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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
Anonymous June 24, 2009, 6:53 PM

I think ALL drugs should be legal. Pot to calm you down and cocaine to give you the energy you need to get through the day. That’s the same for all uppers and/or downers. I say live and let live!

Mel June 24, 2009, 7:21 PM

Wow, I cant believe all the illegal pot heads on here and you actually have children. They must be so proud watching mom and dad purchase their little baggies on the street corner. So if pot becomes legal for everyone whats next, mamma smoking on the crack pipe seriosly you people are distubing. Oh, and great role models!

chris June 24, 2009, 7:48 PM

Thank you Mel…I thought my response was going to be the only one against this!

FredaMae June 24, 2009, 8:10 PM

Dear Mel and Chris,

What Science Tells Us:
1. Cannabis Is NOT a Drug!
2. Cannabis is NOT Physically Addicting.
3. Cannabis is NOT a Gateway Drug.
4. Smoked Cannabis (tho they tried) Does NOT cause Cancer, it actually Protects Cells from mutation.
5. Cannabis is an Efficacious Herbal Alternative Medicine.

Stop Lying About Cannabis!

Part I

The DEA’s ALJ Francis L. Young says:

” 4. Nearly all medicines have toxic, potentially lethal
effects. But marijuana is not such a substance. There is no record in
the extensive medical literature describing a proven, documented
cannabis-induced fatality.

- 56 -

5. This is a remarkable statement. First, the record on
marijuana encompasses 5,000 years of human experience. Second, marijuana
is now used daily by enormous numbers of people throughout the world.
Estimates suggest that from twenty million to fifty million Americans
routinely, albeit illegally, smoke marijuana without the benefit of
direct medical supervision. Yet, despite this long history of use and
the extraordinarily high numbers of social smokers, there are simply no
credible medical reports to suggest that consuming marijuana has caused a
single death.

6. By contrast aspirin, a commonly used, over-the-counter
medicine, causes hundreds of deaths each year.

7. Drugs used in medicine are routinely given what is called
an LD-50. The LD-50 rating indicates at what dosage fifty percent of
test animals receiving a drug will die as a result of drug induced
toxicity. A number of researchers have attempted to determine
marijuana’s LD-50 rating in test animals, without success. Simply
stated, researchers have been unable to give animals enough marijuana to
induce death.

8. At present it is estimated that marijuana’s LD-50 is around
1:20,000 or 1:40,000. In layman terms this means that in order to induce
death a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times as
much marijuana as is contained in one marijuana cigarette. NIDA-supplied
marijuana cigarettes weigh approximately .9 grams. A smoker would
theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within
about fifteen minutes to induce a lethal response.
9. In practical terms, marijuana cannot induce a lethal
response as a result of drug-related toxicity.”

http://www.druglibrary.org/Schaffer/LIBRARY/studies/YOUNG/young4.html

Sherry(the real one..haha) June 24, 2009, 8:27 PM

I am also a ganja-ma….and have been for a really long time now. I love when things like this are brought to the surface so ALL voices can be heard. The ones that approve and even the ones that do not approve. We are all entitled to an opinion and it is a shame our own government has taken away that very right!

Pamala June 24, 2009, 9:19 PM

It’s hilarious how people try to justify their illegal behavior. More power to you. If a law is unjust you don’t break it to make it legal. You work to make it legal through legal channels, the courts, legislation, etc.

Keep telling yourselves that you guys aren’t bad parents. Keep telling yourselves it’s not a drug. More power to you.

madmatt6773 June 24, 2009, 9:40 PM

Hello ladies, 52% of you polled smoke mj? Wow! I’m disappointed. But not for smoking something I’ve had a 34 year love affair with myself. I disappointed that you’re not much more vocal about it. If that 52% figure is accurate then you are the majority, so why is mj still illegal? I don’t hide my use from anyone and you shouldn’t have to either. One of the reasons that the discussion on ending marijuane prohibition has been taboo and most politicians think it’s political suicide is because they think most Americans (voters) are against legalizing pot. We all need to be more open about our use and let the pols know we are now the majority and not the reefer madness prohibitionists. If tokers and those sympathetic to our cause really are the majority we can win this battle. Let your voices be heard! Please!



