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Ask Amy: I want to start a life with my boyfriend but I don’t know who he is without marijuana

Dear Readers: Every year I step away from my column for two weeks to work on other creative projects. (Anyone interested in my personal essays and photographs can subscribe to my free newsletter: amydickinson.substack.com).

I hope you enjoy these ‘Best of’ columns from 10 years ago. Today’s topic: “Up in Smoke.”

Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I are 22. We have been dating for almost four years.

We both used marijuana on a daily basis (before we met). Our pot use was a way to bond and get to know each other, while enjoying life. After a year of dating, I decided to quit smoking and focus on my education. After going to college and receiving a degree, I do not wish to continue this habit.

My boyfriend continues to smoke on a daily basis. It doesn’t bother me that I cannot do this with him, but I don’t want him to do this for the rest of his life. We have been talking about marriage and starting a family. He says he will quit when we are ready to have children. I have been thinking about our relationship. I have never known him when he was sober.

I asked him to get sober for a short period of time so we can be together without being under the influence before we take the next steps in our life.

When I talked to him about this, he became angry and agitated, but I think he is going to agree. Now I am hoping that if he quits, he won’t start smoking again (although I doubt it). Is it wrong of me to ask him to do this?

— High on Life

High: When you quit smoking, did you quit for your boyfriend? No, you quit for yourself. It is obvious that you like the changes that sobriety has brought to your life. Now you are hoping your guy will quit his habit for a short time, and you are worried about his choices beyond the sobriety he hasn’t even achieved, yet.

The questions for you to ponder are: What will you do if your boyfriend doesn't make any changes in his life? Can you be with him as is — pot and all?

And do you want him — as is — to be your spouse and the father of your children? (August 2012)

Dear Amy: My 24-year-old daughter graduated from college two years ago and moved back in with me last year.

I realize my daughter is an adult, but we have had some issues about her smoking pot, which I do not allow in my home.

My daughter works part time and has her own money. Recently, she has been going upstairs and spending a great deal of time with a 60-year-old female in-law, who lives in our building.

One evening she came back from a visit, and she was so high that her eyes were barely open and her speech was impaired. I confronted her and she confirmed that they smoke pot together.

I think a 60-year-old woman should not be smoking pot with my 24-year-old daughter. This woman is a bad influence. Should I confront her? She knows I have been concerned about my daughter’s use and her recent behavior changes, including her laziness.

I don’t care what this other person does, but I do care that she is encouraging my daughter to use drugs that have kept her from passing a urine test for a permanent job.

— Concerned Parent

Concerned: You seem determined to confront the wrong person about your daughter’s drug use. Your daughter will find someone to smoke pot with as long as she is using, whether it is a family member, friend or co-worker. Her behavior is the immediate problem in your household.

You seem to assume that a 60-year-old should “know better,” but age does not confer wisdom — or moderation.

I shared your letter with Charles Rubin, author of “Don’t Let Your Kids Kill You: A Guide for Parents of Drug and Alcohol Addicted Children.” Rubin says: “You must take a firmer line and tell her to get a full-time job or work full-time hours within a specific time frame. Tell her, ‘If you’re smoking, you obviously won’t be able to get that job, and I won’t be able to offer you housing any longer.’ Give her a deadline and calmly stick to it. In addition to preserving your own self and health, you have the opportunity to influence her by your example.” (September 2012)

©2022 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency

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