A youth counselor offers a roundup of information and prompts for teens considering or already smoking pot in this YA self-help guide.
Aronoff, a licensed mental health counselor who has worked with youth at risk for over 20 years, believes it’s time to get real about marijuana. The drug is widely available, is becoming increasingly legalized, and “[b]eing a curious teen is normal.” In this guide, Aronoff provides the lowdown on how to “smoke smart,” noting that “[b]ecause some people will thrive and get ahead in life while occasionally smoking pot, and others will not, knowing how to smoke smart is essential.” He presents a series of short chapters covering multiple topics—peer pressure, pot vs. alcohol, pot-smoking parents and addiction—to help teens decide if, where, how and how much they should become involved in pot smoking. He considers the “how” a particularly key factor, emphasizing that how pot is smoked significantly affects addiction risk. The title of this work is reflective of his “harm reduction” philosophy, with Aronoff suggesting those who chose to smoke should take the “one toke challenge,” since “you do not need more than one toke to get high.” While not all parents will love Aronoff’s open-minded views about a drug that they would simply ban, his guide serves as a nonthreatening vehicle by which teens can actively assess the realities of its presence in their lives. Aronoff’s counseling background is a particular strength of this narrative; he continually connects this decision to having awareness and accountability for all of one’s choices in life. He also ends each chapter with a helpful “Voice Your Opinion” question for teens to ponder. His website, onetoke.org, which he promotes as a place to “also connect with others,” offers additional information. Additionally, while this slim book attempts to distill a lot of information, teens and parents would do well to consult other resources to fully understand this complex, controversial subject.
A practical, thought-provoking primer to help teens make more informed decisions about pot smoking.