DS smokes weed but wants to learn to drive

(51 Posts)
Claybury Tue 07-Oct-14 12:09:10

Does anyone have any experience of a teen like this ? I am hoping his desire to learn to drive could be the kick he needs to stop smoking but I'm probably being over optimistic. He smokes on a Fri and Sat AFAIK but I'm fully aware that it is a drug that stays in your body for some time. I have said he must give up totally before we will consider driving lessons.
Lots of teens smoke weed sadly so this must be a common issue.

murphys Tue 07-Oct-14 12:13:02

Lots of teens smoke weed sadly so this must be a common issue

I don't agree with this.

What have you done about the fact that he is using drugs?

dexter73 Tue 07-Oct-14 12:26:44

Lots of teens smoke weed sadly so this must be a common issue.

I agree with you Claybury. I imagine that a lot of the parents are unaware so their kids go driving anyway.

ChillySundays Tue 07-Oct-14 13:15:37

I am hoping that even if lots of teens are smoking weed then they are not driving but who knows.
I think you need to discuss this with him and the possible consequences if he did drive after having smoked. Hopefully he will be sensible enough not to.
I take painkillers and they make me feel out of it. If my DS ask for lift once I have taken them then not a chance will I risk it. It is an offence to drive under the influence of drugs (including prescription ones).

Claybury Tue 07-Oct-14 13:43:25

Driving and smoking on the same day isn't a concern, it's the following day- and that's pretty hard to control. We have discussed it with him. In that, we said you will not learn to drive unless you 100% give up smoking.
Murphys- it isn't easy to stop a 17 yo smoking! If it were I doubt many people would smoke weed!
Foolishly I'm thinking driving might be the motivation he needs & wondering if anyone has any advice.

TheGirlFromIpanema Tue 07-Oct-14 13:48:38

I think you might be right! Get him researching how the police deal with driving under the influence (roadside testing) etc and then give him the hard sell about having his freedom (to drive).

Murphys, just interested in how you know this? confused I thought it was a matter of fact that soft drug use is common in teens/young adults. I heard this fact at a meeting the local police held at dd's school, are they wrong?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Tue 07-Oct-14 13:50:01

I hope you arent going to be funding driving lessons while he smokes his own money? Unless he is smoking your money?

secretsquirrels Tue 07-Oct-14 14:33:27

There was someone on the radio about this today talking about a new study into the perils of cannabis.
He mentioned driving. Apparently it's not as bad as alcohol but not far off. Agree with researching it with police.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 07-Oct-14 14:57:38

If he wants to learn fine. Under his own funding and self determination. Personally, if I thought there was any risk of my child driving the family car under the influence I wouldn't risk it. If he wants to learn badly enough, he'll sort it out himself and most importantly, value it more.
www.needasolicitor.com/Drug-Driving-Laws.html

titchy Tue 07-Oct-14 16:03:24

It may well be true that drug use is common amongst teens,but I think common means something like 10 or 15 percent. NOT the majority which OP implies.

ChillySundays Tue 07-Oct-14 16:23:57

OP - You should show him Tread's link.
On top of any punishment there is the chance that he could seriously injure/kill someone.
Like drink driving his insurance would rocket. It expensive enough. Maybe that might make him think. If you are expected to fund the lessons then you need to be sure he isn't taking nay drugs

Maryz Wed 08-Oct-14 11:07:15

We gave ds the choice; give up weed or learn to drive. Sadly he chose not to bother to learn, and still hasn't.

Your son can't drive at all if he's smoking dope - it lasts up to three weeks in his bloodstream, so it's not as if he can say "I only smoke at weekends, I can drive during the week" - it doesn't work like that.

If you can use lessons as an incentive to get rid of the dreaded weed, great. Sadly if he's anything like ds it won't work.

It's strange that so many teenagers would be so anti drink driving, but seem to think "a bit of dope" doesn't matter.

Claybury Wed 08-Oct-14 12:28:05

Maryz - I agree but I'm not sure how I can trust him if he says he's not smoking....

Maryz Wed 08-Oct-14 12:34:39

How do you know he's smoking at the moment? Just say he has to be completely free of it for three weeks, then you will consider.

He can prove it in a number of ways. First, take a home drug test. These cheap and easy to get on the internet, harder to ensure he isn't smuggling pee if you use a urine one; pretty humiliating for both you and him to operate. Second he could do regular (or better, sporadic, random) blood tests at your gp or local drug centre. That might make him open his eyes a bit.

Thirdly he can for a period of time prove to you that he isn't smoking dope. To do that, he would have to stop smoking cigarettes (so there is no smell on his clothes), stop hanging around with stoners, and behave in a way that shows you he has changed his ways - have a specific list, using how you know he's smoking atm.

I bet he can't/won't do the third. Make sure you have proper facts in case he chooses one of the first two.

I don't envy you. I hope you have more success than we did.

Claybury Wed 08-Oct-14 13:35:06

Maryz- I know he smokes as I made the discovery a couple of years ago and even last Saturday afternoon when I went out for a bit my house stank of it when I returned. He admitted he and his mates smoked out of his window.

As you surely know it is not possible to 'stop' them. He works hard at school and parties a lot at the weekends - the kids at these parties smoke weed and use laughing gas, alcohol not so much. He is in total denial about the harms - so far it hasn't impacted his grades ...

As for hanging round with a different crowd - he has lots of mates and I suspect most of them smoke. It is literally everywhere and much more of an issue for boys than girls. The girls I know give their boyfriends grief for any drug use.

