Angry adult children: Could Marijuana use be a part of the problem?

angry adult children

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Angry adult children:  Is marijuana a part of the problem?

By Sheri McGregor, M.A.


Ever since I began this website in late 2013, lots of parents have mentioned alcohol as a contributing factor in estrangement. No surprise there. Abuse of alcohol has long been known to hamper relationships, impair judgment, and contribute to violence. 1, 2 Recently, however, more parents are mentioning cannabis use in connection with estrangement and, in particular, related to angry adult children. They wonder: Is marijuana use causing the anger problem?

In today’s positive social climate for marijuana legalization and use, any reporting about its potential ill-effects can get buried behind the “medicinal” hype. It isn’t my intent to make a case against marijuana, frighten parents, or turn their cannabis-using adult children into enemies, but knowledge empowers people to make informed decisions, educate others, and keep themselves safe. So, I’ve included some eye-opening facts and correlations. Parents who need this information may gain some insight into angry adult children’s behavior.

Marijuana: It’s all good, right?

Some who came of age in the 1960s and ’70s may remember marijuana as part of good times, a chill attitude, and a laid-back lifestyle. This attitude was reflected in a recent discussion I had with some writer friends. One had planned a trip to Colorado after many years, so I mentioned the increased collisions 3 and fatal car accidents 4 that occurred there after marijuana’s legalization.

Several years ago, soon after the Colorado law change, I made a day trip from bordering New Mexico. Just across the state line, there were many stores with the green cross signifying cannabis sales. Now, those signs are familiar in many states, but that day, I’d had to ask—and was surprised to learn they were marijuana dispensaries.

While driving back on the narrow roads out of Colorado that afternoon, we saw many pulled over by law enforcement. Much later, I read about the increased vehicle accidents and fatalities that correlated with marijuana legalization. But in talking with my writer friends, an older one joked, “More accidents? Don’t the dopers all drive slowly?”

Among those who used “weed” once upon a time, the presumption isn’t unusual. But when it comes to marijuana, how it’s used, the THC levels, and its effects, today’s cannabis is nothing like yesterday’s marijuana. Even the terminology is different. Marijuana refers to the products made from the plant’s dried leaves, flowers, and seeds. The trendier term, cannabis, generally includes all sorts of products made from marijuana and its derived chemicals. You’ll find other definitions online, but in general, cannabis and marijuana are used interchangeably.

The rise of THC

Prior to the 1990s, the amount of THC, the psychoactive compound within marijuana, was typically less than 2%. Since then, the cannabis industry developed new strains with much higher concentrations. Research from 2017 that analyzed cannabis products readily available in Colorado dispensaries found THC levels between 17% and 28%. This included edibles, as well as products to be smoked or vaped. 5

Now, even those levels seem low. A plethora of additional products have flooded the market, some containing 95% THC. 5 That’s a huge change from the marijuana that was likely used by celebrity stoners Cheech & Chong whose 1978 movie, Up In Smoke, depicted the slow driving my writer friend joked about. Higher THC doesn’t produce marijuana’s famous mellow mood. Instead, high potency can cause anxiety, panic attacks, and psychosis. Also, rather than being an anti-nausea agent, which is how it’s often thought of in medicinal marijuana circles, high THC levels create the opposite effect: excessive vomiting. 6

One good thing about the legalized availability of marijuana is the increased ability to research its effects. Marijuana use has deleterious effects, both physically and mentally. Adolescent users are particularly vulnerable to addiction because of the way the brain develops. In turn, addiction puts them at even higher risk for associated problems, at a time of life when they may be most likely to experiment. Problems include lower academic grades, impaired cognition, and lower IQ. 5

Marijuana use and violence

Marijuana use is associated with violence. In fact, many of the mass murders and other violence seen in recent years were committed by heavy users. That includes the Boston Marathon bombers, who killed three and injured 250 (2013), the New York Times Square driver who plowed into the crowd, hurting 22 people (2017), the young man who shot and killed 6 people and injured 14 others at a Tucson event for then-U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (2011), and the high school shooter in Parkland, Florida, who killed 17 students and staff (2018). 7

Many heavy marijuana users implicated in violent crimes also suffered from paranoia and psychotic delusions. Some will dismiss the idea that marijuana is the cause, saying instead that its use is bad only for those with existing mental illness. However, changes in personality correlate with the onset of marijuana use. Also, at this point, that marijuana-induced paranoia and marijuana-induced psychosis exist is well known. 7

Angry adult children and you

I frequently hear from parents who report sons’ or daughters’ aggression or angry outbursts. Many of these parents and adult children have periods of reconciliation that disintegrate when angry adult children become increasingly verbally abusive, sometimes suddenly. Some parents even report physical violence, either to them personally, to the parent’s belongings, or even to an innocent and much-loved pet. These parents often tell me they know the adult child uses marijuana. Or, that they’ve stopped using … or started using again. They wonder if cannabis is part of the problem.

