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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
CRKSR June 29, 2009, 9:04 AM

Why do you have to refer to these addicts as “Mothers”. After all, they are other things aside from mothers. They are wives, teachers, lawyers, prostitutes, etc. You could refer to them as women addicts, period.

brooks June 29, 2009, 9:04 AM

dopes for dopes..i pity your kids they should be taken away from you nitwits

Anonymous June 29, 2009, 9:04 AM


redeye June 29, 2009, 9:08 AM

Marijuana is a plant, not a drug. Drugs are manufactured. How many times have you heard about a marijuana lab being busted? God put the plant on his earth for his children to use. Its a shame that we have people in government who do not understand that the #1 problem we face in this country is “abuse”. Abuse of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, cannot be controlled by laws, only by the people who are doing the abusing. In instead of prosecution, we need to tax marijuana, sell at ABC stores to citizens over 21, with all profits directed to treatment programs that are directed at helping the abusers (alcohol, tobacco, drugs). By legalizing, the price would drop and make smuggling no worth the risk. It would also take away from gangs, a major fund raiser. Win,Win

Anonymous June 29, 2009, 9:09 AM

Are these people kidding themselves? The effects of marijuana are staggering and these women are care-givers to small children. The natural chemical balance of the brain is disrupted affecting the pleasure centers and regulatory systems. The ability to learn, remember and adapt quickly to changes is impaired by marijuana use. Depression often occurs with marijuana usage, which feeds into the cycle of more drug use to treat the pain created by drug use. This cycle of addiction is very powerful and users soon find that they cannot stop using the drug even if they want to. Stop deluding yourselves - you are drug addicts! Get help!

undercover smoker June 29, 2009, 9:11 AM

cigerettes are legal and they are full of chemicals that are very harmful to the body. weed is all natural. alcohol is legal and everyday you hear about someone killing someone or doing very stupid stuff while under the influence. how often do you hear about someone killing someone while high. people smoke and sit down and mellow out but yet it is illegal and alcohol is sold everywhere you yes i do think it should be legalized.

Dana June 29, 2009, 9:12 AM

Hey, what the hell, we should legalize cocaine and LSD as well, When I can’t deal with life, I turn to drugs. I rationalize it by telling myself others do it, and if others do it, it’s not REALLY breaking the law… its not as bad a drinking my life away right? If the government just legalized everything, we would spend less money enforcing rules, could tax everything, and life would be easy! I mean, alcohol is legal and you barely hear of people killing other people under the influence while driving! Legalizing mary jane would allow more people to use it, and of these people, all of them would be responsible users and not get behind the wheel of a car! So no problems there! What an awesome groupthink this has been guys and gals! Mama’s proud! Such a nation we’re going to build!!

cassi June 29, 2009, 9:13 AM

i smoke myself and we do need to cash in on this crop our economy would florish from the money income . i have never passed out like beer or alcohol makes you do it relaxes me i say smoke it if you got it

Noel Lynne Figart June 29, 2009, 9:14 AM

My drug of choice is caffeine, followed closely by the occasional appletini, so I don’t really have a dog in this fight.

That said, laws against marijuana are idiotic. The substance is no worse than alcohol, and should be used responsibly the same way.

J June 29, 2009, 9:14 AM

Smoking pot with your children present, can lead to them using, and lead them to harder drugs. A freind did just that and her and her daughter just got arrested for trafficing Herion. 20 yrs old and that young girl hadn’t a chance. Be careful what you preach and even more careful what you teach your children!

sweetfly June 29, 2009, 9:16 AM

Regarding the idiotic comment from the person that said legalizing pot wont help the economy because people will just grow their own .

Uh , are you stoned ? People can grow their own right now but the vast , vast majority still go to someone else for their pot . I have been smoking pot for almost thirty years and I have never grown it and out of all the people I have met in my 30 years of smoking pot I would guess no more than 2% were growers .

Also , by your logic why do supermarkets carry tomatoes , lettuce , and grapes ? After all , we can all grow those as well .

Finally , this article did not surprise me . It is getting to the point where smoking pot is no longer some teenaged hippie thing . People born in the mid 60`s and later are most likely people that have grown up with pot in their neighborhoods , schools , and social circles . In other words , pot is normal to most people now . The adults in suburbia are still smoking pot , they just arent cruising the malls on friday nights anymore . Instead they are blowing a bone and going over their portfolios .

anonomys June 29, 2009, 9:17 AM

no one has died from smoking weed, how many have died from drinking alchahol? i approve of weed smoking. not of drinking alchahol.

jayandtiti June 29, 2009, 9:19 AM

I am very happy to see more and more Americans comming out in support of the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana in America. I’m sorry to say old folks and boomers, but Gen-x is taking over and we are not influenced by your tyrannical and arcaic view of marijuana, sorry that you were stigmatized by “refer madness” but you can’t think for yourselves. you’ve ruined this country with greed and the “me” philosophy. have you ever heard of pot heads killing for their drug? no. can’t say the same for alcohol. for those of you still believing pot is a “gateway drug” sorry that was killed years ago…if anything is a gateway drug it IS alcohol. alcohol is the most destructive substance KNOWN to man. prescription drugs are the MOST addictive drugs in the world, and the dr’s that prescribe them don’t know how to ween their patients off them resulting in far more addicts than pot. fact is pot smokers DO NOT shown signs of addiction or withdrawl if they decide to quit,unlike EVERY other intoxicating drug known to man. the untapped billions in marijuana are about to be shown to you, the MEDICINAL aspects..evrything from appetite stimulation to relief of anxiety, ENVIRONMENTAL…popular mechanics once boasted over 25,000 environmentally friendly products could be derived from pot, not to mention replacing trees as the main source for paper since it grows at what 100x’s the rate of trees?(being it can grow EVERY year) and recreational….some of us don’t the the effects of alcohol, the dizziness the sickness and blackouts the morning after and a hundred other reasons, and ADULT americans need to be allowed to make their own choice. decriminalize and legalize….put it to a vote of the American people it WILL BE LEGAL TOMORROW,leave the politicians ivnolved it’ll take longer. again old folks and boomers your time is up, Gen-x is taking over and WE are going to change this country for the betterment of us all.

