Some adults believe it makes them “cool parents” to have an open relationship with their children and smoke marijuana with them from time to time. This sort of thing happens fairly regularly, but we really only hear about it when the hammer gets brought down on those adults who subscribe to this irresponsible policy. Because while it might sound like sharing pot with your teen is a hip move, it’s the kind of behavior that can actually get a person in deep trouble with the law.
A perfect example of the problems that can arise from smoking cannabis with a minor went down in Oregon — a state where weed is legal for adults 21 and older. It was there that a couple was arrested for getting two 13-year-olds high, according to a report from the Ashland Tidings.
The article claims that 38-year-old Lindsey Ann Monda and her 46-year-old boyfriend Jason Michael Dunn were taken into custody after police learned they were allowing Monda’s children to participate in various pot-related activities. A string of text messages sent by Monda to a friend shows that she was “getting blasted” with her kids, “and teaching ‘em how to use a bong.”
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Interviews with the minors helped police collect enough evidence to charge both adults with a crime.
So, where did these two go wrong?
Even though marijuana is now legal in a growing number of states, it is still illegal in those places for adults to sell or share marijuana with people under 21 years of age. Anyone caught breaking this law, which is considered “contributing to the delinquency of a minor,” can be slapped with a felony charge. How that all shakes out in a court of law really depends on a variety of factors, including the amount of marijuana involved and if the adult on the chopping block has a criminal history. Either way, a conviction for sharing or selling weed to minors can lead to years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. In California, for example, providing children with cannabis can result in up to 7 years in prison.
If you think this can’t happen to you, you would be sadly mistaken. Getting busted for this offense is relatively easy for those who dare try it. In the case of Monda and Dunn, it appears that text messages bragging to friends about one of the teens being “totally blazed” and how it was “hilarious” to see them so stoned is what ultimately prompted a tip to law enforcement. It seems that not even your friends can be trusted. And even if the claims are false, it is the responsibility of the police to investigate all matters where a minor’s well being could be at risk.
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There is also a distinct possibility that the kids will tell on you, as well. Indeed, even if no other adults sell you out, teens are known for having loose lips. It doesn’t matter how many times you utter the phrase, “Hey, don’t tell anybody about this or I’ll get into trouble,” rest assured they will run their mouth to someone. It will then most likely get back to a teacher, a school counselor or someone else who doesn’t find it a bit humorous that you’re getting your kids high. Therefore, engaging in this practice, even if just once, is a dangerous game that could cost you your freedom.
Once again, any report at all suggesting that an adult is sharing weed with kids, and the cops are going to show up at the door asking questions. Let’s hope you can prove the visit is unwarranted. If not, you could be taking a trip downtown, and there’s nothing about the events that are sure to follow that will make you the “cool parent.” That is unless you count cooling off in a jail cell.