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Monday, October 5, 2009

On Moms and Marijuana: Am I the only naive mama in this joint?

Written by Em

If you're a visitor to my home base, you know that I like to throw out a topic and see where it lands. I really dig audience participation versus preaching to the choir, so when I heard a new term last week - "Stiletto Stoners" (major kudos to the Marie Claire copy editor who came up with that catchy title) - I was intrigued, and curious if other moms would be as well.

It seems that there is a "new" (more likely "newly publicized") movement within the young up-and-comers to find relaxation via herbal means instead of the once popular Cosmo. Turns out, those nasty little Carrie Bradshaw-endorsed cocktails are expensive and loaded with empty calories. Two things that the uber successful single women of today abhor.

Can't blame them really. According to the article, just $50/month can support their nightly habit of unwinding with a bong hit or three, with the added benefit of getting all deep and stuff. That same $50 would barely cover one night of bar hopping, and with that you might only get stale conversation with the old guy in the club.

All, OK most, judgment aside for the women who agreed to be interviewed (does the term "Yuppie" need a reboot?), it got me thinking about my usual two-three glasses of wine per week to "unwind." We all joke about it (bloggers in general) - some of my favorite sites have their drink of choice right in their address, not to mention an alcohol shout out in my very own profile, but are there readers who judge our mothering skills based upon our blowing-off-some-steam vice of choice?

Do they have a point? Do I really care?

Is there a Mary Jane mommy blogger circle out there with names like "tokesandtoddlers" or "mamaneedssomepotandimnottalkingpans?" There are places in the world, some right here in the States (shout out to Alaska), where limited recreational marijuana use is legal - but is it something most moms would admit to doing?

If you get a chance, check the comments section of the article - some moms did just that. Interesting. And for me, somewhat convincing of the benefits.

I've only had one experience, and it wasn't pleasant - unintentional consumption via second-hand smoke at the tender age of 15 during a Genesis Invisible Touch concert. I couldn't taste or smell a damn thing for three days. That lesson was burned onto my senses, and I doubt I could partake of the wacky tobaccy by choice today. But if I knew a mom who responsibly lit up, would I have an issue?

The fact is, I probably already do, and no, I don't have a problem with it.

I hear there's a little bill in Washington that needs some serious funding. Hmmm? Maybe it's time to discuss legalizing for some tax benefits. Then again, you take away a massive amount of money from a couple of rather powerful cartels (and no I'm not talking about Big Pharm or the insurance companies), what new contraband will fill the void? Not like those guys will just give up and get a desk job.

So how 'bout it, anyone in your circle partake? Any "friends?" Do you find the whole discussion ridiculous? Tasteless? Baseless?

Since we're dealing with a rather touchy, oh and illegal subject, Anonymous comments are welcomed.

Just keep it nice.

(Extra credit: There's a current Texas Monthly article, "Texas High Ways," that does a pretty good job championing the legal consumption of marijuana. Fascinating historical information as well. Give it a read if you have the chance - I'm thinking this topic will surface a lot during the upcoming 2010 Texas gubernatorial election. Our border violence is a major concern that needs to be addressed. We shall see.)


  1. I was first introduced to MJ in high school, we've been on and off friends ever since. Though I do prefer a nice Pinot, I still partake of the kind herb, not infrequently

    Yes, I'm wimping out and posting this anonymously.

    Yes, you totally know me.

  2. Thanks for the comment Anon! I have a feeling you're in good company.

    Maybe someone will be brave enough to indulge me in a "scoring" story - maybe it's not all that dramatic.

    Like I said, naive :-) Em

  3. Ha!! Not dramatic at all these days. I do have some fun stories about sneaking it across the Canadian border though.

  4. I know lots of moms who smoke pot. I don't myself anymore, but a lot of my friends do. Not daily, necessarily. But socially. They don't get blown out of their minds, just take a couple of hits and catch a nice buzz, like having a glass of wine. And there's a big difference in quality/effects between what was probably being passed around at the Genesis concert and the herb that middle class adults are smoking now. McDonalds vs organic, local homegrown gourmet. ;)

  5. you're just trying to clean up your image, em, now that the feds are on to you.

