But what about cannabis?
Since then, many parents have opened up about their experiences with cannabis and raising children in outlets ranging from The Guardian to the Colorado Pot Guide. A number of parents report feeling closer to their children and more willing to engage in the kinds of things kids love, like creative games and making mud pies. In other words, to stress less and play more.
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Leah*, an attorney and mother of two in Southern California says that she smokes marijuana rarely around her kids, but when she does, it allows her to relax into the moment with them. “When they are silly or raucous, and I am high, I will be silly and raucous with them.”
Abby Dorsey, a cannabis activist and rapper who performs under the name MC Flow, says, “As parents, we often spend our days putting another little being before ourselves. We lose ourselves, we feel exhausted, we can often feel overwhelmed. I know I can. Cannabis helps me put things in perspective.”
Some parents interviewed also believe that cannabis can help with effective discipline. Beth says, “I was far less reactive to their behaviors and handled discipline in a calmer, more calculated manner because of it.”
“I was far less reactive to their behaviors and handled discipline in a calmer, more calculated manner because of it.”
Via Jason Mraz on YouTube: “My friend MC Flow deserves a mic drop for her performance at Red Rocks. She eloquently unleashed her intelligent rhymes to a sold out crowd in Colorado. Flow has been a huge inspiration to me for more than a decade. Her encouraging words and ideas have landed in many new and unreleased songs in the last few years, including Work In Progress, You Do You, and Undone to name a few. Thanks to Flow, I am rapping again, both on Know. and in the new show. Fun fact: Flow appears on I’m Yours in the party vocals that big-up the end of the song. She is a constant source of Good Vibes and a joy to have on the team. Get to Know MC Flow.”
Recent movement toward the legalization of medical marijuana (30 states) and recreational marijuana (eight states and D.C.) has certainly improved access. Dorsey appreciates the fact that, in parts of California, “Now I can order my cannabis and track it to my door, just like an Uber.”
Not only has it become easier to find quality cannabis, but information has proliferated. With recreational legalization in California, Beth says, “I especially appreciated having access to the science behind it. I attempted to use the abundant information suddenly available … to craft the experience I wanted.”
But despite these gains, many parents still refrain from openly discussing their use of cannabis, afraid of being judged or stereotyped at best, reported or arrested at worst.
In states without recreational marijuana laws on the books, there can be serious consequences for anyone in possession. Even in recreational states, many parents remain cautious. “People seem to still have biases about it,” Leah observed.
Because legalization is so new, and because federal laws haven’t yet changed, she chooses to remain anonymous in her marijuana use: “I would hate to have my career limited, or my children treated differently because I like pot more than alcohol.”
Other parents reported finding mainstream attitudes trending in the direction of increased openness toward cannabis as the laws and the culture change.
Beth says that she now feels, “more comfortable coming out of the weed closet. And it’s been surprising,” she added, “to see how many people are regular users.”
“I encourage [parents] to be more open with their own friends and family.”
Dorsey says, “I do not smoke in front of my daughter—I have a private area to step away to if needed. However, I am comfortable being under the influence of cannabis around my family. In our house, cannabis is a medicinal plant with incredible healing properties, and we try to instill that message more than anything.”
She believes that modeling a healthy relationship to cannabis is vital in raising children who can do the same. Her kids will make their own choices about whether or not to consume alcohol or marijuana once they are of age. “But, she adds, “I want them to know about how much is healthy for their bodies, how to take good care of themselves, and how to live a life of moderation.”
Other parents echoed Nicole’s hope that their children grow into adults with healthy attitudes toward cannabis as a potential medicine, a relief for stress and anxiety, and a way to relax and enjoy oneself.
“It’s not about ‘tuning out’ or ignoring the stresses of life, but rather about tuning in and finding things to be grateful for.”
For many parents, cannabis – whether used for pain relief, relaxation, enhancing creativity, or any number of other benefits – is a net positive.
As Abby Dorsey (MC Flow) says, “It’s not about ‘tuning out’ or ignoring the stresses of life, but rather about tuning in and finding things to be grateful for.”
Danielle Simone Brand
Danielle Simone Brand, an independent journalist based in California, writes about cannabis, homesteading and parenting. Her work appears on TheWeek.com, Kveller.com and ChopraCenter.com. She is writing for Carolina Cannabis News as Part of our "Voices from the Green Side" series.
In some instances (marked *) , due to legal concerns or perceived stigma, names have been changed.
[Header image: Ross Helen]
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