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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
Joanne June 29, 2009, 6:46 AM

Stupid moms making stupid choices, enough said.

terri June 29, 2009, 6:52 AM

Hell, I hope these women are not driving with their children in the car! Delayed reflexes could kill them AND other innocent people! This is the most stupid article I have read to date on AOL! Many people are “misdiagnosed” with Bi-Polar because they do not tell their doctors that they use! Severe mood swings are side effect of smoking marajuana, so what are these poor children going thru when mom IS NOT HIGH???

ycav4424 June 29, 2009, 6:56 AM

This isn’t anything new, it has always been this way. Just like always, the only people that don’t get it or anything else are the people who make the rules. We have a lot of stupid people running our lives and futures.

MLM June 29, 2009, 7:11 AM

There seem to be a few people who think that pot is a “gateway drug”. I’m sorry, but YOU make the choice to try the harder things, not the pot. It is the only “drug” I have ever used, and would use. It’s a plant, not a bunch of chemicals mixed together. I am so glad to know I am not alone in being a marijuana mommy! Those who have never used really have no educated opinion on this and a few of the people who are putting down what we do obviously would rather drink their cares away. Word to the drinkers- Pot doesn’t stain the carpet or ruin electrical devices when you spill it, nor do you get a hangover from it, but if you like that sick feeling then good for you. Lighten up (or maybe light up), and worry about what you do, good chance a few people close to you smoke and you’re not even aware of it!

Linda June 29, 2009, 7:13 AM

If it weren’t around, I would not have been successful raising my now 22 year-old and 14 year-old without losing my sanity. It is truly “Mothers Little Helper”.

Anne June 29, 2009, 7:18 AM

I used to smoke a lot of pot. I’ve been clean just about 9 years now. I hold a strict don’t do it on my time or in my space stance on any kind of illegal drugs. I quit weed cause it was killing me and making me stupid, but I was definitely not using the rule of moderation.

That said, if it was legalized it would be fantastic for the economy. But it’d still be something to regulate and it would still cost the government money. Further, smoking cigarettes is nasty smelling but pot smells worse. Not to mention the fact that breathing in the smoke causes the effect. What happens if it’s legal and people are standing around in the street on a smoke break. Their cloud of smoke floats along and anyone who has to walk through it ends up with the chemicals in their system too.

It’s also worse for the lungs than cigarettes. One joint does the damage of three to four tobacco cigarettes.

Anonymous June 29, 2009, 7:20 AM

I do not condone of using any alcohol nor marijuana either. Is it to be a good way to model as a MOM to teach your kids by smoking and drinking?How this society is going to be liked?

Anonymous June 29, 2009, 7:21 AM

legalize it- it’s a plant. It is far less harmful than alcohol.

Anonymous June 29, 2009, 7:22 AM

Legalization is key. Save those billions of dollars(jail/prison time, search and seizure, propaganda, etc.)wasted on marijuana and use them for the stuff that is really killing our society (e.g., crack, meth). And teach responsible use of alcohol, marijuna…teach moderation-in everything!!

Toni June 29, 2009, 7:24 AM

I to am a middle aged pot smoker. I’ve been smoking for a long time. Never once dd I use the money for groceries to buy some instead of feeding my family. Never once did I leave my child alone to go score some. Never once did I throw my newborn in the trash cuz I did’nt know what I was doing.Never once did I beat my children so severly that they died. Never once did I cause a reck and kill a whole family. So with that I say leave us potsmokers alone and lets concentrate on drunk drivers, child abusers, crackheads, etc. Long live the happy go lucky smokers

Carol June 29, 2009, 7:27 AM

Why does this generation feel the need for a pill or a drug to feel good? Whatever happened to enjoying and appreciating the gifts we have been given, instead of focusing on our “anxieties”? Let’s deal with life without using pharmacokinetics - put your big girl panties on and deal with it. Gosh, what a bunch of wimps!!

thrilled June 29, 2009, 7:29 AM

Finally! A reasonable discussion regarding pot. It’s about time people realize that with responsible use (as in the case with alcohol) pot is not a dirty scary drug that ruins people’s lives. So many people lead responsible lives as caring parents and valued members of their community and are pot smokers as well. It’s time to legalize. Great positive posts everyone!

WiccanMomof2 June 29, 2009, 7:30 AM

I am all for legalizing it. I used to smoke it all the time, but I pretty much quit because of the fear of random drug testing at work; now I am a stay at home mom who home schools, and I only smoke every once in a great while.