    seriously, if we post anonymously, the cops still know it's us, right? because i don't give a flip about the mommybloggers knowing what i may or may NOT do, but i would hate for this to be some big sting operation and suddenly i am taken away in handcuffs for something i may or may NOT do.

    okay, and now actually seriously, this conversation is an interesting one. here is what i have to say (on the record) about it. any follow up can be done on the wiretapped phone...

    i went to high school in holland. you could walk into a bar and indulge. simple. and the real kicker is the age of consent over there is 16. so, a 16 yo could get stoned, drink, probably even hire a prostitute BUT, they could not, then, get in a car and drive, because the driving age is 18. i was too chicken to smoke pot in high school (get it? HIGH school?), but many of my classmates totally went for it. i did, however, drink my ass off, and did some pretty stupid things because of it. looking back, that doesn't seem like i took very much of a moral high ground (get it? HIGH ground), after all, and BOY did i think i was somehow committing less of a sin. so stupid.

    anyway, sometime between then and 10:19 am EST on Monday, Oct 5, i have seen the proverbial light and taken a hit or two of pot. there isn't really anything morally superior about drinking, except it's legality. and i know that is huge... like you couldn't really make the same argument about screaming at someone vs. shooting them. but there are many, MANY worse things i could do than take a hit off a bong, put my feet up, laugh with my husband, eat an entire pizza, and then hit the sack. it sure beats a night out on the town, sampling the latest $15 designer martini (or two), only to get behind the wheel and knock off a family or two on the way home. besides, i have made the conscious choice to destroy my liver through anti-inflammatories instead of alcohol.

  6. oh, and of course you know i was speaking completely hypothetically.

  7. and if i must confess, this really isn't deb at all. this is her out of town cousin, using her computer while she is in the shower. ssshhhh... don't tell.

  8. Em, what a great topic. I have said it publicly on my blog before, and I will say it again, LEGALIZE the gonja/MJ/weed/reefer (whatever term you prefer). I am not a current user and don't have any intention of being one, however, I have no problem with those who do or will - assuming they are adults and use responsibly. Same rules as alcohol really. That's not to say all adults fall into the "responsible" category because we all know that ain't going to happen! However, I don't like my "rights" being limited or taken away (even if it's a right I don't plan to act on) because of a few stupid people who can't control themselves.

    They are talking about taking percocet and vicodin off the market because stupid people out there can't read the warnings about not taking acetaminophen with vicoding and not taking ibuprofen with percocet. That pisses me off. These medicines work great for me and because some idiot out there can't follow the guidelines, my drugs of choice for pain may be taken away!

    Whoo, I think I am finished now.

  9. I find it absurd that we live in a country where we can stomach abortion being legal but oh Lord not a joint. I personally do not approve of either but that is my choice as an adult. With a husband who has "fought" in the war on drugs I can tell you it is not pretty out there. Time for a change in the way we fight.
    PS: Yes, I have... once....I was over 18 with friends on Spring Break and it was fun but never felt the need to do it again. BTW, this is the same answer I would give for "Have you ever been snow skiing?"

  10. Em - thanks for starting the ball rolling on this topic, and like Deb, I don't really want to make any grand admissions for fear of actually being "found out" by the feds, or worse my children, or worser than worse, my sweet grandma.

    Family (& Grandma) - I'm not smoking pot today (true).

    Kids - I didn't try pot until I was 24 (true). That's TWENTY-FOUR in case you didn't get it. And unlike a well-known politician in their sketchy denial once upon a time, I DID inhale. (Though much coughing, confusion and an upset stomach followed)

    Everyone else - A hookah powered by water and flavored tobacco could easily be laced with something stronger (I'm just saying.... not that I would know, just something I heard in my brief hookah experience...)

    Those admissions out of the way... I am leaning toward being for legalizing marijuana - I think we are WAY out of control in the fear category on this issue - "gateway drug" etc etc etc.... Legal alcohol consumption causes so much damage in our society. I truly can't imagine that "mj" as Anonymous called it up above - could do even HALF of this damage.

    And as far as mamas being allowed to "un-wind" with some kind of spirits, legal or otherwise, I say to each his own and ours is not to judge. Right? It's wine or Celexa for me. Right now I'm choosing wine.

    Thanks for the links on how legalizing pot would affect the world, Em, I'm going to read up on this a bit more.

