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Marijuana Mamas!

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Gina Kaysen Fernandes: Is pot the new Pilates? 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 own 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 pot once or twice daily to relax. "I have a stressful job," she says. "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 age 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 herb. Sonia gets her stash from a medicinal marijuana clinic and takes comfort in knowing that 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," says Mary. She says she prefers smoking pot 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," she says.

The website surveyed hundreds of women nationwide between the ages of 25 and 60 years old. Out of that group, 52 percent admitted to using marijuana at least ten times a year. Twenty-seven percent smoked between one and seven times a week. And 78 percent of those women knew someone who got high on a regular basis.

The recent survey results are no surprise to Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). "These findings are indicative of women's willingness to admit to the social stigma that was so high in the 1970s and '80s," says St. Pierre.

Both women who shared their stories with momlogic say that many of their friends smoke weed. But while it seems like "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 therefore 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," she says. "I don't want him to feel marijuana is an evil thing." 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 pot 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 that 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.

The 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, despite the estimated $10 billion that law enforcement spends annually to enforce the outlawing of 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 found that more than 100 million Americans have tried pot at some point, and more than 14 million have 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," says Sonia. Mary believes that pot-smoking should be about personal choice, not politics. "I'm an adult and I make life or death decisions every day," she says. "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: The Argument for No-Gift Birthday Parties
57 comments so far | Post a comment now
Hadda April 20, 2010, 5:23 AM

Yes, they are definitely on the right track. I do it as well. Parenting is a tough job and smoking helps with the stress.

granny April 20, 2010, 5:32 AM

I’m a mom grandma and a closet smoker for over 40 years never did any other drug and never wanted to.. Pot got me through a lot of stress during my life and helped me be a better person.I don’t drink any alcohol so this was my cocktail at the end of the day.In moderation it seems more healing than any drug, legal or not,out there. Now in my twilight years its helps the aches and pains.

Jamie April 20, 2010, 5:37 AM

I am a marijuana mama. I make sure to do it responsibly. This article makes me feel better about doing so. I am recovering from depression, so it helps out a lot. Why they don’t want to legalize weed, i don’t know, but they should.

Shana April 20, 2010, 5:43 AM

I don’t agree. I feel that in life there are tough things you must deal with and learn to manage stress. These moms are just using stress as an excuse to smoke pot. If everyone in the world escaped their problems with weed…nothing would ever get accomplished.

carla April 20, 2010, 6:19 AM

I’m a mom and a grandma. I’m also a on and off closet marijuana smoker. Of course here it is illegal and I certainly doubt i’d be able to find a Dr. willing to prescribe it medically. I have dealt with depression and anxiety most of my life. I used to smoke as a teenager for the ‘buzz’, but I really don’t care if I get a buzz. I just do it for the relaxation. I have a problem 24 yr old daughter with a 4yr old daughter. I deal with her drama on a daily basis. She’s been in and out of jail and I take care of her child full time. I know when I feel it’s time to stop (usually after a few months). Then I’ll quit for several months. The main reason that I don’t stay on it is the guilt. The guilt I hear from oppositions towards marijuana. They make me feel so guilt about smoking. I hear all horror stories. I worry about getting busted. But I don’t see how they can compare it to alcohol. There have been more deaths related to drinking and driving. Not even driving, some have killed people during a drunken rage. I believe some day it will be legal all across the U.S., but not sure it will be in my lifetime. Thanks for the article.

Debbie April 20, 2010, 6:42 AM

I know plenty of people who get a lot done when smoking. It opens up their creativity and energy and makes them more enthusiastic and positive. I wonder if Shana thinks other (legal) chemical drugs are better for you, such as anti-depressants. Or wine?

TYC April 20, 2010, 6:52 AM

@ Shana
“These moms are just using stress as an excuse to smoke pot. If everyone in the world escaped their problems with weed…nothing would ever get accomplished.”

Where do you get that if someone uses cannabis that they become worthless? Do you think that Michael Phelps would have gotten even more gold medals if he had not smoked cannabis? Drop the reefer madness mindset. The country is saturated with cannabis…The number one cash crop in California and in the top three in 32 other states. It’s not going anywhere. I’m old enough to have seen a lot of pot smokers and alcoholics. Trust me, you never want to get around the alcoholics…they tend to be violent. Pot smokers, I can be around all day…and we get all of our chores done without any fussing!

Toke away, friends! Peace. Legalize.

brittany April 20, 2010, 6:55 AM

I think pot is fine and shouldbe legal. Though unlike most other people even the smell of it makes me have an anxiety attack. I have anxiety, depression, bipolar nos, and mild ocd. I still think its ok though, some people with these problems can only function in day to day life by smoking pot. I think it is a great drug. I think it should be legal but wih an age limit like ciggerets and alcohol. They are much worse then pot.

