Marijuana’s become part of our extended family, through my sister, her husband, and now my cousin.
I never know when they’re high and when they’re coming down from one.
I have to always be on guard, especially if my little boy is with me.
It’s tough to hang out with them. I feel our relationships are being eroded.
They speak openly about marijuana in front of my parents and have pushed for them to try it.
My father has high blood pressure and recurring back pain. My mom’s fighting cancer. They just smile and listen.
I’m uncomfortable with these discussions even though there are medical benefits to marijuana use. I believe there are also negative psychological effects after the high.
My parents give my sister and her husband money whenever they visit. I’m afraid, though unsure, whether it’s being used to buy pot.
As marijuana use generally and publicly increases wherever it’s legalized, non-users will be faced with adjusting or avoiding it within their own environment.
It’s up to you how you handle these encounters. However, protecting your young child is essential.
According to research by Dr. Karen Wilson, a U.S. paediatrician and lead author of a study showing that children absorb chemicals from second-hand marijuana smoke, “there are detectable marijuana metabolites (small molecules) in the urine of children who've been exposed to marijuana."
The Harvard Health blog notes, there’s evidence to suggest that when children, youth and young adults (whose brains are still developing) are exposed to marijuana, it may have permanent effects on mental processes, memory, and even IQ.
You have a right and responsibility to explain to your sister and anyone else, that there cannot be any marijuana use (smoke or pot-laced foods) around your child nor you, in your own home.
If you live with your parents, explain the risks and request that visits from your sister and others be marijuana-free.
Your mother may indeed benefit from medical marijuana use related to her cancer, but that should be discussed with the doctor who’s treating her.
As for the money given to your sister, it’s none of your business so long as it doesn’t affect you or your child’s health.
You need co-operation here. Being judgemental won’t help.
I’d come out of a fitting room with my arms full of clothes. One aisle was blocked by a shopping cart.
The next aisle was also blocked by a cart with a woman holding onto it. I smiled and said, "Excuse me."
She took half a step, leaving little room to get through. I lifted my load of clothes and walked forward.
Woman: You’re very rude to push your way through.
Me (thinking she’s not serious!): I did say "excuse me!"
Woman: It was very rude. You're not age five.
Me: I said excuse me and you didn't move! Do you think you own this aisle?
I could’ve just ignored her but I was standing up for myself. I'm 66, she was much younger.
Who was in the wrong?
Both of you were wrong.
It’s a sorry scene from today’s society - rushing about to get things done quickly, with impatience and frustration ready to erupt.
It raises feelings of ageism (which you hint at here), and draws out racism, sexism, and many other expressions of general hostility.
For a kinder world, model it. Smile again, say, “Sorry, I just can’t get by.” If the other person remains rude, walk another way.
FEEDBACK Regarding the divorced father whose adult children have ended contact with him (July 26):
Reader - “I experienced this same scenario when younger, but I was the child.
“My siblings and I all went through a period where we dropped contact with our father due to real injustices and abuse.
“However, with time, knowledge and life experiences, we forgave him and developed compassionate adult relationships with him.
“While it's hard to be patient even with perhaps no fault on his side, the adult children still need time to grow and learn how fallible we all are.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the brother who’s become “a hermit” (July 26):
Reader - “The letter-writer should consider that the brother might just be a normal introvert comfortable about who he is, and no longer needing to conform to the demands of extroverts.
“It's liberating to set those boundaries for our own comfort and mental health, even with close family.”
Tip of the day:
Protect youngsters from second-hand marijuana smoke and pot-laced foods; respect others’ rights to smoke elsewhere.