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Marijuana Mamas!

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Is pot the new pilates?

Gina Kaysen Fernandes: A new wave of reefer madness is sweeping suburbia -- but it's not just teenagers who are lighting up. Middle-aged, middle-class soccer moms are smoking pot ... a lot. These women aren't stoners: they're teachers, lawyers, and, perhaps, even your neighbor who prefers puffing a joint to sipping chardonnay.

woman smoking marijuana

"Marijuana is the magic in my life that helps me unwind, stay sane, and have more energy," says Sonia, a 24-year-old mother from Los Angeles. Working full-time as a restaurant manager leaves Sonia feeling stressed out and drained at the end of the day. She smokes once or twice daily to relax. "I have a stressful job, it's something that helps me wind down so I don't take out my frustration on my husband or my child."

Sonia became a mother at the age of 22 and suffered from some depression. She turned to marijuana to help curb the baby blues. A doctor later diagnosed Sonia with anxiety and wrote her a prescription for the herbal remedy. Sonia gets her stash from a medicinal marijuana clinic and takes comfort in knowing the pot she smokes is legal and high quality.

Mary is a 37-year-old, self-employed mother in Seattle who smokes pot several times a week. "It is relaxing, fun, and once in a while I self-medicate for cramps or headaches," said Mary. She says she prefers smoking to drinking beer because it's easier on the body and has fewer calories. Mary buys her bags from a dealer, making it more risky because "there's still a real danger of being arrested," says Mary.

The website,, surveyed hundreds of women nationwide between the ages of 25 and 60 years old. Out of that group, 52% admitted to using marijuana at least ten times a year. 27% smoked between one and seven times a week. And 78% of those women knew someone who got high on a regular basis.

The results of recent surveys are no surprise to Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML. "These findings are indicative of women's willingness to admit to the social stigma that was so high in the 1970s and 80s," said St. Pierre.

Both women who shared their stories with momlogic say that many of their friends smoke weed. But while it seems "marijuana mamas" are everywhere, this silent majority prefers to stay in the shadows. "They think if they admit it, it makes them a bad mom," says Sonia, who believes the opposite is true. "It makes me a better mother. It clears my head and allows me to focus on my child." Mary says it's important to be a responsible smoker "by doing it mindfully, only when I have downtime."

Sonia has a 2-year-old and is a few years away from the dreaded drug talk. But she doesn't plan to hide her habit from her son. "I want to be honest, I don't want him to feel marijuana is an evil thing," said Sonia. Mary says she's very open about her drug use with her daughter, Sierra. "We talk about responsible use pretty often," says Mary. Both women say they never smoke in the house or in front of their children.

There's a lot of debate over how to talk to kids about using drugs without sounding like a hypocrite, especially if you're the one hitting the bong. Zero-tolerance proponents believe you must support abstinence only. But advocates say a more real-world approach is to discuss drug use in moderation. This method is detailed in a pamphlet called "Safety First: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens and Drugs," which is distributed by the California PTA.

This growing group of ganja smokers certainly has the attention of lawmakers. A renewed debate is heating up over legalizing (or at minimum, taxing the medicinal sales of) marijuana to cash in on this potential cash cow. According to NORML, marijuana remains the fourth largest cash crop in America, in spite of the estimated $10 billion that law enforcement spends annually to attempt to outlaw the plant. In California, marijuana is the number-one cash crop. Thirteen states have laws on the books that allow for medicinal use of marijuana. The most recent federal survey finds more than 100 million Americans have tried pot at some point, and more than 14 million used it in the past month. "I think a lot of moms are starting to loosen up," says Sonia.

Both of these moms support legalizing marijuana. "It will help our economy, help our state, and take away that stigma," said Sonia. Mary believes pot smoking should be about personal choice, not politics. "I'm an adult and I make life or death decisions every day. The drug war has killed lots of people; smoking pot hasn't killed anyone."

What do you think? Are these moms on the right track -- or are they whacked out on more than just weed?

Photos courtesy of Michael Johnson

next: Have Your Cake and Meat it Too
625 comments so far | Post a comment now
Barb June 24, 2009, 8:38 AM

I support the legalization. I consider it similar to alcohol—it’s fine to do as long as you follow the rules.