I did drug test him at a private GP a while back. It just showed there were cannabinoids in his system. I thought the threat of testing might give him some will power to say no, but clearly not.

I am still in shock that a child of mine would start smoking at 13/14. ( 3 years ago) For him it is so much a part of his life that he sees as harmless that I really wonder if he knows any other way to enjoy his free time.

DaughterDilemma Wed 08-Oct-14 13:43:01

I can see you have let this go on for too long and feel powerless to stop him now, I also believe that driving can encourage a mature attitude in a young person but you really have to spell things out very clearly and also suggest that he need to prove to you that he can reject weed easily.

Not allowing his mates to smoke at home will be a start, out of the window or not. Chances are he has lots of mates because most parents just wouldn't allow this at home.

He could kill someone if he drives under the influence. Anyone, even one of his friends. Give him the stark reality on a plate with bells on, support him to learn to drive but the moment he steps into a car under the influence, call the police on him and the moment he brings weed into the house ban the lessons.

PlumpPartridge Wed 08-Oct-14 13:46:37

I recommend you get your son to read this, op, or at least bits of it.....

linky

It's the actual review that all the papers have been making a fuss over.

"In summary, the epidemiological and laboratory evidence on the acute effects of cannabis suggests strongly that cannabis users who drive while intoxicated increase their risk of motor vehicle crashes 2–3 times as against 6–15 times for comparable intoxicating doses of alcohol. Cannabis use was estimated to account for 2.5% of traffic deaths in France as against 29% for alcohol. The risk of an accident increases substantially if cannabis users also have elevated blood alcohol levels."

Also:

"First, the decline in IQ was largest in those who began using cannabis in adolescence and continued near-daily use throughout adulthood.
......
Fourthly, there was some recovery if users quit using for a year or more. There was no IQ decline in cannabis users who started in young adulthood and had not used for a year or more before follow-up.
........
It is worth stressing two things about this study. First, these effects on IQ were found only in the small proportion of cannabis users who initiated in adolescence and persisted in daily use throughout their 20s and into their 30s.

Secondly, the 8-point decline in IQ in the heavy sustained users was not trivial: it was half a standard deviation lower than their peers. This means that the average IQ of these heavy users was below 70% of their peer group."

I wouldn't want to let my son drive either, if I were you.

I don't have any practical suggestions but I do worry about this stuff in the future with my own DC (currently toddlers) sad

noddyholder Wed 08-Oct-14 13:49:19

I think parents waaaay underestimate how many teenagers smoke weed. It is easier to hide from parents and when I snooped about a bit when ds was about 15 I found that at least 80% of the 'nice' kids smoked it. Inc the son of a friend a teacher where she lorded over all of us about how her son didn't and I had to tell her maybe not but he does sell it to anyone who will buy inc some parents!!!!

Steben Wed 08-Oct-14 13:53:25

I am a bit confused here, plenty of people have a few wines the night before then drive the following day/week, how is weed smoking any different? Not advocating weed smoking btw

NotCitrus Wed 08-Oct-14 14:04:54

Steben - there isn't currently any test that can tell if you are under the influence of weed, only whether it has been in your system in the last 3 weeks. Many police etc admit this is the main reason why it is kept illegal, to try to keep stoned drivers off the roads.

So if someone gets pulled over or is in an accident, even if they haven't smoked weed for 2 weeks, they will still be in huge trouble.

Not much that can be done about that, but I certainly wouldn't pay for any driving lessons if a kid had been smoking weed in the last month.

though most teenagers I know of do or have at least tried smoking weed, partly because it's nowadays easier to get hold of than alcohol...

Claybury Wed 08-Oct-14 14:08:04

Daughter - DS is not 'allowed' to smoke at home. For the past 3 years we have ensured he has had very few opportunities to do so by ensuring I, or DH is always around. Last weekend, unusually, we had theatre tickets, we didn't tell him until the last minute so he couldn't 'plan' anything. And it's kind of the other way round from your implication - we find 'other parents ' to be much more liberal, sometimes even going away over night leaving their teens at home. Something we have never done.
I read all the studies / info on drugs, sadly 16 year olds aren't interested especially when their real life experience doesn't match up. I have told him about motivation - IQ etc which he threw back in my face when he got straight A's at GCSE.
Noddy is right.
Steben - alcohol is broken down in the body much more quickly than cannabinoids which are fat soluble and can remain for weeks.

Steben Wed 08-Oct-14 14:12:03

Thanks for clearing up but I do not see how it would be ever be enforceable - I also know a lot of adult casual smokers (weekends/parties etc) - many of them teachers incidentally shock who I would certainly not class as a danger on the roads but this conversation has certainly given me food for thought.

OP if the driving lessons are not enough motivation for him to stop I don't know what else you could do. Sorry not helpful!

Steben Wed 08-Oct-14 14:12:35

Oh and the smokers I know don't drive "under the influence" but certainly would the following day.

DaughterDilemma Wed 08-Oct-14 14:22:45

OK then, enabling them to smoke at home. I think the lack of trust is what shocks me most. Not being able to trust your children should really tell you that things have gone too far.

Maryz Wed 08-Oct-14 14:25:49

If they are driving the following day they are driving "under the influence".

The influence may not be as great as the influence of alcohol, but there is evidence that cannabis affects reaction speed and ability to anticipate, and there is also evidence that cannabis stays in your system for a long time, so as they say "do the math" - putting the evidence together, I'm amazed many more people aren't done for drug driving. Looking at my son's friends, none of them should be on the road.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now