Do I want my kids to be potheads? Not really. But I am also not stupid. I remember what it was like to be a tween/teenager. Legalize it, tax it and use the money for good. People are going to smoke dope whether it is legal or not. Why not make some money off of it?

Brenda June 29, 2009, 7:32 AM

I’ve never smoked pot, but I drink beer at the end of a stressful day, and I’ve spent a significant amount of money on natural (legal) healthfood remedies that do not work. I think I would be a much better Mom if I wasn’t so stressed out. I think it’s ridiculous that this is illegal.

Tapestry June 29, 2009, 7:33 AM

I had Post Partum Depression for 2 years but I still took care of my children. I didn’t use drugs I used prayer. It doesn’t cost a dime to use and it certainly keeps your mental capacity in tact.
Marijuana slows down your reactions. I have seen drivers doing 10 mph down the freeway in Berkeley thinking they were doing the limit!
Children with mothers who do this are going to think its okay to use, that is poor example. Drugging an entire nation will make it the easiest take over in history!

joe kiker June 29, 2009, 7:41 AM

Pam says we should all obey the law even if we think the law is wrong…. Hey PAM, if the legislature of the United States of America passed a law that read we have to slap and spit on everybody named PAM, would you start spitting and slapping yourself, how about Nazi Germany law that stated destroy Jews, they all obeyed just like robotic law abiding citizens, was that a good thing to obey all of your countries laws regardless of what the implications are……… Where are you PAM, I am going to slap and spit on you! You will be OK with that as long as its the LAW!!!!!!!!!!! Also, smoking pot increases my awareness, because it heightens your senses, colors are brighter, wont run those red lights, enhanced means we are more alert, so actually most people would drive better, be more aware of their surroundings, able to notice danger, for ourselves and those around us. Go fugure, Alcohol on the other hand, blurs our senses, puts us in a I dont give a S attitude, who needs a condom, hwo cares how fast I am driving…….so drink up, cause the law says its OK….as long as your not above a what !.7 thats just drunk enough to drive home legally, whew I can legally drive drunk as long as I stay under designated drunk measurement thanks to the LAW……..

Ryan June 29, 2009, 7:42 AM

I’m not that surprised at this article actually. I’m in college and live with 6 roommates in a house and we live in a nice neighborhood. We have a 6 foot bong, gravity bong, smoke huge blunts… whatever it is and NONE of the neighbors care at all. I was nervous at first when we were in the back yard with a huge bong and everybody knows about it and nobody even cares. I am completely against other drugs, but weed is a whole different story.

Anonymous June 29, 2009, 7:44 AM

Teach us all how to be perfect like you Carol- please! I love how the high and mighty folks are judging us without knowing anything about us. We are your friends, we are your family members, and we function as well, if not better than a lot of you with your prescription drugs & alcoholism. Everyone, and I mean everyone has a vice. Alcohol was illegal at one time, and it’s killed more people and harmed too many families being legalized. You’ve never read in the headlines “Man on Pot Kills Family”, or of people dying from too much pot. Comedian Katt Williams said something I will never forget “You will never hear of anyone overdosing on pot.. Aspirin is perfectly legal, but if you take 13 of them, it will be your last headache” (paraphrased) Funny how an illegal thing like that is safer than most of the things you have in your house and consume on a regular basis. Think about that next time you’re at a restaurant and you order that mixed drink, or you go into your medicine cabinet and pop those pills your dr gave you.

Julie June 29, 2009, 7:45 AM

Yes some people can smoke pot and it leads to other things just like drinking alcohol leads to other things. There will always be the exceptions but I think over all pot does not lead to laziness, harder drugs or major addictions. The people who can’t stop at just pot have addictive personalities and will get addicted to things whether pot is legal or not. I say legalize it! It will help the economy and put focus on more serious crimes. It’s a win win situation the government just needs to take the stick out of their rears and get it over with!

terri June 29, 2009, 7:48 AM

To each his own..I know a lot of people who smoke it..but I feel it should be recreational, like alcohol, because you compromise your decision making when you are high. and as stated before, your reflexes are slower, so driving or operating machinery should not be done while under the influence! I used to smoke pot all the time when I was younger, I am not making uneducated comments. and then there is always the possibility you are not purchasing the pure plant! Who knows what it was dried with!? I have no problem with it being legalized, but I do not believe it should be used every day as an anti-anxiety drug. It causes more anxiety when the effects wear off, as does alcohol. You wouldn’t take a Xanix and get in a car to drive your children to soccer practice, would you? I certainly hope not.

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