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Marijuana Mamas!

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Gina Kaysen Fernandes: Is pot the new Pilates?A new wave ofreefer madnessis sweeping suburbia -- but it's not just teenagers who are lighting up. Middle-aged, middle-class soccer moms are smoking pot ... alot. 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 websiteChikii.comsurveyed 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


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57 comments so far | Post a comment now
Rita April 20, 2010, 11:27 AM

I used to smoke pot but I haven’t in years. I really don’t mind it if one uses it responsibly. I know plenty of people who smoke weed and still get alot accomplished, in fact if they didn’t smoke, they might not get anything accomplished due to the fact they would be on the couch all depressed.

I also think if we were to legalize and tax marijuana, the economy would get a heck of alot better very quickly.

Marcie W. April 20, 2010, 11:42 AM

Cathy-Anne - You dont know who is in my home, how we run things, etc. Dont assume Im the ONLY adult able to take care of my children. There’s a reason I only get high after my babies are asleep, and its because of the what ifs.

Lets hope you & your family NEVER have even ONE beer at home because what if something happens to your children after a drink or two, & you’re forced to drive under the influence. Same deal right? Only pot is illegal (for now & for most, unless you have a MEDICAL card as we do) & alcohol (which poses more of a danger) isnt.

Also, if you think by you not being a pot smoker than YOUR children wont, you’re sadly mistaken. They will do so, however, they’ll do it behind your back because they dont want to be lectured or judged. THATS the ultimate parent failure.

Who are you to judge the life I live?
I know I’m not perfect and I don’t live to be, but before you start pointing fingers…make sure you hands are clean!” — Bob Marley

Carly April 20, 2010, 12:25 PM

This is ridiculous. People should learn how to cope with stress in legal and safe ways. You can’t handle life without using illegal substances..? Then you have a problem.

How are you hypocrites going to teach your children to do what is right, obey the law, and respect authority if you’re doing drugs?

BeckeyLee - Don’t you realize how messed up it is that you to have to call your neighbor to take your kid to the ER because you are too stoned or drunk to do it yourself?

Anonymous April 20, 2010, 12:34 PM

i think these moms need to grow up . Smoking pot doesnt clear your mind and it delays your reaction time . So how does that make you a better parent . Everyones life is stressful, thats life. i feel you need to find a new coping skill like a walk outside .

Knowing April 20, 2010, 12:37 PM

Newsflash! Marijuana is a depressant! It does not help depression…it adds to it in the big picture.

Lasara April 20, 2010, 1:04 PM

I personally can’t smoke as it doesn’t help my symptoms (bipolar/PTSD), but I know first-hand that it works better than pharmaceuticals for many. I wish it worked for me - there are a couple “pharms” I’m prescribed that I’d rather avoid altogether.

I also can’t drink, but don’t believe alcohol should be outlawed just because I can’t use it. I have also seen harm come from alcohol use (and misuse), and still I feel it should be kept legal.

I have seen no harm come from the use of marijuana - only from the fact that it’s illegal. The illegality is the issue - not the substance itself.

If it works for you, do it. Responsibly. I’m all for legalization, and glad these moms were brave enough to speak up about it.

Asorae April 20, 2010, 1:34 PM

Trish-

Not a single case of lung cancer has ever been reported from marijuana use alone. It does not cause lung cancer, it does not cause emphysema, it does not cause any of the serious health problems typically associated with smoking cigarettes. Of course it’s not 100% awesome for your lungs, but that’s only because of the smoke itself, not what’s IN the smoke as with tobacco cigarettes.

liz April 20, 2010, 3:12 PM

i’m not stressed or in pain. i love marijuana for the perspective it gives me. i’m a more engaged and happy mother under its influence. i’ll not live my life according to the “what-ifs” mentioned above. for each one, there are 10,000 more that have nothing to do with grass and are much more probable.

@sam - in 2008, the us arrested 800,000 people for minor marijuana possession and only 350,000 for violent crimes. that’s your tax dollars at work, there sam. so the next time you read about prison overcrowding and the subsequently paroled burglars, rapists, child beaters, and thugs, you can rest easy knowing that all the pot smoking mamas and papas are taking it in the rear for your absurd puritanism.

@cathy-anne - the single most damaging influence on our children is not head injuries or other accidents, but divorce. followed by poverty, ineffective parenting and abuse. get off your high horse and save your judgment for church.

and ps - what we’re doing at home, to our own bodies, is no one’s business but our own.


Jolita April 20, 2010, 4:03 PM

you go mama’s. i’m a smoker too. My husband of 25 years just passed away on 4/3. If it were’nt for the Pot, i’d be popping anti-depression and prozac and who knows what else. Stay away from booze its a terrible depressent and makes a person wanna do bad things to people. Drinkers and drunk drivers really should be locked up and throw away the key before they kill someone. thanks for listening…Jolita

Megs April 20, 2010, 5:38 PM

I have never smoked or drank any thing in my life! I disagree with pot in every aspect! It is bad for you. I also disagree with over the counter drugs and any alcoholic drinks. Drugs are not good for you at all. I will never touch them. I think moms, especially, shouldn’t set a bad example to there kids. If it is illegal, it’s that way for a reason!