  11. Deb - Lord how you make me laugh!! The moral high road of legality is the only argument I don't get for not trying it. Other than the consequences that might come down - prison time, fine, children being taken away, etc. - "I won't do it because it's illegal" is hard one to buy. Government mandating morals? Hm. Personal responsibility? Hm.

    I guess, technically we could get a hacker to track down an address or two, but I'd like to think that the Feds have more important things to do.

    Tell your cousin I said "hi!"

  12. Jo: Oh how I agree with you about the idiots - I believe that is something I like to call "thinning the herd." The problem is, how much money is the parent Pharm company going to have to pay when they are sued by the family of someone who didn't read the warnings? The doc who perscribed it and didn't staple the warning to the patient's forehead?

    See where I'm going here? Back to personal responsibility. I'm so crazy like that!

    Navywife: Damn! I knew I should have gone with you guys. Not to try it myself or anything, you know, but to watch you. Awesomeness.

    Karen: nice disclamiers :-). I'd love to hear your Grandma's take on it. Like every generation that will come after us, we always think they we "discovered" something that the past generation shied away from - pre-marital sex, smoking, drugs, extra-marital affairs - that's the thought that kept creeping into my mind as I read the Marie Claire article - these youngsters have heard of "Hippies" right? A lot of successful companies are now headed by the former(?) "potheads" of the '60s.


  13. tokesandtoddlers?

    Genius domain name!

    I love it!

    I'm a druggie, but not with mj.

    I take lots of prescribed meds for my boo-koo medical conditions. Blah,blah, blah!

    I really wish marijuana was at least legalized for medical purposes. When I was so sick with chemo, I wondered why nobody offered me any!

    Where were those "special" brownies?

    As for legalization, I'm conflicted. I mean booze is probably just as harmful and it's legal.

    I don't know.

    But I'll let you know when and IF I go through chemo again. *wink, wink*

    *cough* Of course, you can send me some brownies!

    heh heh heh

  14. So I have this friend, yeah, a friend, who occasionally after putting the kids to bed, will sneak down to the basement with her hubby and enjoy a puff and a game of Wii bowling.

    Now I would never do this of course, but I wouldn't think of judging my FRIEND.

  15. Smoking is not something I am a fan of, pot tobacco or anything else either. But with that said I wouldn't be bothered to find out that a friend who is also a mom smokes occasionally. In my opinion it is no worse than having a drink.

  16. Interesting topic. I have no issues with this. What ever it takes to unwind from a stressful day with the kids. There are many things out there, take your pick.

  17. LOL@"mamaneedssomepotandimnottalkingpans"
    That was hysterical!
    I will have to read the article-
    as for me I am not a fan of the wacky tabacky-oh I did expierement when i was younger but it just made feel stoopid and paranoid, with that said I dont have issues with others partaking-I do know that it sure could have helped my dad through some of his serious chemo sickness, but he would never smoke it-we can barely get him to take a tylenol...

    let me know when you touch on the subject of

  18. I guess it's everyone's free choice, as long as a person knows how to keep it under control. Like, a glass of wine every night is fine, as long as a mom can stop there. A bottle every night? Uh, no.

    I don't smoke - cigarettes OR MJ - because of health reasons but also because where in the hell would I get it? I'm too goody goody to put myself in danger of becoming the 6pm local news story, "Mom turned Stoner".

    Plus, why is smoking MJ considered okay but if you saw a mom smoking a cigarette we'd all probably give her the evil eye? Think about it: MJ doesn't even have filters!

    I unwind with Hershey kisses. WAY cheaper. More calories. Proven stress-relieving benefits. And definitely legal.

  19. does anyone mind if my cousin jumps back into the convo? ... good.

    i think that if i saw a mom smoking a cigarette OR a joint, i would probably give her the evil eye... only because it would probably mean she was in front of her kids or pregnant, for me to know for certain that she was a mom. the thought of doing either in front of our kids, i think most would agree, is detrimental, foolish, irresponsible. now, if i were at a bar or restaurant, and a young couple were sitting alone, and the woman was smoking, i would probably not like the smell (i am not a fan of cigarettes), but wouldn't think too much about it. for all i know, she could then get in her volvo station wagon and head back to the burbs to tuck in her sweeties, safe and sound. no harm, no foul.

    but how about those that drink in front of their kids? i have a group of neighbors, who regularly host my kids at their house, and multiple times have both of my kids commented on how much the parents drink.

    i think it all comes back down to em's 'personal responsibility'... and i consider myself pretty responsible.