Secret Mama June 24, 2009, 8:40 AM

I am also a marijuana mama. I smoke at least a couple of times a week and will also sometimes self medicate for headaches and migraines. I had the WORST migraine on Christmas morning and would not have been able to get through family breakfast and presents had it not been for the reefer. I would have been in bed in agony and missed some wonderful memories. I would much rather smoke weed than drink as it leaves me feeling much better the next day. It helps me unwind, stay sane and sometimes get through the monotonous chores that are my responsibility.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso June 24, 2009, 9:27 AM

We have a lot of dads in our area that smoke pot but I have never heard of a mom around here doing it. In fact marriages break up here over dads smoking pot. I will bring this question up on the AJC’s mom blog and see what our moms think. Today, we’re talking about is it OK for boys to play in girls’ bedrooms? When do you cut out mixed company upstairs.

Anonymous June 24, 2009, 10:13 AM

I am a marijuana mama. I have extreme migranes, anxiety and CFS and i self medicate to keep being able to function and to work and provide for my family. I do not drive while smoking i stay home and mind my own affairs and hurt no one.Legalization on something so natural, harmless and god given is ignorance. Look at all that is legal and harmful.As a tax payer and owner of my body I should decide what goes in it.
Legalization would cut down on crime and all those being jailed for wanting to feel relaxed, pain free and happy.

Mamimi June 24, 2009, 10:19 AM

I’m not a marijuana mama myself, but I know that there are responsible men and women in my community - lawyers, businessmen, successful people - who use marijuana just as though they were coming home from work and having a drink to soothe their nerves. It’s all about using it responsibly and not letting it, or any other drug be it legal or otherwise, take over your life.

Russell Barth June 24, 2009, 10:21 AM

Don’t these women know that pot can cause increased sex drive and music-over-appreciation?! They should go back to dealing with stress by using tranquillizers and booze like normal American Moms.

Russell Barth
Federally Licensed Medical Marijuana User
Patients Against Ignorance and Discrimination on Cannabis

abbi June 24, 2009, 10:31 AM

I smoke every day.
I barely drink any alcohol (maybe 2 or 3 beers/alcholic drinks once a month) and I find the effects of alcohol are much worse on me than smoking a joint.

Pot is cheaper, makes you feel better, doesn’t slur your speech or make you do stupid things that you might do loaded at the bar.

I agree it should be legalized, but I think it should be monitored the same as alcohol. No driving while high, etc.

After getting into smoking pot, I’m kind of surpised it’s not legal, I know more people that smoke pot than don’t, and out of all those people, I honestly feel only ONE of those people fall into the “lazy pothead” stereotype, and that’s because he’s a dealer.

The Mad Mom June 24, 2009, 10:53 AM

Legalize it! I say smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. As long as you remember that caring is sharing.

Shelly June 24, 2009, 11:08 AM

Sorry, legalizing marijuana will not help the economy. It cannot be taxed like cigarettes are because it can be home grown. It takes a lot more tobacco to make a cigarette than it does marijuana to make a joint.

v June 24, 2009, 11:18 AM

WOW! I am really surprised by this article! I can’t believe so many women are marijuana moms. I can’t believe there hasn’t been a single negative comment yet! I regularly smoke and feel like I need to hide it from EVERYBODY! Thank you for this article.

BattyJanice June 24, 2009, 11:34 AM

I have to totally disagree with the comment that legalizing marijuana will not help the economy. WRONG! First, it costs this country over $41 BILLOIN a year to enforce prohibition. It CAN be taxed if it is legallized- yes, it can be homegrown, but not everyone knows how to growit, lives in an area where it can be grown or has the cash or space to set up a hydro system. Legal dispensaries would be able to charge taxes like they currently do on cigarettes, beer and spirits. Second- AMERICAN FARMERS could be put back to work farming- growing controlled quality crops for the government or dispensaries- saving a SHITLOAD of lives, producing incomes and saving family farms that are now being foreclosed upon. It can be controlled the same as alcohol and cigarettes as far as age restrictions. No- that won’t stop street dealers from sellling to teens- but age restrictions on alcohol doesn’t stop kids from getting it either. It just makes it harder. Being open and honest with kids about marijuana use would take alot of the novelty out of trying to “get away with” getting it. And alcohol control hasn’t stopped the production or consumption of moonshine either, so…
I don’t have kids- can’t because of cancer. But I do smoke- it was the one thing that kept me alive while I underwent chemo and drug cocktail treatments. I suffer from chronic severe pain and lack of food drive as a result of my cancer treatment- pot helps with both. Making it legal like my other meds would make life a whole lot easier to live in my case.
Kudos on the article- and thanks for all your hard work trying to get people to see the reality of this valuable medicine- not all of the lies that have been so widespread for so long. The government says it’s bad? And when did our government satrt telling us the REAL truth- not the “politically correct” “truth”? Don’t you watch the news? Thanks again! Legalize it!