In fact, studies are finding correlations between marijuana use and aggression. Changes to the brain that relate to aggression and impulse control have been found in users. However, research that finds a correlation between one thing and another doesn’t automatically equate to a causal relationship. Other factors can confound research including questions about whether people who are more prone to aggression might also be more prone to use marijuana. Which is the chicken? The egg? 8, 9, 10 The research files are growing, so clearer answers are on the way. Impulsivity and feelings of hostility have been reported by marijuana users independent of any alcohol use, for instance. 11

Self-medicating with cannabis

People who are known to have a mental illness do, frequently, choose to “self-medicate” with drugs, alcohol, or both. With its easy availability and positive social acceptance in many areas, cannabis is very frequently the substance of choice. Withdrawal (yes, marijuana can be addicting 12) is also associated with anger and aggression, which interfere with the ability to nurture important relationships, such as those with their parents or other family members.

What do you think?

If you’ve noticed aggressive behavior or suffered any sort of abuse by angry adult children, consider whether marijuana use may be a factor. The perception of marijuana as a medical aid and access to over-the-counter CBD products in mainstream stores have blurred the lines between a THC-rich drug and low-THC creams, oils, and capsules touted as effective pain relief. That may contribute to it being viewed as safe and increase its use. The reality is that there are no truly THC-free products, even if the label says so  … but that’s a topic for another day.

What do you think? Is marijuana use a factor in your relationships with adult children? If your answer is “yes,” change in their behavior is their responsibility. It’s the same as with alcohol dependence or addiction to any substance. You can, however, recognize a problem, and use that knowledge to intervene for and protect yourself.

Here, we’ve just scratched the surface of this big topic. I hope you will read some of the links included below, do your own research into credible studies and research (there are many), form your own opinions, and share your thoughts in a comment to this article. By sharing your experiences and insights, you can provide information and help another parent know they are not alone.

Related Reading/Sources

  1. How alcohol affects relationships
  2. The link between violence and alcohol use
  3. Study: Colorado sees claim rates increase after legalization of marijuana
  4. Colorado traffic deaths up 75 per year since pot legalization, study says
  5. The problem with the current high potency marijuana from the perspective of an addiction psychiatrist
  6. Highly potent weed has swept the market, raising concerns about health risks
  7. A review of cases of marijuana and violence
  8. Marijuana use causes 7 fold increased risk of violent behavior
  9. Marijuana and anger: Can weed make you angry?
  10. Marijuana use may increase violent behavior
  11. Effects of marijuana use on impulsivity and hostility in daily life
  12. Is marijuana addictive?











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36 thoughts on “Angry adult children: Could Marijuana use be a part of the problem?

  1. Julie S.

    Parents Opposed to Pot website has some 70 testimonies about problems with marijuana. The problems are so widespread that is imperative parents unite together to share the stories and educate other parents.

    The marijuana-violence connection has been a topic that many non-profits I work with have been covering for years. Marijuana is bad for your mental health if you use it regularly, in all instances. Anyone who would tell a person with mental health challenges to use marijuana is WRONG, as it makes the condition worse. Some of the testimonies above, such as Tambi’s, illustrate this fact. Follow our websites, Parents Opposed to Pot, Every Brain Matters, Moms Strong, and Parent Action Network and their social media pages. Join Mar-Anon for families who have an addicted loved one.

  2. Tambi

    Thank you for posting. My son moved to Denver just so he could have access to pot.
    In 4 years he has completely changed; went off his meds for bipolar, quit his job and has become angry, verbally abusive and has excommunicated all family and friends from his life. He talks like he’s out of his mind or that he is god-like. He’s 41 years old. I was the only person talking to him (even when he verbally attacked me) until three days ago when he texted me 27 times in 2 hours and told me he wished me dead.
    I responded – I’m not going to take your abuse anymore. He then texted me that I was scum.
    This isn’t the person I raised. It’s sad and devastating to watch and not be able to help. He doesn’t want help-I so understand when people are writing to you saying their kids are acting like spoiled teenagers. This is exactly how he is.
    Thank you for caring and helping rejected parents.