Marcie W. April 20, 2010, 6:57 AM

I am a marijuana mama! I am a responsible, hard working SAHM of 3 gorgeous kids. I choose to smoke nightly after my children are asleep only. I do not drive anywhere while high, nor did I smoke during either of my 3 pregnancies. My entire family knows I am a smoker, & they also know Im an amazing mother & wife.

My husband also smokes nightly. He works 50hrs a week, never takes a sick day, & makes over 50k a year for our family.

Shana - You would be surprised at the “closet smokers” in this country. Not everyone is your typical lazy, food scarfing, stoner of the 90s. Why this is taboo to you, but having 3-5 drinks at a bar & getting in a car to drive home is not? What about the mother popping valiums? Marijuana is natural, from the earth, not made in a factory with a million side effects. Educate yourself.

Marijuana is our generations prohibition, and believe me, it wont last much longer! LEGALIZE, EDUCATE, REGULATE, MEDICATE!

sharon April 20, 2010, 7:18 AM

As long as it is illegal parents should not be imbibing.

Erica April 20, 2010, 7:23 AM

You could not have said it better Marcie W!!!

Lynn April 20, 2010, 7:57 AM

It’s relieving to me to know I’m not the only one. A smoke helps take the edge off the line you don’t want to cross. Makes me want to play with my kiddo instead of getting mad about things that don’t really matter anyway.

Trish April 20, 2010, 8:30 AM

Ok, so smoking pot can relieve stress but cause LUNG CANCER?

KEV April 20, 2010, 8:34 AM

i find it telling the only ones against it are those who don’t use it. So what base of comparison do they use for their opinions? other people’s propaganda? no thanks. these women are on the right track and noone has any right to say they’re not. does it work for them? yes. does it create a more peaceful homelife? yes. (seen it firsthand). Good for them!!

sam April 20, 2010, 8:37 AM

these women are insane and a failure to themselves and their children. people who smoke pot always need to find a way to justify doing illegal drugs and these women have decided to use stress as an excuse. i suffer from depression and anxiety but i do not feel the need to do drugs to help myself. the belief that weed is harmless is false. all one has to do is look up the effects of weed on the internet. the truth is there. i hope they get caught and are appropriately punished and learn to deal with the stresses of life in a better, more appropriate way.

SS April 20, 2010, 9:10 AM

I don’t smoke at all and I’m not a fan of being around people when they’re high but I also don’t see how smoking marijuana to help with anxiety or depression is any different from taking Prozac, Xanax or Valium. Whatever gets you through the day. As long as it doesn’t take over your life or interfere with your ability to be a responsible human being then it’s ok with me.

Cathy-Anne April 20, 2010, 9:15 AM

Marcie W - so you don’t drive when your high? what if you put your 3 gorgeous kids to bed, or so you think, one gets up in the dark and falls and hits her head, needs to go to the ER and get stiches? how are you going to that when your high? people don’t worry about the “what ifs”. i’m shocked there are so many people agreeing with this article and so many parents that smoke pot. i hope for your (parents that smoke pot - or are doing anything to impair themselves) kids sake that you think of the what ifs before you get high. if you do it, do it when the kids are at a sleepover. grow up and worry about your children more than your “stressful job (excuse to smoke pot)”.

marijuanamama April 20, 2010, 9:17 AM

I have been a Marijuana Mama for the last 5 years. It helps me to relax after a long day and keep the stress level down. It has also helped w/ PPD. I am a full time mom of 3 and college student, and smoking hasn’t affected my life. I don’t let it get in the way. I don’t know yet how I will talk to my kids about it but it’s definitely better than drinking and other drugs. I would rather smoke a bowl than drink because I am still in control of myself if I am “stoned”. When I drink I don’t feel like myself. Thanks for addressing this issue, its nice to see I’m not the only one!

Sue Waddilove April 20, 2010, 9:34 AM

I am 53 and have fibromyalgia & Arthritis. I have 2 daughters and have never tried to hide it from them, just never smoked in front of them. When they got older they both tried it, the oldest went further w/ drugs but today neither one of them smoke it because it’s just not for them. But I still smoke it because it takes the pain away that I deal w/ on a daily basis. Mind U I only smoke it once in a while and it’s usually at night before I go to bed so I can fall asleep w/o pain.

BeckeyLee April 20, 2010, 10:24 AM


Have you never had a few drinks at a party or a glass of wine at the end of the day after the kids are asleep. A lot of people have, and by your argument it would be ok to drive your child to the ER after having had a few drinks, and we all know the effects of DUIs. If I smoked a little weed in the evening and something happened, I would have my husband,a friend, a neighbor drive me. Or if all else call an ambulance. Which I’m assuming anyone who had been drinking would choose one of the same options. As for myself, when I smoke, it’s not a stress reliever, it’s to enjoy myself, just as people who like to have a few drinks. Except with alcohol I usually just feel sick to my stomach, and weed actually helps with my fibromyalgia pain.

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