Chelsi April 20, 2010, 5:40 PM

sam,

Maybe you wouldn’t “suffer from depression and anxiety” if you smoked a little pot! Those who do are not insane and are definately not “failures as parents” as you suggest!! Maybe if our jails were not so overcrowded with NON-VIOLENT drug offenders(such as those people possessing a small amount of weed for personal use);our country and our children would be alot safer!! You know, less child molesters, rapists and DRUNK DRIVERS out and about, as there are now since our “War on Drugs” has turned into a war on a natural, common, weed that grows wildly as nature and GOD intended!

Oh well, don’t listen to me….I’m just another useless, failure of a parent/professional who chooses to unwind at the end of a hard day, in my home; just like you and others who do the same using alcohol, sedatives, anti-depressants, sleeping pills, etc.

EDUCATE, REGULATE, LEGALIZE!!!

ParentTestPlease April 20, 2010, 5:47 PM

I can totally believe that a lot of mothers smoke weed. Being a mother can be awful and you need some escapism. We should also consider the fact that just about anyone can be a mother. The only requirement is that they open up their legs. I vote that people should get a permit before becoming a parent. Not everyone should be allowed to raise children. Especially these pot heads. What a bunch of worthless losers who use stress as an excuse to do drugs. We are all under a lot of stress. That doesn’t give me a free pass to go shoot up heroin. Horrible parenting! (Note the fine example of a mother who has a 24 year old daughter in an out of jail) I think this pot head mamas need to grow up and accept the responsibilities of life.

Grace April 20, 2010, 7:37 PM

Sam, the next time your doctor writes you a prescription for your anxiety or depression, check out the side effects detail provided by your loyal pharmacist. They all cause DEATH!

Lauren April 20, 2010, 7:42 PM

I’m an avid pot smoker. I smoke at least twice a day. I’m a college student, a wife and mother. Smoking not only relieves stress in my home but helps to relax me before I take a test in school. I don’t smoke a whole bowl before class, only a hit or two to calm my nerves, and its really helped. Although the career I’m getting into doesn’t allow “smokers” I wouldn’t mind smoking as a stress reliever when alcohol and or other, doesn’t do the trick. HAPPY 4-20!!!

emmychan April 20, 2010, 8:00 PM

Seriousally? I think this is so wrong. I really feel like altering your mind in anyway to deal with stress is just sad. Yes, this includes drinking. It’s just not the answer. That said that’s not my issue here since IMO people smoking pot are less of a pain then those drinking. And let’s face people will deal with there stress that way that’s just how a lot of people are. My issue is that it’s ILLEGAL! at least in the US it is. For mom’s here I really feel like we shouldn’t encourage kids to do things that are against the law! I mean if we really disagree with the law teach are children to change it rather then break it.

Ursula April 20, 2010, 10:15 PM

Why do some of you people even have children?! It sounds like you don’t take any pleasure in being parents. I wonder what it does to your children’s self-esteem to see mommy needing pot, alcohol, etc to be happy.

kasey April 20, 2010, 10:24 PM

i had age 18 sadly he passed away.After i lost my son the doctors but me on pills for depression,anxiety, and to help me sleep.it only me worse. i had two suicide attemps. then a miscarriage that made things wosre i started smokeing after the miscarriage. it calmed me down , cleared, my head and the suicide thoughts stopped i began thinking clearly. now i have two year old daughter. its very stressful being a mom .it should be legalized it would help our economy for sure.

kasey April 20, 2010, 10:38 PM

ok i know people that take all those. xanax is horrilble people become violent they steal suicides i have never heard of any killing there selves while on pot. you people are so stupid achol should be illeagal.theres money to made in pot.pot dealers have major cheese.really a oz of green would last you longer than a carton of cigs and a case of beer. i rather be high then drunk at least i could rember what happened.I mean think it grows NATURALly
Have you ever heard of anybody O.D.ing on while stictly on pot. No pills , achol,meth x-tabs etc yes not pot.all you non beleavers needs to roll up a faty cheif down
XOXOX 4-20 WHOOP WHOOP

Ashley April 20, 2010, 11:36 PM

bottom line is that both alcohol and pot are used to relax and have a good time. what i disagree with is that fact that people use it as a crutch. regardless of alcohol or pot, you shouldn’t use substances on a daily basis to get through the day. i smoke and drink when the occasion arises but the thought of depending on it to make me feel better sounds like an addict, physically or mentally. it’s ok to lose control of yourself every once in a while, but at least 5 times a week? come on moms!

Jasmine April 21, 2010, 8:38 AM

I’m a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor and Licensed Social Worker and I have NEVER had a client come to me and say “pot is ruining my life”. I wouldn’t say this to a lot of my fellow counselors but I think its time to legalize it and move on to bigger fish we have to fry!


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