    1. rparents Post author

      Thank you for posting, Tambi. I’m glad you calmly stood up to him and called his behavior what it was: abuse. I’m really sorry you have had to witness his deterioration. It’s so upsetting to have researched this subject, discovered how dangerous it is, and yet it is pushed on people. And people with mental illness require helpful help, not poison. Marijuana complicates issues.

      Hugs to you, Tambi. Tell yourself something good about yourself 27 times! Ask someone you love and trust for 50 hugs in the next 24 hours!
      Here’s a hug from me: (((Tambi)

      Sheri McGregor

    2. Mary

      Thank you for the article. I have read the other responses. I tried to intervene at a young with my son by sending him to treatment, to no avail. He is now 28 and hasn’t spoken to me in over a year. I believe the combination of mental health issues, drug use, and wrong “friends” have influenced him. The hardest part is have to take the journey alone. His father passed away. I have no support system. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  3. Katherine

    Thank you for this article. My now-23-year-old son is working mightily to recover and rebuild his life from a marijuana addiction. We now know his first use was at age 14, and he was not alone. We had some very turbulent years and truly frightening episodes with him. I didn’t know enough back then to make the connection between his aggression and anger and marijuana use. I’ve since gotten involved with parent groups that are trying to educate the public about the risks of today’s high-potency marijuana, especially for young people. But it’s an uphill battle. The prevailing message out there is that marijuana is safe, natural, and good for whatever ails you. Everyone says “follow the science” when it comes to COVID treatment and vaccines (and I fully support vaccination), but then they aren’t interested in the science when it comes to cannabis.
    And thank you for this newsletter. I first subscribed during one of the periods when my son had cut off contact with me, and it was comforting to know I wasn’t alone.

  4. Beverly

    I have posted in the past about my story, but let’s sum up, an estranged son and grandson of 1 1/2 years, following a mental health crisis and intervention that I am blamed for. Currently in process of grandparent access case. I do believe that his drug use, was part of his personality change, not to say, there may have been some underlying mental health issue that presented itself. I can say first hand that in his company when he smoked weed, he worsened and while never physically aggressive, verbally very much so, threatening incarceration for childhood abuse and neglect, which are untrue. My son is not my son, not sure if he will ever be again, and while we expect to gain access and rights with our grandson, it is bittersweet and unsettling in his potential reaction if we do. Interesting post Sheri, as always, and so grateful for the work you do for all of us who have different but yet similar stories, as we navigate through this nightmare.

    1. rparents Post author

      Dear Beverly, I hope you will gain the right to be with your grandson, and hopefully, your son will recognize it as positive.

      Thank you for your comment.

      Sheri McGregor

  5. Jill

    Hi Sheri,
    This post has made me stop and think. Marijuana has damaged my family.

    In the late 90s, when my second son was in his teens, he started smoking marijuana. Having smoked a bit of “grass” myself, in my twenties, I was annoyed rather than alarmed at first, fearing for his school grades, but not for him. When he started to go off the rails, to become wired and aggressive, and even to have outbreaks of violence, I thought he must be on “hard drugs”. We took him to a drug counsellor and then I learned about the new factory-produced marijuana and how strong it is, and how it is particularly pernicious for the developing adolescent brain. He was so changed. Only my husband could talk to him, and he was violent towards his sister, one year younger.
    The counselling had no effect, and maybe a year later, when his school work had totally tanked, and I’d seem him, unrovoked, walk across the room and thump his sister on the head, we decided to send him away to technical school. After we had got him a place, he came and begged to be allowed to stay, promising to clean up his act. We said OK, and he stuck to his word and completed school, and to my knowledge the violent behaviour towards his sister stopped, though he continued to be accident -prone and to have anger management issues. It took a few more years before he came fully to his senses, and today he seems fine and a very nice son and person. He never made it to veterinary school, which was a shame, but he is successful.
    But his sister has rejected us. Her principal accusation is that we did not protect her from him. While that is not entirely true, I have done a lot of apologising. And her brother has made a her a big apology, and she forgave him for a while, but it hasn’t held. To complicate things further, a lot of what she accuses us of is untrue. That I never loved her, never baked cakes, failed to give her birthday presents. All so untrue! But also, she has magnified what her brother did to her, both in scale and length of time. So it’s very tricky. She did suffer some violence at his hands for a couple of years. But she now calls their childhood squabbles, when she was five and he six, “abuse.”
    She was always very good at school, and I would discuss what was happening with her brother with her, and she at that time, aged 15, not only discussed the problem like a mature human being, and upon occasion, defended him. They continued to be friends and to hang out.
    But then she, too, started to smoke weed. She went through a rough patch with a weed smoking boyfriend, who was abusive. At uni she did very well, but the next boyfriend also smoked it, so she did it with him too. When she was stoned, she seemed fine, but when she was sober, she was super tense and hyper-sensitive.