  20. oh, and to be clear, my kids didn't comment about the parents drinking in a GOOD way. it was in a "i feel sorry for the kids because their parents are always drinking" sort of way.

  21. Quirky: that's why I made sure to point out "recreational" use. I'm all over medicinal use, so I'm not too open to a debate about it. I just can't see a down side to it. Maybe there is one, but you could so count on some special brownies should the need arise (knock on wood). No problem.

    How much jail time for mailing pot brownies across state lines?

    You're totally worth it.

    Cristin: Wii bolwing? Next time you see your friend, would you ask her how her score goes? I can't do that damn game stone cold sober.

    Catherine: I see a pattern forming - instead of legalizing pot, we might all get alcohol banned :-)

    Jen: No one should question a mother of 4 how she unwinds. Especially an RN ;-)

    Georgie: I'm thinking about registering it, just for fun. I'm confident that would put me on the Fed's short list for sure. Especially if I touched on Ko-Cain.

    I'll leave that to Hollywood starlets

    Texan Mama: "Mom turned stoner" - hilarious. You know, in a hypothetical way. I'm with you. I'm pretty sure I would get totally busted.

    You're correct about the evil eye thing, especially when it's a mom driving, with the windows up, with a kid in the carseat. Seen it. Road raged over it. Deb hit the nail on the head - a responsible "user" of a parent would never, ever do it with a child around. I wish people would smoke cigs like that, but it's not a perfect world. Darn it.

    Deb's cousin: you've given me something to mentally chew upon as far as the drinks in front of the kids. Hubs and I have a glass of wine with dinner a couple times a week, I've always considered it as an example of responsible drinking, since we're home, and not passing out at the table, but thoughtful point of view coming from the kiddos.

    I know there is a fine line, for sure. My old neighbor used to have his 12-year-old mix his Rum and Coke. No joke. They're divorced now. Lord only knows why.

    And for the record, I consider you VERY responsible. For what that's worth :-)

  22. Interesting topic. I saw it on the Today show last week. I personally am not a big fan of pot but probably for the moral reasons and negative stereotypes. If it was legal and everyone in America saw it the same way they see alcohol maybe I wouldn't have a problem with it. Maybe I am too much of a goody, goody two shoes. As for drinking in front of the kids I don't have a problem with this at all. My parents rarely drank in front of me but they rarely drank, my mom never. I have NEVER been drunk in front of my kids and I rarely drink, maybe 3 or 4 drinks per month, each on separate occassions. My FIL drinks beer every night but I have also never seen him drunk. My husband also likes to drink beer. He drinks two or three beers about twice per week. More than I like but according to the doctor a man of his size can have up 2 drinks per day 7 days a week and not effect his health. Glad you brought up the topic.

  23. One day I'll talk about my experiences. I've certainly had some.

    Now I unwind with a book, lol

  24. Michelle: not a goody two shoes at all! That's what so great about being adults. I'm a big live and let live kind of gal myself. I'm too paranoid to do anything that might inhibit me from getting my kiddos to the emergency room, should the need call. Not like they're going to need stitches if they fall out of bed, but you know what I mean. One glass for dinner is my limit. Plus, too much and I get the bed spins and puke. Yeah, I'm a blast to take out.

    Blue: if you feel the need to cleanse your conscience, my blog is your blog for an anonymous post :-)

  25. I think this is a huge topic for may who can find medicinal value in MJ use. We have had this conversation. I swear MJ has to better for you than some of the pills doctors perscribe to help with arthritis pain, cancer pain etc. Great topic EM - miss you and Deb.

  26. Um, I'll just say that I love that you brought this up.

    I too went to high school in Holland.

    And that is all I am willing to put in front of Google's ever-watching-and-recording Orwellian eyes.

    But Ill talk live about it... ;-)

  27. And even having left that comment, I'm pretty sure I have now solidified my candidacy for some big government post. If I can put down these nachos. What was I saying?

