grandma with thought bubble askingyou want me to try cannabis

Cannabis Conversations with Parents

They changed our diapers. They taught us how to walk and talk. They gave us wisdom and support. (And we may have put them through a tough time or two). But now our parents are older and we are seeing that the child becomes the parent and the parent becomes the child. Now, I don’t mean that in a negative way at all. Your parents nurtured you and made you the person you are today. So what do we do? We take care of them as they took care of us. We teach them after all the years of teaching us. But how do we have cannabis conversations with parents?

Approaching the subject of medical cannabis can be extremely awkward. When talking to children you are not faced with years of propaganda and negative stigmas. It is easy for children to learn about cannabis but it’s tough for adults to unlearn everything they have been told. So how do you tackle talking to your parents about cannabis after all the years of them telling you how bad it was?

Let's Talk About Cananbis

Once again, an open and honest dialogue is needed. Ease into the conversation. You may be met with outright anger towards the subject. Find out what your parents know about cannabis. It may be much less than you think. They may have generalizations about cannabis and lump it into the “hard drugs” category without knowing the medical benefits. Be prepared to combat many of the myths that they may have been told over the course of their lifetimes, or even believe… things like cannabis is addictive, it could kill you, it causes brain damage, only stoners use pot, etc. You have to remember that they are products of the Reefer Madness propaganda that was shoved down people’s throats for decades. Again, unlearning can be more difficult than learning.

Most importantly though, is not to tell them, “YOU’RE WRONG!” No one ever wants to hear that (even if they are wrong). Dispel the myths by sparingly using facts and studies and include more patient stories about how cannabis has helped people with varying illnesses. Similarly to children, adults also relate better to personal stories rather than a bunch of facts and figures (although they also have their place.)

Show them the YouTube video of Larry, the Parkinson’s patient who tries cannabis for the first time and discuss his reaction as the tremors begin to subside. Another great video, “Should Grandma Smoke Pot?” is a fantastic introduction to cannabis and is narrated by Robert Platshorn, who served the longest prison term for a non-violent cannabis offense in US history. Now he educates seniors on the benefits of cannabis, as can be seen in the video. You can view it below.

 

Generally, the people who are obtaining their medical cannabis cards in southwest Florida are over 55 years old. Many have never tried cannabis before, and those who have may have only tried it once or twice. If your mother or father fall into this category, explain that the reason they may not have enjoyed the experience could have been due to the strain, as some strains have a tendency to cause paranoia and anxiety. Knowing the strain, potency, and effects and “starting low and going slow” could be the key to their acceptance of medical cannabis.

You have to remember that their health is their choice and you cannot make them do anything they don’t want to do. You can only give them advice and support their decision. (Kind of like what they did for you when you told them you were going to major in theater or follow the Grateful Dead for a summer). However, if you find that you need back-up, feel free to use Revive Magazine, our website, and our free informational seminars to help educate them. Sometimes it takes a community…

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Dr. David G. Balter M.D.

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