    Now she is not well and paranoia is definitely a part of that. Although she is working at a high level and frames her blame in feminist terms, I hear that she still smokes it, and in her relationship with me, she still seems to be acting out like an angry teenager, at 37.
    So, that is why, when I read this post, I was agreeing all the way through. And I know of other cases of young lives wrecked by smoking marijuana, more than one of an adult child who has failed to fly the nest at all, but lives in the attic or a caravan in the garden, doing little other than smoking weed. It’s tragic.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Sheri, and all of you in the USA. Yes, I have much to be grateful for, and one of them is this organisation which has done so much to make the unbearable grief of being rejected by my daughter more bearable.

    1. rparents Post author

      Dear Jill,

      I’m happy to hear your son is doing well, but I’m really sorry about the situation with your daughter. I hear from many parents who say their 35-50 year-olds behave like immature teenagers. Not that knowing this fixes it, but others’ true understanding helps. I know your post will help other parents to feel less alone.

      I wish you many peaceful days. Thank you for commenting.

      Sheri McGregor

  6. Donna

    I just saw this so before I read the other responses I want to make my own which is purely anedoctal. (I know supposedly not acceptable but I say people’s personal experiences do matter.)

    Contrary to popular opinion pot/THC can kill. No, not by overdosing. In the same way ibuprofren can. I am a chronic pain sufferer and marijuana/THC are pushed at me constantly. I am peer pressured far worse now than I was in the 70s and yet my doctors didn’t prescribe when medical became legal here in NY. I was joking pity the doctor that attempts to because I am rather biased against the stuff due to personal harm it’s done in my life. I also feel strongly that I didn’t just say no in the 70s to become a pothead in my old age. So second disclamer, I am extremely prejudiced against the substance. I freely admit this bias.

    That said, I wondered why none of my doctors brought it up so I went online and researched. The answer is simple – THC in any form can cause rapid heart beat which can bring on heart attack or stroke for those of us with heart disease. Do NOT use this stuff if you have heart disease because it can literally kill you. My cardiologist had already ordered me to not take ibuprofren for the same reason. I do not chance either. So, yes, pot can kill. The same way ibuprofren can. By pot, I mean THC so, no, its other forms are not safe.

    In December 1982 when I was nine months almost with child (due New Year’s Eve) driving downtown a car plowed through a red light and rammed into the passenger side of the car my then husband was driving, crumpling in the side of a car. Fortunately it was a big old boat of a car and baby and I were not hurt. If we had been in a smaller, lighter car we would have been severely hurt, maybe even killed or I might have lost the baby though that far along, they might have been able to save her. The driver had only pot, not alcohol, in his system. Just worth mentioning.

    Said husband turned out to be a violent nightmare and his pot use was daily. Nightmre enough that I skipped state with our child when family court refused to protect her. I do have to qualfy it with he also drank and at least on one occasion used cocaine. I have no clue if he used cocaine or other drugs more often than that. (Someone else saw it and told me.) If he did, he hid it from me.

    When I was divorcing him, he told me out of earshot of anyone else that they were going to find me dead in the street. I looked him in the eye and said try it and we’ll see who they find dead in the street. I said it, I meant it, he didn’t. Long story short, however, one of us was found dead in the street 10 years later and one wasn’t. I have an airtight alibi. I was talking to a cop about him at the time. He took his own life rather than face a far too short jail sentence for crimes committed agianst children. Ironically, on King Day. This was 27 years ago this coming King Day and it is still a double celebration. I could only think, free at last, thank god almighty we are free at last. I’d been homesick for 10 years and we returned to my home state.

