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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, Chikii.com, 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
NORML mommy June 29, 2009, 12:31 PM

legalize it so we don;t have to live in fear.

Chris June 29, 2009, 12:33 PM

It is one of the most dumb laws we have. I dont smoke it however the county that I live in almost every one is involved with it one way or another. You all must have heard of Mendocino County??? People move here so they can grow, the Mexican cartell are here doing it and creating more crime including murder. This SUCKS. Now if it was lawfull to do so then most of the crime would leave, the goverment would make a TON of money and we law abiding people would once again be able to feel safe while hunting/hiking/fishing you name it. Right now to do this is like walking into a war zone. Check it out on line at CNBC. Title is Marijuana Inc.

skeeter June 29, 2009, 12:34 PM

great article. interesting turn by incorporating moms. I am a non user, but I am all for those who want to. I mean SERIOUSLY, look at the PROVEN FACTS, you cannot overdose on mary jane, does not make you do stupid things like alcohol, and for those who need it, it can cure anxiety and depression. FIRE IT UP people. And for those saying, that this is wrong because it shows mothers ‘breaking the law.’ Well if ignorant people such as yourselves werent dictating the law or crying to your local governments about how the legalization of mary jane is going to destroy mankind, it wouldnt be illegal. Worry about actual drgs such as cocaine and meth and x… those are the real issues when it comes to illegal substances.

Carolyn June 29, 2009, 12:38 PM

So now not only will we have to worry about second hand smoke from cigarrettes, those of us who do not want to pollute our bodies with toxins from this smoke, if it’s legalized? I can see a country running around with contact highs. While I do support it for strictly medical use - i.e. for cancer patients, etc - not for those who just “need to relax” - I for one will vote against legalization.

lisa June 29, 2009, 12:39 PM

Here’s your negative comment. Weed destroyed my son’s life. It led to harder drugs. He will now spend the rest of his life fighting urges. I believe you are all smoking harder stuff if you are supporting legalizing this crap. Idiots…

Mama June 29, 2009, 12:39 PM

Wow I’m shocked at this article. So many moms smoke pot and many do it around their kids. How ff-in ridiculous. What..these moms can’t handle the stresses of everyday life without getting high? You all deserve an award. I have a son myself and I would never ever think about doing drugs because i can’t handle it and never to “unwind” I smoked pot in highschool and thats it, once you have kids you have to grow up and be an adult.

Miranda June 29, 2009, 12:40 PM

High five to all the Moms coming out!!! I’ve read through these comments, and I would have to say, most pot smokers aren’t out smoking pot to go against the law. Smoking pot is not the gateway drug the way Mr. Harry Ansliger advertised it to be. When your a young adult, your going to try just whatever you want to regardless of whats good and bad for you, what order it goes in. Smoking pot won’t do the damage that smoking cigarettes will, you won’t turn demented like pain pill addicts, crack heads or junkies. I would rather my daughter smoke pot than any one of those things. I’m a great mom and I will teach my daughter right and wrong. I will tell her that neither drinking nor smoking pot is the best choice for her but when she’s old enough and ready, I’ll be here. I’ll let her know drinking and driving kills, it makes you do stupid things and have no sense of judgement Fortunately, I won’t have to tell her smoking and driving kills, I won’t have to explain that too much marijuana will kill her. Legalize pot and put these scum bag drug dealers out of their misery. Let’s focus on getting rid of the real problems, child molesters, hard core drug dealers selling our children cocaine and heroine. Let us stop spending our money on putting pot smokers behind bars and start going after real criminals.

tara June 29, 2009, 12:41 PM

i smoke weed. big deal! it helps me be calm and i can take care of my kids better. i dont drink EVER, i would much rather get stoned.

BusyMommy June 29, 2009, 12:41 PM

Katie, obviously, whatever you do, you don’t do much.Cause you’re here all day replying to people. And yes, I think I will roll one up. Does that bother you? I hope it does. And I bet you are perfect in every way, right? You’ve never done anything that other people would consider wrong? Well good, girl, you just go with your fifty year old, retired from social work/civil service whatever you want to call it, and you just keep on telling people what to do. Me and the rest of the people on here will just continue to shake our heads and laugh at you miss perfect. If you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen. Psh, agitated. I must’ve agitated you cause I got you to reply twice to me. And even repost! Hahaha. By the way, the life that I am “not handling” is calling. So while I might not see your stellar comeback, I will know that it will be uninformed and judgemental, and I know that no matter what anyone says, you will continue to be the same shallow and overbearing person you have displayed to be here. And you will continue trying to tell people how to live their lives. Wait, maybe I got it wrong after all. Perhaps you are a politician. No hard feelings, though. You can’t help it. You believe everything you read in the paper and see on the news. Perhaps someday you will be enlightened on the world around you. Until then, I’ll be rolling one!!