Dale June 25, 2009, 1:57 AM

It’s time to legalize marijuana. Having stupid laws on the books generates disrespect for all laws, and even more so for law enforcement officials. We need to stop wasting money on enforcing outdated laws regarding marijuana. We need to stop wasting lives on that, people are getting killed for no reason. Smoking marijuana is not immoral, and telling people they shouldn’t do it because it’s illegal is ridiculous. Just think where we would all be now if no one had ever fought against stupid laws.

Erin June 25, 2009, 2:20 AM

I think using any substance - alcohol, marijuana, whatever - with the reasoning of it making you more calm, etc. and therefore a better parent is questionable, because it fails to address the root causes of why someone is so tense, depressed, angry etc. to begin with, in order that such a substance is ‘needed’. What I see here is a lot of people putting their hopes in the band-aid for the problem rather than the cure.

Furthermore I don’t think it should be legalized, because not only are there many practical problems with such a plan, we also fail to address the fact that while, yes, there may be some people in our society who feel they can responsibly use substances, there are still others who do not have that same level of understanding and we put them at risk…aka, children. How sad is it that we as a society would rather put our own desires before the best interests of others? Sounds pretty selfish.

No wonder drug use can be considered ‘good parenting’ in this sort of context.

Anonymous June 25, 2009, 6:27 AM

While I understand that medically there is a use for pot, my big problem with everyone else who uses it without a doctor prescription is that they are doing it illegally and to me that makes them criminals. Try and justify it any way that you want to but no agruement that you make can makeup for that fact that you’re no different then drug addicted out on the corner getting your next fix.

FredaMae June 25, 2009, 7:42 AM

“While I understand that medically there is a use for pot, my big problem with everyone else who uses it without a doctor prescription is that they are doing it illegally and to me that makes them criminals. Try and justify it any way that you want to but no agruement that you make can makeup for that fact that you’re no different then drug addicted out on the corner getting your next fix.
- Anonymous”
Your concerns are Only Relative to “ink on paper”. An UN-Just set of Laws, Rules and Policies that were created more than 70 years ago Without ANY Factual Justification.
See: The Devil Weed and Harry Anslinger

http://www.csdp.org/publicservice/anslinger.htm

Ah, A Set Of Laws Based Upon Fear, Racism and Greed.

Voila, Welcome to The Realities Of Cannabis Prohibition!

The Most Common Sense Approach, since there seems a LACK of Credible Evidence of Any Harm Caused to Self, The Public and Society in General by an ordinary person Using Cannabis, is to CHANGE THE DAMN LAWS!

The Most Dangerous Element Surrounding The Use Of Cannabis Are The Laws, Rules and Policies That Govern The Use Of Cannabis!

What kind of Messages Are WE Sending To Our Kids When WE Allow For Such Massive Fiscal Waste By Funding LEO To Search For Cannabis Consumers To Prosecute?

By Diverting Funding Away From Schools We Fuel The Prison Industrial Complex.

Cannabis Eradication Programs/Prohibition Costs Us More Than $10,000,00,000.00 ANNUALLY.

Are You Any Safer? Are You Getting Any Return On Investment (ROI) For You Tax Dollars?

Federally DE-Schedule Cannabis!





Anonymous June 25, 2009, 7:53 AM

Oh FredaMae - you want to talk about the message we’re sending our kids about govt’ waste…you should start first with the waste of money that Obama is doing to our children and their children. Talk about the waste of money that goes to all of the illegal aliens in our country and how we as “americans” have to pay for their education and medical treatments. Why even when they break our laws, we put them in our laws instead of sending them back to their own country. Talk about bailing out our banks, GM, home mortage companies, etc…There are SO many issues that people should stand up against, with pot being at the bottom of that list. Like I said if a doctor is willing to give you a prescription them by all means smoke it but not everyone who smokes it has a medical reason to do it.

FredaMae June 25, 2009, 8:02 AM

Oh, “Anonymous”,
By Stopping the “leak” of $10,000,000,000.00 Annually? Thats A LOWEST Priority?

I think Saving $10Billion Is One Hell Of A Good Start. You focus upon the Issue, rather than the Waste VS. Savings!

You Are correct that Cannabis Prohibition Is NOT the Only Wasted Funding, But It IS A Huge UN-Necessary Expenditure.