Barby Young June 29, 2009, 9:19 AM

I believe pot should be legal for adults and should fall under the same restrictions as alchohol. No I’m not a toker.

georgia June 29, 2009, 9:20 AM

I support legalization…. pot is much easier on the body than alcohol. Alcohol sometimes leads to violence in the home…pot on the other hand does not. I grew up around daily smokers which included doctors, professors, teachers and other responsible people in the community. People will continue to smoke whether it is legal or not.

Barbara June 29, 2009, 9:21 AM

I have never felt the need to use pot, or alcohol let alone harder drugs. If someone wants to smoke pot, as long as they do it in their own home, not out driving it is their own business (pot). But, at the same time, I do believe for SOME people it can be a gateway drug, because I have seen and heard too many state that their drug use began with pot. Alcohol is truly something that will destroy lives, it sneaks up on people—the need for it—uncontrollable after a certain does harder drugs as Meth, cocaine, etc….who is to determine what persons are at risk for not being able to control their own use and then into harder drugs… In our own “self-illusions” we convince it couldn’t happen to “me”.I have experience with a loved one who says she started out with pot—it became not enough to achieve the desired effect, moved into really destructive types of drugs and lost everything and nearly her life to her addiction. Perhaps MOST people wouldn’t find themselves in that situation, but if it does happen, it becomes a families worst nightmare. I have listened to many who claim pot was what got them where they were..with really bad drugs—who is truly capable of declaring what they say is inaccurate? This may be a small section of people, but still…for them it was reality. I guess in some ways it may only matter to those who have faced the reality of either alcoholism or drug addiction. Many won’t, but many will… I can only speak for what happened within my own family. No disrespect to anyone meant…just relating my own family experience. For me, it just isn’t something I want to be around, or have to worry if my loved one will lose the ability to control their use or worse yet, moving into something that is so destructive. I think anything that causes chemical changes within the brain isn’t a good thing. Be it alcohol, pot, other drugs, or cigarettes. The addiction part of the brain is deep seated within the brain, that is why it is so hard for smokers to stop cigarettes. I don’t really KNOW, but I do know what I have witnessed. Again, no disrespect meant to anyone for thier choices….

linda June 29, 2009, 9:22 AM

I’m over 60 and would love legalization before I die, its all true, mari jane over alcohol, other “drugs”, including tobacco, lets not put more tax on tobacco and not alcohol A nice quality and legal, taxable joint. YES

Anonymous June 29, 2009, 9:31 AM

All the people on here that refered to pot smokers as addicts are just flat out idiots! Yes, we like to smoke but in an instant we could quit without having withdrawal symptoms. I am a pot smoking momma, but I only smoke when my child has gone to sleep for the night….I DO NOT see a problem with that! LEGALIZE IT!!!! Is there a petition we can sign and send to Obama?

Leah June 29, 2009, 9:31 AM

Sure…smoke dope, take a pill…do anything to avoid responsibility. Heaven forbid you should learn to cope with life … the old fashion way. By using your head and doing the right thing!

Hmmmm June 29, 2009, 9:32 AM

I hear what Chris and Pamela are saying, HOWEVER lots of things a portion of the population are predisposed to being addicted to are legal, like sex, food, alcohol, and gambling. You name it someone’s ‘addicted’ to it. I am sorry that you and your sister had a hard time with drugs Chris, but that’s not the norm for the majority of the population, and the majority rules. We shouldn’t deprive people of their rights because of the inability of the minority to control their urges otherwise everything would be illegal. What most people here are saying is that the majority of users are responsible functioning citizens who want our authorities, people we elect to office not rule us, spending their time and our money fighting real crime. Yes Pamala, it’s illegal, so was alcohol,certain religions, admitting your gay, women wearing pants,inter-racial relationships simply a plethora of things accepted now which were illegal before. How did we achieve that? People stood up and broke the law, spoke out for their family members who are gay or cross-dressers. That’s how we get things done. WE stand up and the people say this is something we want changed because we don’t want to be punished for this anymore. Marijuana is no more a gateway drug than cigarettes, over the counter drugs, alcohol or the meds your doc provides for pain which the majority of people are able to use responsibly. Either you are predisposed to be an abuser or you’re not. Either way, making it illegal has only stopped a small portion of the population from using it so why have an ineffective law that costs us millions when clearly the majority thinks it’s bogus? You don’t punish/impede everyone because some people are incapable of controlling themselves. Breaking a reasonable law, a law the majority of citizens agree with, like rape or child abuse, will have us all in a tizzy, but when it comes to marijuana, let’s face it MOST people think it’s OK and should be legalized. Don’t forget it was frowned upon to be Catholic, Mormon, Baptist, Protestant, Jewish, & Muslim once. People break the law to fight a stigma all the time. It’s how we get things done. How else could we do it?

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