My children are at the age when they will probably ask me whether I’ve ever smoked marijuana. (The answer is yes. I experimented with pot as an undergraduate.) I’ve read the literature on what to tell your children about your past drug experimentation, but what it suggests seems so forced and staged. My children are too smart for the antidrug script. Do you have experience with this question?
F.S., Atlanta, Ga.
Yes, I do have experience with this question. When I was in college, I too experimented with marijuana. I experimented 132 times with marijuana. I had to repeat the experiment 131 times to make sure that I could replicate my results, and to assess inconsistencies and variances in the data I was collecting. The data had mainly to do with how many bags of Funyuns me and this dude named Smurf could eat in one sitting. By the way, Smurf is now a gynecologist in Westchester County, New York.
So, yes, I understand your dilemma. But I assume that you, like me, are old enough that this is a distant, and at least partially regretted, phase in your life. Tell your children the whole truth about your experience, including and especially the regrets, and don’t forget to impart to them the most important lesson in marijuana experimentation: what matters most is not that you smoke marijuana, but that you never pay for marijuana. I always smoked other people’s marijuana, because actually buying marijuana is what, from a technical standpoint, makes you a pothead.