    But I was married four years to this monster and it was four years too long. He was violent and other drug and alcohol use aside his daily use of pot did increase his violent tendencies even back then when pot was weaker. I do think mental problems existed but I also think the pot made those blow up to even larger problems. I know he was sometimes violent when all he had in his system was pot, no alcohol or other drugs. Obviously, he’s not a case study for it but I’ll never believe that pot doesn’t increase any previously existing violent tendencies at the very least.

    Thank you for listening. I just had to share my experiences. I just said no in the 70s and am glad I did. I had in 1970 a junior high that did educate before DARE even existed very well and scared me off drugs and I am still grateful that they did. Even at that young age, I thought maybe you’d get addicted and maybe you wouldn’t but one way for sure you won’t is not to do in the first place so I never drank or did drugs.

    Now if I had only been that smart about chocolate!

    1. rparents Post author

      Thank you for sharing your experiences and feelings, Donna. In the later 1970s, my high school had a “smoking area” on campus. I never used it but students were using weed in there as well as cigarettes.

      I have only met one other adult who remembers a smoking area in school…. They introduced co-ed P.E. and no P.E. uniforms at that time too.

      Anyway, I’m glad you were ok in the crash!

      Sheri McGregor

  7. Ann H

    My estranged adult daughter works for a local cannabis business owner who is well-regarded. She has self-medicated with marijuana since she was a teen, uses new products frequently to try them out, and honestly does have good knowledge of the different types/strains and their effects. She has become completely self-absorbed and the last we saw her, irritable and volatile. While there is certainly much more to the situation it can’t be helping her mental health issues.

  8. Carrie-Ann

    Writing this note to check to see if you posted my comment made late last night,
    “Narcissist’s Prayer” (Sound Familiar?”…)
    That didn’t happen.
    And if it did, it wasn’t that bad.
    And if it was, that’s not a big deal.
    And if it is, that’s not my fault.
    And if it was, I didn’t mean it.
    And if I did, you deserved it.
    -Author Unknown
    Reading comments this morning, while it is Wonderful that so many are responding to your posts, I couldn’t find my last night’s comment…I just want to know if you posted it or if it was not appropriate to post, for whatever reason…(I cannot remember under what posting I submitted the comment). Can you please let me know if you posted it?
    Thank You Kindly,

    1. rparents Post author

      I don’t think so, Carrie-Ann. I’d have remembered it. I have been trying to keep up, but when comments include quotes, I generally either take a longer time or don’t post. I try to keep up but there are many. Some get saved and I, sometimes, fail to get back to them


    2. Carrie-Ann

      Thank You, Ever-So-Much, Beautiful Sheri…I So Appreciate Your Time, Energy, Kindness, & Insight…
      In Gratitude & Friendship,
      p.s. Same for Each & Every Comment shared…

    3. Donna

      That prayer is wonderful. This is what they gaslight you with constantly. If you get angered at their abusive behavior, it is exactly the mantra they throw at you. It’s your fault for being an uptight blank.

  9. Reg

    I can relate my kid’s behaviour changes to marijuana. But before that, around the age of 15/16, when I was excluded from its birthdays parties, it was the beginning of sexual activity that changed its attitudes, on a mental, behavioral and spiritual level. And, of course, some early sexual partner brought marijuana into the equation, and promiscuity and sexual recklessness followed. I regret not having given my kid a religious training when it comes to free sex, but I don’t know if that would help, because many young people who have had this training behave even worse. Can you elaborate on early and promiscuous sex as a trigger for our children’s aggression and estrangement?

    1. rparents Post author


      I will look into the topic.

      Sexual promiscuity is known to be a possible sign of something else such as a mental health issue, sexual abuse, etc. I wrote quite a bit about sexual abuse as a contributing factor in “Beyond Done.” But that’s different than what you’re talking about if I’m u understanding correctly. I wonder if teen promiscuity even considered a red flag anymore in what, to me, seems an increasingly permissive society? I will try to research your question.


