As Father’s Day approaches, it’s natural to reflect on your relationship with your dad or father figure. Fathers play a huge role in shaping us as adults. Whether your dad is your best friend or someone you turn to when you need advice, opening up about your cannabis use can bring you both closer. So how do you approach the topic and tell your dad you smoke cannabis?
There’s no “one size fits all” answer. Ultimately, the best way to tell your dad that you use cannabis will depend on your specific relationship. Every parent reacts differently when they discover that their adult child uses cannabis. Some fathers don’t care, while others may be shocked -- and some dads might want to light up with their adult kids!
If you want to tell your dad you smoke cannabis, you may feel nervous or unsure. Start by remembering that you have nothing to be ashamed of, especially if you use cannabis for medical reasons or live in a state where recreational use has been legalized. Then, have a practice conversation. Try to imagine how your dad will react and plan some responses. If you have siblings who know that you smoke cannabis, it may help to discuss the subject with them ahead of time for ideas and moral support.
If you’re still having trouble deciding how to tell your dad you smoke cannabis, try some of the following tips:
Tip #1. Test the Waters
If you don’t know how your dad feels about cannabis, you can start by approaching the subject on an impersonal level. Current events can be an excellent way to shift the conversation to cannabis without discussing your own use. For example, ask your dad what he thinks about new laws that have legalized recreational cannabis. If cannabis isn’t legal where your dad lives, ask him how he thinks people in his community would vote on the issue.
You could also try using pop culture to test the waters. Today, cannabis use is often depicted on television and in film. If you know that a character on your dad’s favorite show smokes cannabis, you could discuss this character with him. By gauging his response, you may be able to get a sense of how he’ll react when he finds you that you smoke, too.
Tip #2. Think About Your Dad’s Life and Interests
How old is your dad? What are his interests? Where did he grow up, and what was happening in the world when he was your age? A dad who came of age in San Francisco in the 1960s will most likely have a very different opinion of cannabis than a dad from a conservative small town.
By assessing your dad’s background, you can gain a more accurate idea of how he may react when you tell him you smoke cannabis. You can also use your dad’s interests to help him understand cannabis in a wider context. For example, if your dad loves country music, you can talk to him about Willie Nelson’s cannabis advocacy.
Often, people who are anti-cannabis have formed their opinions because of negative cultural stereotypes and biased news media. By showing your dad how some of his favorite celebrities, athletes, or public figures use cannabis, it can help him understand that using cannabis isn’t a big deal.
Tip #3. Facts Are Your Friends
If you expect your dad to react negatively when you tell him you smoke cannabis, it may help to arm yourself with facts and statistics. Using verifiable, scientific claims about cannabis can refute false claims and put your father’s mind at ease if he has concerns about the health impacts of cannabis. By having a ready source of facts, you’ll also demonstrate that you’re able to use cannabis responsibly.
For some fathers, discussing medicinal cannabis may be the easiest way to tell them that you smoke cannabis. You can tell your dad about the many health benefits associated with using cannabis, such as reduced anxiety, better sleep, and pain relief. If your dad uses CBD or alternative medicine, you can draw parallels between those products and cannabis.
Tip #4. Ask Questions
Finally, one of the best ways to tell your father you smoke cannabis is to keep an open dialogue. If your dad doesn’t take the news well, don’t argue or tell him why he’s wrong. This will only escalate the situation and create strife.
Instead, be an active listener. When you tell your dad you smoke cannabis, ask questions such as:
- How does it make you feel to know that I use cannabis?
- Why do you think you feel this way?
- What are some specific concerns that you have about my cannabis use?
- Do you feel that my cannabis use may affect our relationship?
- Would you like to know more about why I use cannabis?
By asking these questions and others, you and your dad can still have a patient, calm conversation even if you disagree. If it seems like your cannabis usage will continually create conflict between you and your father, you can also consider agreeing to some ground rules. For example, you can agree not to use cannabis when you visit your dad for the holidays.
Telling your dad you smoke cannabis doesn’t have to be an embarrassing or difficult conversation. These tips will help you prepare to tell your dad or father that you use cannabis and can help you minimize the potential fallout if it doesn’t go well. Above all else, remember to be open and honest. Your dad will thank you for it.