How to Navigate Cannabis Culture as Co-Parents

April 20, 2023
Michaela Madden

Article written by Michaela Madden

On 4/20, marijuana users around the world will gather for a variety of cannabis-oriented celebrations. However, these celebrations can quickly turn to conflict due to differing views between you and your co-parent.

The recreational use of marijuana is legal in Canada. However, it can still be a highly debated issue in any personal relationships. Some people believe that it has benefits for relaxation and stress relief. Others view it as a harmful substance that can have negative effects on mental health and cognition. Co-parents specifically may have different opinions on when and where it is appropriate to use the drug, along with how it should be stored and accessed around children, if at all.

While 4/20 serves as a timely date to talk about these differences, parents who use need to have a plan for navigating cannabis culture alongside their children and co-parents, no matter the holiday or occasion. Today we’ll walk through a few essential talking points to consider when discussing cannabis with your co-parent.


Research Cannabis Legalities

The most important conversation starter for co-parents is the legal implications of marijuana use. While cannabis is legal in Canada, you should still do your due diligence and make yourself aware of any laws that could affect your custody rights. It is also important to note that many places still haven't legalized marijuana. As a co-parent, you have every right to not want your Ex partaking in illegal drugs. This applies regardless of whether the parent is physically with your child at the time. In places where cannabis is legal; however, differing views become more complicated.

Discuss the When and Where  

Once you’ve gone over legalities, you’ll need to discuss differing views on marijuana use through an open and honest conversation. Both parents should be willing to listen to each other's perspectives and concerns, working together to find a solution that works for yourselves and your kids. This means setting firm boundaries. This should include when cannabis is used, where it is used, and where it should be safely kept. As you work to come to a compromise, remember that you’re both working in the interest of your children. Creating a safe environment for them should be your top priority.


Educating Your Children

Although you and your co-parent may have different views on the use of marijuana, this could be an opportunity to educate your children on drug safety and usage. Of course, this depends on the age of your kids and what you feel comfortable with as parents. However, it’s an opportunity to build trust with your children and bring awareness to a topic they will eventually learn about. The conversation could be as simple as discussing what drugs are, or you could dive deeper into their effects, consequences, and more. 

Co-parenting comes with challenges, but remember your children are your number one priority. Having these difficult conversations and compromising will make a world of difference for you and your kids.