it from a neighbor who grew it himself, how it was middle-of-the-road stuff and certainly not laced with anything.
If she was going to smoke — and lets face it, nothing I could say would deter her — and if I wanted to keep the lines of communication open, I would have to accept her "occasionally" getting high. So that night, I went to my husband and told him all about our conversation. And early the next morning, he rolled a joint and gave it to me.
I knocked on my daughter’s door and presented her with one skinny little joint. Her eyes widened.
"That’s from Daddy?" she asked, and I nodded.
"I love him," she said. "I have the coolest parents." And that is how I became my 14-year-old daughter’s pot dealer.
After school that day, she went over to her friend's house and with two friends finished half the joint. The other two, veteran pot-smokers it seems, told my daghter that it was very weak pot.
Originally published on Purple Clover.