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Publication: Dear Abby
Alert Parents Get The Message About Teenagers' Use Of Pot

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        DEAR ABBY - April 28, 2008 
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ALERT PARENTS GET THE MESSAGE ABOUT TEENAGERS' USE OF POT

ABBY: Our 16-year-old son uses instant messaging, and we 
often "check in" on what he is saying and who he's speaking 
with. Although he knows we keep abreast of what he's doing 
online, he's obviously unaware of how much detail we have 
access to.

My husband and I know that our son is considering smoking 
pot and that his other friends do it occasionally. One boy
in particular seems to be encouraging him to try it and is 
offering to provide it. This friend has dealt to others in 
the past.

We have a firm "parents have to connect" rule when our son 
wants to go to someone's house, to ensure that the teens 
are supervised. Our problem is, although the homes have 
parents "on duty," the friends are allowed to walk to town 
for a pizza. It's clear from reading the IMs that the boys 
are taking advantage of this loophole to get high.

How do I tell my son's friend's parents that their child 
is smoking pot and is the source for several others? 
-- AWARE IN LAWRENCE, MASS.

AWARE: Tell them in plain English -- and do it quickly. 
When someone is the source for others, in the eyes of the 
law it is considered "dealing," the penalty for which can 
be years in the pokey. And if you haven't already done so, 
inform your son that the penalty for smoking pot when -- 
not if -- you catch him will be severe.

Last February, I printed a letter from Marc Galanter, M.D., 
the director of alcoholism and drug abuse at New York 
University Medical Center. In it he said: "(W)e know that 
illicit drug use changes the developing brain. Many young 
people smoke pot before their brain development is settled, 
and their chronic use of the drug can affect certain 
centers in the brain that control emotion and reason.

"Research shows that regular use ... may also lead to 
mental health problems. Youth who use marijuana weekly have 
double the risk of depression later in life, and are three 
times more likely than non-users to have suicidal thoughts."

In light of Dr. Galanter's warning, it's time the other 
parents are made aware of what their teens are having with 
their pizza.

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ABBY: When a friend asks for a ride from work to home, or 
home to work -- or anywhere, for that matter -- is it rude 
for the person to start adjusting the windows, volume on 
the radio, the thermostat, the sunroof, etc. without asking 
first?

I realize we are adults, but this is driving me crazy. 
-- JAY IN ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.

JAY: Many cars have child safety locks that prevent 
passenger windows from being operated or doors opened. 
Utilizing yours could solve part of your problem. However, 
many people do this when they enter a vehicle, and the 
driver doesn't mind. Because you do, speak up and say that 
you find it annoying, and I'm sure it won't happen again.



ABBY: Our daughter-in-law, "Carmella," speaks a foreign 
language with her parents and children while in our 
presence. We don't understand a word of these "private"
conversations and have let her know that it makes us 
uncomfortable. We consider her behavior rude. Are we wrong 
to feel excluded? 
-- THE IN-LAWS IN NEW JERSEY

IN-LAWS: Your feelings are not wrong. Unless Carmella's 
parents and children speak no English and she must translate 
for them, excluding you from the conversation is extremely 
rude.





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ABBY is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as 
Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline 
Phillips. Write ABBY at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box  
69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. 
____________________________________________________________

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