When I was a kid, I wanted to do everything that my parents barred me from doing. I wanted to stay out late, I wanted to go on crazy road trips with my friends, and I wanted to try every substance under the sun. And I wanted to do all of this before I hit the age of 18. Now that I’m close to becoming a parent myself, I’m horrified thinking about raising a kid that eventually grows up to become like I was when I was a teenager. I realize that kids are always going to want to go out and do things on their own, but call me a hypocrite if I say now that I’m going to be a strict parent. There are so many ways in which kids can hurt themselves inadvertently, especially in ways that could have been avoided by their parents if they had just been more careful. It’s especially difficult when they have friends that are bad influences. Some of my friends when I was growing up tried to get me to do crazy and stupid things that would have gotten me and tons of trouble if I had gone along. Luckily, I was smarter than a lot of my friends when I was growing up when it came to avoiding trouble. A lot of them started smoking cannabis when they were in Middle school. It’s not that I’m a prude about drugs, because I’m not. I actually love cannabis and think that it’s extremely beneficial to most people. However, there’s lots of research showing that using cannabis as a teenager is not good for the developing brain. And to be honest, most of my friends who smoked weed in middle school were not capable of finishing college.