Dad is livid over pot fine

Los Angeles Times - - POP & HISS - Send ques­tions for Amy Dickinson to askamy@ amy­dick­in­son.com.

Dear Amy: My daugh­ter is 19. Her boyfriend is 18.

Over the sum­mer, they were busted for smok­ing mar­i­juana in her car.

The of­fi­cer gave them the op­tion of let­ting just one of them take the fall.

My daugh­ter vol­un­teered; I con­sid­ered this a very bad de­ci­sion. If this gets on her record she will lose her fi­nan­cial aid, and col­lege will be, if not im­pos­si­ble, very hard. Her boyfriend comes from a rich fam­ily.

Re­gard­less, she said that she would take the ci­ta­tion and he would pay the fine. Well, the case was plea bar­gained down to a lower of­fense, but it comes with pro­ba­tion and $700 in costs and at­tor­ney’s fees. Her boyfriend has paid her $200. She says she is fine with that.

I am NOT fine with that. He’s well-off. She is broke and is work­ing while go­ing to a lo­cal col­lege. He’s off at a univer­sity, and I think she’s wor­ried that if she makes a big deal about this, he’ll re­con­sider the re­la­tion­ship. But, Amy, if she gets busted any­time in the next three years, her ed­u­ca­tion is in jeop­ardy.

I’m think­ing about send­ing him a text say­ing that he has two weeks to pay up, or I’ll tell his par­ents the story.

Is this too petty? Is this my busi­ness at all? She is an adult, but she’s still my daugh­ter, and I think she’s be­ing taken ad­van­tage of. Angry and Befuddled Dad

Dear Angry: Your daugh­ter “took the fall” for smok­ing mar­i­juana in her car.

She was smok­ing. In her car. She got caught.

Your daugh­ter’s own ac­tions have jeop­ar­dized her fi­nan­cial and ed­u­ca­tional fu­ture, and she has ac­cepted the con­se­quences.

The way for her not to fur­ther jeop­ar­dize her fu­ture is to not get busted again. She should check to see if her record will be ex­punged after her pro­ba­tion­ary pe­riod is over.

Yes, if you want to end this re­la­tion­ship be­tween your daugh­ter and Richie Rich, then def­i­nitely send him a threat­en­ing text. Un­der­stand, how­ever, that this will un­der­mine your daugh­ter’s own (so far) adult-like ac­cep­tance of her le­gal and fi­nan­cial penalty. She would also be right­fully very up­set with you.

No, this is not your busi­ness, un­less you are pay­ing your daugh­ter’s bills — and it doesn’t sound as if you are.

You should al­ways en­cour­age her to stand up for her­self, in­clud­ing when some­one owes her money.

Dear Amy: I read your col­umn ad­dress­ing the call for ci­vil­ity, po­lite­ness and re­spect in the midst of a cli­mate of vit­riol and ha­tred. I am pleased to share that our or­ga­ni­za­tion, Op­er­a­tion Re­spect (op­er­a­tionre­spect.org) could be the move­ment you are look­ing for. From our cur­ric­ula in schools to on­site di­a­logue sum­mits where those of strongly held op­pos­ing views learn to re­spect­fully share, ex­change and ex­press their dif­fer­ences ma­turely and pur­pose­fully, we’re am­pli­fy­ing ci­vil­ity in all the proper chan­nels. John A. McKenna, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Op­er­a­tion Re­spect

Dear John: Op­er­a­tion Re­spect was founded by singer Peter Yar­row (Peter, Paul and Mary), and does ex­ten­sive “peace work” in schools.

Quot­ing here from a let­ter by Yar­row on your or­ga­ni­za­tion’s web­site: “let’s stop fo­cus­ing on the battle that’s rag­ing and live the legacy of good­ness in our hearts for our­selves, and for our chil­dren’s sake, and the sake of our fu­ture.”

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