- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dear Ms. Vicki,

My friends let their children smoke marijuana in their home. Now all of a sudden I’m having a hard time keeping my kids away from their home. My kids want to go and visit their kids on a daily basis. Before you know it, my children will be smoking weed, too.

For some sick reason, my friends believe it’s best for their children to smoke in their home instead of on the street somewhere. They say, “Well they are going to do it anyway, this way we can monitor what they are doing.”

Now I’m insisting my sons take a home drug test. I want to know if they have been smoking weed, too. I bought a home drug test kit online, but my sons are refusing to cooperate. This is making me more and more angry at my sons and my husband for not supporting me. My husband thinks it’s their right to withhold their urine and they don’t have to comply with me wanting to test them.

I’m at a loss about what to do. They won’t stay away from these weed heads and my husband thinks I am overreacting. What do you think I need to do now? Do I have any options? — No Pot Heads

Dear Heads,

I can sense you are truly concerned about your sons. Let’s face it: They are refusing to take the test because they have been smoking pot, too.

You and your husband must play from the same sheet music to handle this issue. Failing to do so will only cause more chaos. Plus, your sons will know they can pit you and your husband against each other and this won’t be good.

From your report, I’m guessing your sons are minors who won’t obey you. You want them to stay away from a home where parents are allowing their children to get high in their home — and I’m sure in their presence. How awful! Since your children won’t stop visiting this home, you should talk with the parents and let them know your sons are not allowed to visit and that you would appreciate their cooperation in not allowing your sons at their home.

On the other hand, this is what you have to face: Your sons can get pot anywhere if they want to. I’m concerned they could be dependent on the drug, but here’s the deal: You can’t force them to give you a urine sample and you can’t force them into counseling. In most states, once a child is 16, parents aren’t privy to most medical information unless the child gives permission. I know this makes you feel like you are caught between a rock and a hard place.

I think you and your husband should start spending more time with your sons and helping them engage in more pro-social activities. You also should talk to them about marijuana and its effect on our bodies. Your sons must believe pot will adversely affect their lives and their future. Don’t expect your sons to be honest and admit to smoking pot. There are some things you won’t be honest with your parents about regardless of how close you are. In the interim, solicit the help of your church pastor, youth pastor or other clergy. There are many great youth groups sponsored by churches or other community organizations who give great advice to teenagers and parents.

Vicki Johnson is a licensed clinical social worker, military spouse and mother of three. Her Dear Ms. Vicki column runs in The Washington Times on Thursdays and Sundays. Contact her at [email protected]

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