Should I Let My 17-Year-Old Smoke Weed?

If you have a suspicion that your 17-year-old is smoking weed, you have a touchy situation on your hands. You don’t want to make your teen think that you don’t love or trust them. Your teenager isn’t a bad person for trying marijuana or for smoking it once in a while. You want to be a supportive and understanding parent but you also don’t want to encourage destructive or negative behavior. Teenagers shouldn’t be baked all the time. If a 17-year-old is letting drugs get in the way of their responsibilities and opportunities in life it can become a problem. 

Does Smoking Pot Mess Up Teenagers’ Brains?

Teenagers’ brains are still in the developmental stages. They have a hard time making connections and determining the consequences of their actions. Combine this with weed and you have a teenager that’s not capable of clear thinking, problem-solving, or decision making. Weed is classified as a psychotropic medicine that can cause psychological dependence with frequent, habitual use. The younger a person is, the easier it is for them to develop a psychological addiction.

The unfortunate truth is that smoking pot may be relaxing and fun but there are too many negative consequences to ignore. Smoking weed kills brain cells and affects memorization skills. This can lead to frustration with or failure to complete homework, a drop in grades, and poor test scores. If smoking weed is affecting your 17-year-old’s ability to follow the rules and be responsible you should talk to them about getting some help if they can’t cut back or quit on their own. 

Smoking marijuana has snuck into youth culture more subtly than drinking alcohol. Kids don’t view getting stoned as being as dangerous as getting drunk. There has been a lot more trouble with addiction in past years. Marijuana contains up to three times as much THC as it did ten or fifteen years ago. When your teenager is buying drugs they’re making connections with people that sell drugs. Doors are opened to drug dealers, possible access to harder drugs, and other risky activity.

Should I Let My 17-Year-Old Smoke Weed?

Should I Confront My Teen About Smoking Marijuana?

You don’t want to make your kid think that you’re a mean or insensitive parent but you also don’t need more problems down the line. Don’t go off the handle but make a stand as early as possible. Marijuana costs money and that money has to come from somewhere. If your teen is smoking marijuana they might turn to deceit to get the funds for their habit. They might sell their valuable personal belongings, use money that is supposed to be for meals or entertainment, or they might even resort to stealing to get money for pot. 

When you decide to confront your teen about their behavior try not to be judgemental or angry. Consider their feelings and listen to what they have to say. Be caring and supportive of their feelings but be open and honest with them about it. If your teen says they use pot to cope with depression or anxiety issues, offer to find a doctor or counselor to talk to about getting some professional help with their symptoms. Be firm about your stance and rules. Tell your teen about the fears you have regarding smoking and drug use and how it makes you feel when they use marijuana.

Even if laws have loosened or changed regarding adult marijuana use, it’s still illegal for minors. It is illegal for anyone under 21 to purchase and use tobacco products, let alone marijuana. If your 17-year-old is caught smoking marijuana it can lead to tickets, jail, and even DWI charges if caught behind the wheel buzzed. Remind your teen that getting arrested is no joke and once that happens consequences are beyond your control. You can’t stop the police and courts from ordering consequences.

Also be careful not to take too strong of a stance. We all know that if we forbid anything, it only increases the chances that our teen will actually do it.

Help Your Teen Avoid Loss And Failure

Smoking marijuana can lead to the loss of good friends. If they don’t approve of marijuana use, some of your teen’s friends might turn away. Sometimes their crowd of friends transforms from lifelong pals to new friends that smoke. Sometimes teens are just smoking to follow along with their friends and fit in with a particular group. If they decide that popularity or friendship with a certain person is important enough they might smoke weed to seem cool.

Pot smoking can lead to bad grades and missed opportunities. Lost brain cells don’t just grow back. Marijuana weakens the ability to memorize things. Memorization is quite important when it comes to education. Students must remember sets of rules and theories to solve problems with. Vocabulary terms must be learned and memorized. All of these can become more difficult for someone that is smoking marijuana. Encourage them to see life clearly rather than through a fog. It makes success much easier.

Your teen may lose focus on working or getting into college and advancing in life because they’re too busy smoking pot. Young adults might lose jobs or even decide not to pursue college at all. Drug use can drain their excitement and motivation to reach milestones and goals. Try to inspire and encourage your teen to do their best and reach for success in life. If your 17-year-old gives up on their dreams now, it’s just going to be tougher and take longer for them to find their way in this world.

FAQ About Teens And Smoking Marijuana

Here are some common questions that parents have about finding their teen smoking weed.

Q: Is there a difference between regular and occasional pot use?

A: Yes there is. Regular use would be when someone is smoking multiple times a week.  Occasional use would be infrequent sampling at parties or just smoking once in a while. A person is most likely to develop an addiction or dependence on marijuana when they’re smoking it regularly. They create a habit, then their bodies develop a tolerance to the THC. This is what leads to a daily smoking routine and eventually dependence.

Q: How can action be taken to address the pot-smoking issue at school?

A: Once kids leave elementary school, they are more likely to try marijuana. Preventing or at least identifying the problem as early as possible is key. We have to have programs that don’t demonize kids for trying pot but to teach them about safety and responsibility. Teens should learn about the problems that smoking weed can cause.

We need to help them build valuable health and life skills and strong personal values to help steer them away from drug abuse.

Some schools employ drug testing to deter students from using drugs. Some programs randomly test based on a certain ratio of students. Others simply test when they suspect a student is under the influence. Positive tests can lead to students being banned from extracurricular activities and sports, even expulsion. 

Q: Is smoking weed dangerous for my 17-year-old?

A: Marijuana use not only causes memory problems, but it can also lead to some very serious mental health issues. The impact of pot smoking is different for different age groups. It has been proven to provoke problems like bipolar disorders, depression and anxiety, and even schizophrenia in certain teens. Everyone is different so the effects vary from one individual to the next.