Anonymous June 29, 2009, 12:41 PM

Really? I just read through some of the anti views on this subject, and I am a bit appalled by being touted a ‘lousy’ parent.
To clarify, I am thinking that some of you think we are hooking ourselves up to a steady drip of THC….while parenting.
I smoked AFTER my kids went to bed or at parties (without my kids).
Kinda like having a drink in the evenings.
My parenting skills have NOTHING to do with that, nor do yours when you have a glass of wine ….
My kids are probably more able to deal with the ‘REAL’ world than your are….

Anonymous June 29, 2009, 12:42 PM

For the few people who wrote we shouldn’t smoke pot just because it’s “illegal”. Women used to not be allowed to vote because it was the law. African Americans used to have to sit at the back of the bus because it was the law. There are many laws that are STILL in place that should be changed. http://www.dumblaws.com/ :) yay pot!

Jane June 29, 2009, 12:45 PM

What dear mother memories our culture is producing now. Pot smoking mamas who can’t deal with the “stress” of modern life without weed. This article disgusts me. Pity the children driving around with mothers under the influence of pot. As if booze doesn’t give us enough deadly crashes. We all know how responsibly booze is used, right? 3 drunk driving deaths in our city just this weekend.

char June 29, 2009, 12:46 PM

I don’t know if someone has already mentioned this, but there would be a lot more volunteering at local libraries and such places if there wasn’t a drug test.

Stanley June 29, 2009, 12:46 PM

People who claim that just because something is illegal it shouldn’t be done are simply stupid. Slavery was once legal. Killing your wife if you caught her cheating was once legal. If the law is so strict that it can’t be questioned by the actual practice of the citizens, then it is no longer law but dictatorship. The people say legalize marijuana, and the people are the real law.

Stephanie June 29, 2009, 12:47 PM

There are MANY things that used to be illegal that we now look at and say “its such a shame that used to be illegal. Imagine living during a time like that…”

Marijuana will someday be one of those things.

nic June 29, 2009, 12:49 PM

Im the type that holds the door for old ladies assist them in carrying groceries, to EVERYONE I say pleases and thank you, I tip my hat to farmers on the road help friends move apts NEVER in my life have I stolen or harmed ANYONE, yet I get busted with a joint and cant get a job a 2nd grader could do..its sad. LEGALIZE IT

Joshua June 29, 2009, 12:50 PM

It annoys the heck out of me that AOL put this under “Unhealthy headlines”.

Okie June 29, 2009, 12:50 PM

Good Grief, legalize it already. Our prisons are full of non-violent offenders and billions of dollars of revenue are being spent to keep them there. What a bunch of wimpy hypocrites we have for lawmakers who don’t see that legal drugs, i.e. alcohol and tobacco are far more harmful than this herb.

jayandtiti June 29, 2009, 12:52 PM

I love the “hippie burn-out” thing. i can’t help but smile. Ignorant and stereo-typical. Why are we acting like this is some new “fad” people around the world have been smoking and eating pot for CENTURIES. Most of the founding fathers of our country grew and used pot. The CONSTITUTION is written on HEMP. The only reason it is illegal is William Randolph Hearst who(being a timber baron) pushed for the timber/paper industries take over of paper production for money by DEMONIZING it with propaganda like “Reefer Madness” then the pharmicutical companies got involved don’t want them losing money…and the stereo-type of the “burn-out hippie” was born in the 60’s. again, Michael Phelps smoked pot(and apologized only after being caught) the Govanator Arnold smoked…good buddies with G.W. and yes even Obama has smoked…but he’s the leader of the free world right? none of these pot smoking idiots can do anything productive right? put it to a VOTE OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IT WILL BE LEGAL TOMORROW.

Jay June 29, 2009, 12:52 PM

Just because you legalize Marijuana doesnt mean people are going to grow it. I can grow cilantro but dont….its available at the grocery store. Its easier to buy it than grow it. Who has the time? I say legalize it, tax it and move on. I’ve been smoking for years and I have no side effects. I’m actually in the best shape of my life. I NEVER get sick (flu, colds, coughs etc…) and I have friends that say the same thing. THC has benefits that have yet to be explored. Cigarettes on the other hand is more deadly than any illegal drug found today. It kills more people than Cocaine, Meth and Heroin combined…AND ITS LEGAL! WHY? Because big corporate lobbying contributes millions to the politicians. They feed an industry as well as the ER. Health Insurance is ridicules for smokers. And for those that say Pot is a substitute for cigarettes…I can smoke 20 cigarettes in a day. 20 joints? No way!


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