Brown and April Pride, founder of cannabis lifestyle brand Van der Pop, said it’s important to have these conversations with children, as it is inevitable that weed will be around them at parties and on the street.
They said children growing up post-legalization need to be educated the same way they would about alcohol, including by stressing that pot is only for adults.
Brown and Pride said they hide and lock away their stash from their children, but they believe avoiding the conversation about cannabis use encourages stigma and doesn’t help their kids with making their own decisions.
“There is a difference between discretion and hiding,” said Brown. “Hiding encourages stigma because it is something that you keep from people. Having discretion is about responsible use.”
Brown said she takes a harm reduction approach when talking to her daughters, using resources from Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy. The group views problematic drug use as a health issue rather than a criminal justice issue and advocates for harm reduction support.
Brown said she talks to her kids about why and how people use cannabis and why she stores it away from reach.
“It’s maybe not that I don’t trust my own kids. I keep it locked and away from them so that they understand that it’s an adult-use product.”
Sabine Dolby, 56, said she used to hide her stash from her children when they were younger, but now that they are adults — aged 24 and 30 — she said they all smoke together. Dolby said she didn’t smoke often when her kids were younger and she didn’t talk them much about cannabis, but now that she’s a regular user and cannabis is legal, she said she’s relieved not to hide it from them.
“I just asked myself, ‘I know my adult children are smoking it, so why am I the one hiding it?’ We’re all adults here,” said Dolby, adding that she smokes cannabis for her aches and pains and to help her sleep.