Van der Pop


ADVICEApril Pride

Dear Vandy,
I knew this day would come but the idea of actually preparing for it, required action far too difficult to face. In order to look my kid in the eyes and ask her to not do the pot I would have to, well, not do the pot. But I like the pot. How do you ask your kid to abstain from cannabis when you find it to be an impossible ask of yourself?

Dear Anti-Abstinence,

Chances are you’re living in Margaritaville or a neighboring zip code. And you’re prepared to have the don’t-drink-but-if-you-do-call-me chat, which is summarized with the it’s-illegal-until-you’re-under-21 disclaimer. Action and cut. Check the box and wait. All the while not breaking your salt-rocks cycle.

What has served as the acceptable status quo for the drinking sit down is rooted in a time before kids began inserting vodka soaked tampons into their ass for the purpose of total obliteration - and humiliation. This is the war our kids are fighting and we are sending them in completely unprepared. Like bows-and-arrows aimed toward Pacino wild-eyed at the top of the stairs.

The news reports covering the aftermath of such brilliantly creative adolescent moments make no mention to the pack of parents collecting kids following a totally humiliating call home.

Based on the failed post-Prohibition social experiment, Anti-Abstinence, asking your daughter to abstain from doing the pot is exactly wrong. I’m not suggesting you abandon the be-their-parents-not their-friend thinking. But I’ve seen parents give better advice to their friends. The practical is replaced with the responsible at the sake of realistic thinking.

Our own avoidance of abstinence created *learning moments* to be shared with those we love the most and who deserve to benefit the greatest. Isn’t that how we parent our children in most other respects? I fell off my bike and cracked my skull open so my kids wear helmets. Seems like an unwasted concussion and scar if my children are spared the same, right? Why would you send your daughter into the world to learn the hard way? A few scars and the equivalent of repeated concussions were also “earned” to produce the following wisdom that I plan to share with the younger and less appreciative when given the chance.

  1. Get high on your own supply. Be fiercely adamant about what works for you and honor that. Instructing kids to invoke self-advocacy as basic party protocol is the only anecdote to peer-driven alternatives.
  2. Pot is powerful shit that will offer you exactly what you desire from and require of it. Whether that’s completely checking out, finally checking in or checks and balances on your own thinking. You decide. But remember that losing your privilege is worse than taking advantage of it.
  3. Uber is the ultimate escape plan. Do not overthink this. Permission granted every time. No questions asked.  (This goes for you, too, Anti-Abstinence.)

Okay. You and I both know she won’t listen but when it matters, she’ll remember. And if she doesn’t, you can always say I told you so when her Uber arrives.

Highest regards,


Van der Pop does not endorse or condone the illegal consumption of cannabis.


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