  10. Aeriol F.

    Wow – this explains a lot. I have struggled to understand the reasons for the estrangement and have given up as it goes nowhere – but this does fit.
    My daughter started using pot to cope with the stress of college, and, she felt she had missed out in high school by being a good kid. This marijuana use has progressed to her and her partner becoming daily users – and further progressed to starting the day with smoking up. With the pandemic and working from home – I believe this exacerbated the problem in that now my daughter could smoke up throughout the day. I spoke up about this a couple years ago when I found out about their practice of starting the day getting high – it just horrified me. They dismissed my concern, but I feel it was right for me to say something to them no matter the outcome. I don’t regret it.
    Over the past few years, I have seen my daughter becoming what I call brittle – inflexible is an understatement. It is very sad to see and to be so powerless to help her.
    With the pandemic and not seeing or meeting with them regularly – we are now estranged. Someone in the comments mentioned Social Media as a problem and have seen this play out as well. It is like she takes a post on a life saying and makes it into a way to run her life, and her followers support her no matter what she says even if it may be detrimental to her in the long run.
    It is like she connects things that don’t connect and her vision has become extremely narrow – she has little to no perspective. She accuses me of many things – some did happen and I apologized for them as they arose in the past – I have always tried to be honest with her about my mistakes and make amends for them – however she now accuses me of things that didn’t happen and has completely vilified me – diagnosing me as a Narcissist. I have discussed this with my friends and they do not see me this way at all. I work at a job where I help people with their needs and love it, the people I help tell me I am a compassionate and kind person.
    I do not think they are pot users now – they are doing well in many respects, and she is now expecting her first child. I visited with them in July as they needed someone to take care of their pets so they could attend a wedding on the other coast, and I saw no evidence of pot use. While there may be no current pot use – her personality issues remain.
    I have offered her therapy and I have offered to go into family therapy – she wants nothing to do with any of it.
    Today I am accepting of the situation. I would like to reach out to her however it is very hard to recover from the conversations, so I am keeping my distance. I must take care of my own well being and mental health. I wish things were different but there is little I can do about any of it. I am being excluded from her pregnancy which is sad but I choose not to dwell on it. When I feel like buying something for the baby I do and eventually she thanks me for it. I may never meet this child and that is ok with me – I mean what am I going to do – if she doesn’t want me in her life, or in a very limited way, there isn’t much I can do about it. I also feel like it is better not to form a relationship with the child than to have her cut me off from it down the road, for god knows what reason.
    I am in my late 60’s and have weathered many things and will survive this as well. I am committed to living a wonderful life to enjoying it – there is so much good out there and many interesting people and things to occupy my time. I have a wonderful sister who helps me when I feel upset. And I am learning to avoid things that will upset me as I choose to value my life and my happiness.
    I would like to wish you all the best in navigating this crazy difficult circumstance. As Gloria Gaynor says – We will Survive!

    1. rparents Post author

      Dear Aeriol,
      Your attitude is a beautiful thing! Yeah, we will survive! And you’re right to recognize your strength, as seen through the other things you’ve been through.

      Thanks so much for sharing.

      Sheri McGregor

  11. Tara T.

    So glad you mentioned this subject….its so very hard to talk about the ill effects of pot when the whole country, practically, has raised it to the status of a holy herb that is, at worst, harmless, and at best, cures cancer, heart disease, measles, depression, epilepsy etc etc and weans people off of opioids.
    My diabetic son- in- law enjoys beer and does pot……he thinks he can just drink alcohol, give himself the needle to counterbalance the effects and then drink some more. needless to say this has resulted in some insanely confrontational incidents that have done nothing to help our problem. YOU CANT TELL HIM ANYTHING. He got my daughter into eating? and smoking it too and her train of thought has become complete bonkers.
    By the way…these two people, who meant so much to me were Nothing like this in their early 20s….they were the nicest, sweetest, most mature balanced young adults, my daughter and I were best friends and my son in law was a parents dream. If he took a puff once in a while it was none of my business, and I couldnt tell him what to do anyway….but something bad happened…….they seemed to have slipped into some vortex that changed their minds and attitudes completely.

    1. Cecily B.

      My 32
      Year old was
      Wanted by me before going off to inversion abroad about our family history of mental illness and my thoughts on how marijuana unmasked this in her aunt, my elder sister. I advised her NOT to do this…
      I’m pretty sure she’s tried it. And her aggressive behavior towards me especially in her final year of university and beyond. I suspect she might have had a mental break at college in California. The counseling department will admit she came to them but will not further enlighten me.
      Now she is super angry, hurtful, used who I don’t get along with to justify estrangement… now she’s not even in touch with them.
      Everyone is fed up of her estrangement.
      I’m the only one trying to be hopeful and trying to understand.