Knows What's Up June 25, 2009, 9:42 AM

Pamela- good job assuming children are so simple minded and not capable of understanding anything besides what you put in front of them on Nickelodeon, but your boiling things down so simply for philosophical purposes, while trite, does provide some merit. So I ask you if you had a child that was sick and needed some kind of medicine that was too expensive for you to buy, but this medicine was the only thing between your child and living. You’re telling me if you had the opportunity you wouldn’t steal it? The truth is the world is full of circumstance, and awe and wonder one mind alone will never know. Who and what are we to think we can dictate to others when we don’t know their circumstance, or story. To each his own my friends. To each his own.

Mia June 25, 2009, 9:46 AM

This article was very interesting to me for several reasons…I feel people should be given the freedom of choice to use marijuana. No one ever died from an overdose of marijuana and needing a marijuana fix has never caused someone to rob a bank or a loved one’s wallet, unlike prescription drugs.

Marijuana unlike alcohol will not cause me to make bad decisions or do stupid stuff like have sex with strangers.

And the BIGGEST reason pot should be legalized is not so we can smoke it…but for the literally thousands of uses of marijuana. Here are a few that you probably didn’t know about:
- Can be used in place of paper products - it takes mj trees a lot less time to grow, and can be harvested faster than a forest of trees, so it is good for the environment.
- can be used as a concrete material - one that is stronger and more environmentally-friendly.
- can be used to make more environmentally-friendly clothes - say good-bye to sweat shops & child labor in Singapore and similar places around the globe!
- Oils from seeds have medicinal properties
- medicinal properties of meds make it an excellent alternative to pills for pain associated with Cancers, nerve disorders, etc…and added bonus: the chemo that makes cancer patients feel ill can be combatted by mj, enabling these patients to eat again without vomiting.
- can be utilized in a lot of different construction materials - often times more stronger too
- can help our american farmers who are losing $ and their homes every yr
- Excellent alternative to prescription pills that often have negative side effects that are worse than mj
- doesn’t make you angry and want to fight like alcohol tends to do for a lot of ppl
- We could save a ton of $$ on legal fees, court fees, putting mj users/dealers in jail…I hear all the time of over-crowding of jails and lack of state funding for prisons - couldn’t decriminalizing pot remedy some of these problems???

tara June 25, 2009, 10:12 AM

Any mom who smokes pot to feel better may feel kinda bad knowing the Mexican government is in crisis, dead bodies are piling up along the border, and lives are ruined growing and transporting this illegal product. These high moms literally have blood on their hands. Pot is not beer. Beer is made legally by workers, many who are unionized and have health insurance. Pot is grown illegally, and everyone who grows it and transports it does so with great risk to their families lives. Until it’s legal and regulated, moms who smoke pot deserve to face the same punishments their suppliers do.

skyebaby June 25, 2009, 10:15 AM

I am concerned that this article does not mention any side effects of smoking pot or health dangers. Despite what some people think, there are real dangers. It effects memory and cognitive functioning in the long run, for example. And as far as having less calories than beer, yeah, but what about the amount of calories you consume when the munchies hit?

Anonymous June 25, 2009, 10:16 AM

While I’m not a mother yet, I am a married woman who smokes. I will probably be a marijuana mama myself when the time comes! As someone who smokes responsibly, I find it amusing that anyone would be outraged over this story. Marijuana is a mild drug, and used responsibly it is certainly no worse than alcohol. Over the years, I’ve been surprised to find out just how many people I know smoke, and they live completely normal lives. It’s a shame that there is such a stigma associated with it. I am fully for the legalization of marijuana (and so is my mother!). The outrage over parents who smoke is silly and misplaced. Marijuana is not the cause of neglect, addiction, or gateways to harder drugs.

Dr. Steve Brule June 25, 2009, 11:22 AM

Great article. It’s nice to see a positive drug story rather then an unfounded fear-mongering, myth based article founded on illogical social stigma and bad science.

Philip June 25, 2009, 11:28 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.

- Shelly
Posted 06/24/09 11:08 AM

Shelley, by not incarcerating people for possessing marijuana or growing for their own consumption your local and state economies would benefit. No more wasting money on prohibition which has proven before(alcohol) and now with marijuana that it does not work. How much money has your state wasted by jailing people for possession of an ounce or less of a naturally growing plant. How much money is spent on expensive prescription medications for migraines, depression and other maladies that can be served by growing a natural cure at home. Its not all about what the government can collect in taxes.


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