  28. What a great discussion you got going over here Em. The comments have been well-thought out and varied - I love it. I know more moms than I ever thought I would who do not mind partaking here and there to help with an unwind. I think it shows a sign of our times really. Our generation grew up with it differently than our parents' generation so I think it's one reason why pot is more prevalent today among moms.

    I totally agree with anonymous' comment up there that .... "there's a big difference in quality/effects between what was probably being passed around at the Genesis concert and the herb that middle class adults are smoking now. McDonalds vs organic, local homegrown gourmet."

    I am definitely for legalizing and agree with Jo that the fear is overblown about it being a gateway drug etc. Here in Cali we have the medicinal marijuana dispensaries up and running and I don't think much as changed as far as more MJ-related accidents/problems etc. And I believe those dispensaries are serving both medicinal and recreational use.

    But all hail to the personal responsibility chant!! I will chant it my whole life long because it's all that really matters to me. I'm a firm believer in everything in moderation and I have lived my whole life that way. We have many more serious problems to address in this country than whether or not a mom takes a toke in the comfort of her own home instead of drinking a glass of wine.

    Great topic Em and thanks for getting the ball rolling....

  29. I read this post last night as I was drinking a glass of red wine after returning home from a three day trip. It brought on an interesting discussion between me and my husband who was drinking beer at the time. A half bottle of wine and numerous empty beer bottles later, we agreed to disagree. I made the argument that a couple hits off a joint to mellow out after the kiddies are in bed is the same as a couple glasses of wine. My husband, who has never smoked pot, thinks that a couple puffs will have you starring in the sequel to "Dazed and Confused." I tried to explain the difference between a couple bong hits versus hot boxing your mom's Volvo in high school, to no avail.
    I do not smoke pot currently and haven't for years. My company does random drug testing on all employees and so I will not be lighting up any time soon and that is OK with me. But if a mom or dad takes a couple hits responsibly when their kids are not present, who am I to judge? I bet they wouldn't wake up with a headache like I did this morning.

  30. Call me Bill Jr. I never learned to inhale. But, I did do a killer grad school project on medicinal marijuana if that counts as ANYTHING in Mary Jane land.
    To each his own. I just don't need any additional help in being lazy!

  31. Tony: miss you too!! I know the time away is for a very good cause. Hope all is well at the new gig. Medicinal, yes, yes please!

    Jay: I owe you a mocha latte anyway. I'll leave my tape recoder at home :-) Hmmmm. Nachos.

    Lee: thanks for letting me run with it here! I did come across some research concerning California and any "abuse" - not much to speak of. A lot of money being thrown around in the War on Drugs, but is it really helping? Looks like not so much.

    And are you saying mid '80s suburbia Atlanta shit ain't good?! Weed snob.

    FlyingMama: Wow!! Love that the debate continued into the home. You guys got further than my Hubs and I would have. He's very black and white when it comes to these things, and I wonder what he would think if I even brought it up for discussion.

    Actually, I'm pretty sure it would make him worry that my depression was returning. Which it's not. But I wonder if marijuana would be a good alternative for people who have lifelong battles with depression. Medicinally and under doctor's supervision of course.

    Annie: would love to hear your findings from the grad school project! And I'm pretty sure Bill lied :-)

  32. I am neither admitting nor denying what I did or did not do while I was away at college. That being said....I don't have a problem if someone wants to smoke pot in their homes, away from their children. In my eyes it isnt much worse than alcohol. Actually....unlike mean drunks, you NEVER hear of a mean stoner. Right?!?

    But I do wish it was legal for medicinal purposes......because some days the percocets just dont do enough. But Im just a silly sick person talking.

  33. I think that this is one of those topics that at the end of the day, you maybe right back where you started & wonder why you are so tired. Most all opinions have some merit, making it difficult to be able to totaly embrace one way of thinking completly.

    I've nevered tried the stuff, sat in a room several times with it being passed around, but was too afraid, had to get past the mom check point at home. I was afraid I'd do something stupid & being an only child I had no back up to help me.

    But would I try it now, maybe I don't know. I'm fine with those that want to. Like drinking or anything else do it responsibly.

    But I've long wondered how & where people are able to distinguish between, someone who does that & is addicted to RX's or alcohol. That seems like as big if not bigger issue. When I met & then married my hubby, his family owned a liquor store, had for over 19 years & it was sad to see some of these people & what it did to them. Did they choose it? Some say yes & others say no, they were addicted & couldn't help. I don't know for sure, they did make that 1st choice to try it. After that I can't say what happened, I've not walked a mile in their shoes & it's not for me to judge them.