    2. Donna

      It can actually kill people with heart disease because it causes rapid heart beat which can bring on heart attack or stroke. But you’re right about the attitude towards it. I actually got into an argument online with a rabid proponent who said it doesn’t kill and when I pointed that fact out ranted about my being ignorant and just beleiving what some person said. I just replied, I’m sorry but I’ll take the Mayo Clinic’s word for it over some random user on the internet. Mayo Clinic was not my only source for that information. It’s there all over the place but I picked them for the obvious reason of their reputation.

      Not to mention, what your son-in-law is doing is very dangerous and could kill him but, yes, you unfortunately are powerless to stop him from playing with fire like that.

    3. rparents Post author

      Tara T.,

      This is sad to read. As I read it, I thought about how a vortex (your word) is so deep and spiraling. It’s so much easier to get sucked into something than it is to try and climb out.

      I hope they will though, one day, find the way back.

      Hugs to you,
      Sheri McGregor

  12. Miranda

    Well this was eye-opening. My youngest son and I have not spoken for a few years now since he repeatedly sent me 30 to 40 aggressive texts in the middle of the night without even waiting for answers. They were just Full of anger and accusations. He was furious with me that I wouldn’t admit that I have been an abusive parent.
    Are used to be a very sweet gentle person but I went to university and got heavily into smoking weed. He completely changed. He became really thin as well. He went on to fail University after several repeated years and is now entrenched in victimhood and depression.
    I never connected the weed with the unexplained anger until now

    1. Tara T.

      My sympathies. Isnt it horrible??? My daughter was such a strong mature smart young woman who knew just what she wanted and was so mature….her husband who smokes heavily,{ he thinks it cures diabetes}
      He has influenced her to the point where she has turned her whole child hood on its ear and accuses me of all sorts of things…many of which are true….but all so unbelievably unimportant we cant figure out why she cares so much.
      He name is Gxxxccx, and we spelled it with a G….but months after she was born we noticed that the nurse spelled it with a J on a birth certificate.
      We laughed it off and didnt really think anything about it.Some day we could always get it changed, but with a new baby to raise, along with an autistic toddler brother, a mom who had cancer and a husband who lost his job for 4 years….darn it, we just never got around to changing it. Eventually at age 28 she did it herself….and she accuses us of abuse because we never did it when she was born. Well, sorry, we did send her to summer camps, and we did pay for college for a degree she couldnt use and we did send her to Florence for two weeks when she graduated high school and we did pay for the wedding and the engagement party and the honey moon and the baby shower and co sighned for their first home, but gosh darn it, we never did get around to changing the J to a G.
      And thats just ONE reason she cut us off.

  13. MonaLisa

    Great article! The stuff people are using now is definitely different from the 60s/70s version. My son is a heavy user and has become a totally different person. He has violent , irrational outburst. Two of these incidents involved charges filed against him by neighbors and service people.

  14. Diane H.

    2 of my sons are heavy users. They are aggressive bullies and have ruined many times as a result. They blew smoke in my face at my daughter’s wedding, became aggressive towards me and I had no choice but to leave, running to my car in the dark. I haven’t seen or heard from either one since, except last week, 4 years after the event, my younger son sent me a txt asking if I had his artwork from his school years, 7 years ago. Lol. When I said no, he went silent and that was that. Thanks to Sheri’s books I knew what to expect and held myself together with no expectations. His expectation seems to be that he can behave appallingly and I will lovenly store his schoolwork. Gosh. I’m a nightmare.

  15. oma

    It could be so, but I think its more the Socials, their telephone, they life in an other world, a second world where they can block everyone who disagrees with what they think and feel. So we fell out of their lifes.

  16. Mom2BoyzTwinGirlz

    A few years ago, our adult son had surgery and decided to use Marijuana vs. pain pills for surgery. He continued to use it daily, and I noticed a massive difference in his anger and shortness with others. His behavior when he was high was silly and easygoing, but when he wasn’t high, he was angry and lashed out. My other son’s girlfriend told me that previously she had smoked pot and found that it made her agitated if she wasn’t high.
    I ordered all 3 of your books on Amazon today; Our adult son has been estranged for over a month am trying to see the light. Do you know if you will be opening the forum up again? It’s been closed for three weeks.
    Thank you


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