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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
Patrick Osio June 24, 2009, 2:43 PM

How cute - thousands are being killed in Mexico attempting to stop drug cartels from bringing their poison into the US - those cute little moms using weed are providing the funding for purchasing of guns used to kill real people, bribing officials in both the US and Mexico - but hey, so what - everyone knows that drug users don’t hurt anyone. How about when it comes time to explain to your kids about why you use drugs say to them that you aided and abetted the wholesale killings of people - children, fathes, mothers - and aided in providing a foothold to drug cartels in American cities.

David June 24, 2009, 2:55 PM

Pot is virtually impossible to get in my neck of the woods … y’all who have a supply/supplier relatively close at hand are fortunate! I do hope that nothing bad happens on the watch of a parent who is stonged.

LibertyLady77 June 24, 2009, 2:58 PM

Patrick, the drug cartels using cannabis as a cash cow is only an issue because of Prohibition. Considering the legality of alcohol and cigarettes, cannabis should also be legal. It’s the epitome of hypocrisy. Much like many police officers who themselves are not held accountable to the law which they do vigorously enforce. It’s about time for a more rational and logical approach to cannabis.

LibertyLady77 June 24, 2009, 3:01 PM

This article is lacking focus on the healthier methods of cannabis usage… Mainly vaporization and ingestion. The latter is more difficult because dosage can be tricky for a novice. However, vaporization provides all of the herb’s benefits with none of the negatives that are associated with combustible smoke inhalation.

Dennis June 24, 2009, 3:03 PM

Well now it’s not illegal if you live where they have legalized it for medical use and you have a legit canabus club card now is it? Problem solved. EVERYONE SMOKE! ;)

smokin mama June 24, 2009, 3:08 PM

I love this article! We need people to speak out like this. We need to put a face on the “pot smoker” so that the stereotypes can’t persist. We need to let our President and other Representatives know that we want legalization.

JG June 24, 2009, 3:33 PM

Blah blah blah, yeah it’s illegal. There’s 8 million laws on the books in this country. Tell me you’re not breaking one of them.

Onward, through the fog.

Kelly June 24, 2009, 3:41 PM

LOL, I find it hilarious that there are people that think that we should just sit back and do nothing if there is an unfair or unjust law. Maybe we should have told that to all those that participated in the Boston tea party, but maybe then we would still be a bunch of English colonies. Maybe we should have told that to Rosa Parks and she could have given her seat to that man. or maybe to everyone that participated in the civil rights movement or maybe the womens rights movement. Of course you should break unjust laws. It is the duty of the people to break unfair or unjust laws so that one day those laws may be changed.


JK June 24, 2009, 3:45 PM

I don’t smoke pot, but I don’t really care if other people do, as long as it’s not around me. I really can’t stand the smell: I think it smells disgusting. I can’t stand smoke anyway, whether it’s from a joint or a cigarette. That’s why I wouldn’t want marijuana legalized—people would be doing it out in public and stinking up the place.

momma June 24, 2009, 3:46 PM

hell yes! i’m also a mama that enjoys smoking - it helps me wind down too. now if it were only ‘legal’
someday it will be damnit! someday!!!

Anonymous June 24, 2009, 3:48 PM

Martin Luther King, in his famous “Letter from the Birmingham Jail,” called on all Americans to actively but peacefully oppose laws that were morally wrong. King wrote:

“There are just laws and there are unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that an unjust law is no law at all… One who breaks an unjust law must do it openly, lovingly…I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.”

Amy June 24, 2009, 4:05 PM

I am so so impressed that people are being so open minded about this. It’s nice to see! I don’t do it myself, however I have in my younger days and who knows if I came across the opportunity and the time was right, I probably would take a little hit and have some laughs! I don’t judge anyone who is responsible about it, more power to ya.
I wonder what legalizing it would entail and if it was, would it be better for us, more like medicinal stuff? That would be nice. I know that sounds a little ignorant but I don’t know how that would work!

Aquahaze June 24, 2009, 4:47 PM

I am SO glad to read this article. I don’t admit to my smoking to anyone but my closest friends who smoke too. It has helped me remain objective and stable when dealing with some of the most stressful issues in my life, and has allowed me to be able to be a productive citizen when the pain from 3 tumors in my uterus becomes too much to bear. I’m a regular contributor to the Marijuana Policy project for this very reason. Thank you so much!

oneofmany June 24, 2009, 4:55 PM

For many people in this country cannabis is a safe, legal alternative to many dangerous drugs. No drug cartels are supported by my growing my own cannabis for my medical use.
The drug cartels are supported by prohibition. For more information check out this site: www.mamas.org

oneofmany June 24, 2009, 4:55 PM

For many people in this country cannabis is a safe, legal alternative to many dangerous drugs. No drug cartels are supported by my growing my own cannabis for my medical use.
The drug cartels are supported by prohibition. For more information check out this site: www.mamas.org

FredaMae June 24, 2009, 5:02 PM

Cannabis Is Medicine whether you use it to offset the horrible side effects from Chemo or to ease stress.

I am a “Marijuana Mama” for 35 years and I can still think, talk and hold an intellectual conversation :)

If you want to know just how good this efficacious alternative herbal medicine is, please visit this website for MedCanna patients in Oregon

Medical Cannabis Informational Library
http://www.oregongreenfree.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&f=110&page=1&pp=20&sort=lastpost&order=desc&daysprune=-1

Thanks for doing this!

my best,
fm

Stephanie June 24, 2009, 5:25 PM

I love this!!! I too am a closet smoker mom. I’m glad to see that I am not singled out. It’s hard to think that you aren’t singled out with everyone hiding it. Thank you mom logic for writing this article, and thank you to all of the moms that spoke up. Maybe together we can become a united voice.

anonymouse June 24, 2009, 6:08 PM

I support legalisation. The government could tax it and make quite a pretty penny off of it. And regulate it to make sure it’s safe, and people of a certain age are smoking it (some are saying 18).

I know several ‘Marijuana Mamas’ who are very successful in life and just use it to wind down or have some fun when the kids are away (friends, neighbors, camp, school event, etc).

December June 24, 2009, 6:13 PM

I can’t say anything for the soccermoms, but the ANTI-soccermoms like myself fully support this.

Mrs. D June 24, 2009, 6:20 PM

Interesting comment about the person addicted to prescription pain pills who doesn’t think it is a big deal that her son smokes pot. She is an addict and so is he. Just like there are alcoholics in the world. However the people who can imbibe in moderation are way better off with marijuana than anything else. Legal prescription drugs are the real problem in our society. Anyone hear of Oxycontin. It leads to heroin addiction because heroin is cheaper and easier to get a hold of.


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