Anonymous June 24, 2009, 11:45 AM

Other than law enforcement, preachers, and politicians who wants cannabis to be illegal? Even outside of my circle of friends, I can’t find anyone that thinks we are winning the drug war or thinks that we should continue spending money on it. $60 billion a year plus incarnation costs including medical. Adds up fast. Save it for violent offenders. If you can’t keep cannabis out of a federal prison then what hope do you have stopping it elsewhere? And that representative Kirk from Ill. that wants 25 years for a first offense possession! 25 years, that’s a life sentence. Who can function in society after being behind bars for 25 years for cannabis. For Cannabis. Seriously! In all honesty, I would rather my kid had a joint in their pocket instead of a flask of liquor. A joint will make them think twice about an action where alcohol will make them pull some insanely stupid and dangerous stunts. It’s time to end the war on citizens using cannabis.

Pamala June 24, 2009, 12:09 PM

Frankly I find this all very stupid. Not because it’s wrong to smoke pot and I also believe wrong to drink alcohol, but because it’s ILLEGAL! Great lesson there for your kids.

“Well honey it’s a stupid law so it’s okay to break it.”

Guess if you believe the law to be dumb you can break it, right?

Nell June 24, 2009, 12:37 PM

It is so nice to see such non-judgemental comments on this subject. I don’t smoke, but I think those that do should be left alone as long as they are taking good care of their family. Do whatever works.

chris June 24, 2009, 1:46 PM

I agree with you Pamela. We can’t just break the law because we don’t like it. My sister (who is addicted to prescription pain killers) has become so uninvolved with her children lives that her 17 yr old son just failed 9th grade again (3rd time!) and now he just sits home all day and smokes pot with his friends. No thought about his education or his future. My sister doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal…it’s only pot. I smoke pot in high school then moved onto cocaine, speed, PCP, downers and anything I could get my hands on and it tooks years to get over my addictions. You’re kidding yourself if you think you think its no big deal to have your children do drugs. If I robbed a bank because I needed money but didn’t hurt anyone while I did it would that be okay? I don’t understand people to do the wrong thing and justify it by saying it doesn’t hurt anyone. Some one always get hurts. If an accident happened involving your kids while you were stoned, how quick would you respond? I’ve been stoned and I know you don’t respond fast. Would you like twice about getting helped right away if you were stoned? I’m sorry that many people aren’t going to agree with me but I think once you decide to become parents that you need to act responsible and doing illegal drugs in NOT responsible!

fellow mama June 24, 2009, 1:52 PM

I am suprised by the comments and frankly pleased to see that so many moms are coming out. I can second to the article and what those mother’s messages are.

Sara June 24, 2009, 2:02 PM

If it was legal I’d do it in a heartbeat! In the good old teenage years I wasn’t worried about the legality of it but as a mother I certainly wouldn’t risk getting myself arrested. If alcohol is legal marijuana should be too. If anything I think marijuana is milder than alcohol.

Mamimi June 24, 2009, 2:27 PM

Actually, yes. Civil disobedience is a wonderful thing. You SHOULD think twice about conforming to a law that you feel is wrong and unfounded. Jeez. When did we become such a bunch of mindlessly bleating sheep?

Chad June 24, 2009, 2:35 PM

Great article! This cause needs more productive adults like us to step up and say “You know what, there is nothing wrong with it and your wasting our tax dollars”. The reason nothing has changed drastically is not because of public opinion it is because of public apathy and the publics fear of the government. We shouldn’t be scared of the government, they should be scared of us…remember they’re our voices.

todd ny June 24, 2009, 2:36 PM

You cant argue with a responsible choice. Pot smokers don’t make for bad parents, if anything irresponsible or abusive parents are often under the influence of Alcohol. Marijuana is by FAR a safer alternative not only for the individual but for the entire family.

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