    It was hard, most people that I knew thought that I should drink like a fish and have sampled the whole store, but also that I should feel guilty for how we made our living. We never told anyone new that we met, right off what we did for a living. I had to be sure they were "open" to alcohol, which is legal. Many people treated us like drug dealers & would say mean & nasty things about us & would treat us very differently. Then some wanted to be our best friends, so it went both ways, 2 extremes.

    While I might have a glass of wine with dinner or a drink or 2 at a party. Most of the time I'm the DD. So I barely knew what even a quarter of the stuff in the store tasted like. Now had they owned a bakery or a candy shoppe, we'll that would be another story.

    If someone really wants to do something or thinks that they need it, they will find a way to get it, reguardless of what it is, legal or not, morally right or wrong. And someone will always agree with them & someone will not.
    But I find myself thinking like you, that if it was legal we'd all benefit, in many numerous ways.

    I believe though that everything "we" do, as mom's or not, is to do it with responsibilty & probably in moderation.

    You know if more people like us were in charge, things would get done & we'have real progress that can be seen & felt.

    Have a good one Em enjoyed as always!

  34. well well well- a favorite topic of mine! First of all, it is a proven fact that tobacco and alcohol cause more disease and deaths than marijuana ever could. A Mothering magazine article a few years back stated that adverse effects in breast milk are inconclusive; whereas alcohol or (most) prescription drugs have documented adverse affects. Morning sickness was the culprit, ganja was the solution. If you've ever been pregnant with twins and vomiting all day for months, you would saddle up to the couch, turn on Price is Right and load the bong, too!
    Both sides of my gene pool are riddled with alcoholics, i lost two dear friends to drunk driving accidents and at least two to drug overdoses in my 33 years. I CAN NOT UNDERSTAND HOW PEOPLE STILL THINK IT'S A BIG DEAL TO SMOKE POT. I KNOW : TEACHERS, LAWYERS, ARCHITECTS, SPEECH THERAPISTS AND MOMMIES WHO SMOKE RESPONSIBLY & SEMI-OFTEN . Does this mean we should all go white-trash hippy and smoke out with our 13 yr olds? Hell, NO!!- I've seen it; it's gross!!
    How about those moms that allow drinking in the house?- " rather them do it here!" one bats an eye about that shit!!!
    Thanks for bringing this up, Em.

  35. Doesn't marijunana make one hungry though? Does it balance out the calories of alcohol? I actually live under a rock and don't get out so I don't know anyone who partakes.

  36. i would never support legalizing marijuana. my oldest son started experimenting a year or so ago and became addicted. I know people say marijuana is not an addictive substance, but it is. we saw it happen. he moved from mild curiosity to serious experimentation to needing it most of the time, six days a week. it destroyed his schooling, his motivation, his belief in himself. he's been in rehab for six months.

  37. After dealing with several stoner parents, I can't say I get too excited about legalizing it.

  38. Denise: your struggle did come to mind as I was reading over medicinal information. Mean drunks, oh yeah, not pretty.

    Sarah: I can only imagine the judgement that might come from the family business. Crazy. It can be rather polarizing - alcohol consumption. But I think you're correct, if someone wants something bad enough, it will be found.

    I'll be back, Youngest to up...

  39. Youngest now staying home from preschool - too many kiddos sick. So much for the dentist or getting anything done today. It's cool.

    Amanda: Ugh, the ole parents know it's going to happen, so might as well be under my roof thing. That NEVER flew with my parents. Lord only knows what will be going on by the time my kids reach that age. I'd panic, but I'm trying to focus on one stage at a time.

    Angie: that's what I found so hilarious about the article. They go out of the way to even quote a woman on what she does to make sure she doesn't get the "munchies," and a commenter was touting the weight loss virtues of pot. I don't think I'm buying that.

    Anon: I so very sorry for you and your son's struggle. I hope rehab proves to be the answer, and he can turn things around.

    Beth: Some of your parental stories do make we wonder about enforced sterilization though - I smile at my crabby principal because of YOU. Keep up the good work.


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