Dear Ann Landers, My 13-year-old son has a problem at school. He says most of the boys in his eighth-grade class smoke pot and drink alcohol. My son does not want to be around those boys, which is good, but consequently, he has few friends.
I am close to the mothers of two of the boys my son is avoiding. He is positive they smoke pot, and I believe him. The parents of these boys caught them drinking just the other night, so their behavior is no surprise. Here's my question: Should I warn their mothers about the pot smoking and risk having my son accused of snitching and losing two friends of my own, or should I stay out of it? -- St. Louis Predicament
Dear St. Louis, Say nothing to the parents about your suspicions. Since you are close to the mothers and see them socially, you can bring up the subject in a general way. Tell them you've heard there's a lot of pot smoking at school, and ask if their children have been affected. You should also discuss the issue with the school authorities (without naming names) and find out if there are any programs in place to help curb this destructive behavior.
Dear St. Louis, Some years ago, I probably would have advised that you stay out of it with the other mothers. However now that drugs (read: opioids) are killing people at an alarming rate, and pot being legal in many states, I would bring up the subject with the parent. I think it's a plus that you are friends as well. 13 is too young to be mixed up with any substances that are used to alter personality. I salute any 13-year-old kid who is smart enough to steer clear of classmates who are in to things he does not wish to be part of. As for a thin herd of friends at school, I suggest extracurricular sports teams, special interest clubs, or young people's groups at Church or Temple. Do encourage him to stick to beliefs because in high school the situation will only be worse. I feel certain, however, that there will be other boys and girls who feel as he does. - Margo