It’s time for closet pot-smoking parents to come out of the cupboard. After all, it’s five ‘o clock wine time is perfectly socially acceptable, so why not after-work unwind time for parents who de-stress with a tope?
With Canada on the brink of legal weed, the timing would be perfect. And this was recently illustrated by a mommy-and-me music class parent who announced that the session would be far more enjoyable if they were all stoned. Class teacher, Amy Goldstein, didn’t bat an eyelid because she regards pot smoking as a perfectly acceptable parent behavior.
Aeons of the stigma attached to marijuana users are steadily diminishing as the new-age persona of pot-heads is emerging as young and upwardly mobile professionals respected in their local communities. Take Goldstein as an example. She smokes pot to unwind after a stressful day at work once her baby is bathed, fed and fast asleep.
Even the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, isn’t opposed to pot. Remember his famous comment made in 2013 when he stated that marijuana is “no worse” than imbibing alcohol or smoking cigarettes and now that his country is on the brink of going green, an increasing number of Canadians support his statement. In fact, 3.4 million of his countrymen use pot, according to figures released by Statistics Canada, while a 2015 Forum Research poll suggested that nearly 60% of Canadians approve of legalization.
Kingston-based cannabis lobbyist, Nathaniel Morris, says people are becoming more comfortable about the topic of parents and pot, whereas in the past just the mention of children and cannabis in the same sentence was regarded as scandalous.
Oh how the times they are a-changing
It won’t be long before Canadian parents can pop into a cannabis retail outlet for some doobie supplies after doing some after-work grocery shopping. Much like Toronto parents, Ken Arnold and Aisha Smith-Monroe, who fire up their vaporizer after putting their two-year-old into bed. They did this before their son was born and have no reason to stop enjoying the after-work downtime. Monroe used pot when she was pregnant and an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network stated that nearly four percent of pregnant women interviewed between 2007 and 2012 said they had used marijuana during the previous month.
However, it must be pointed out that research has linked marijuana with behavioraland developmental issues. This has been endorsed by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada that says there is a correlation between marijuana use while breastfeeding and a slower rate of development of motor skills.
Parents coming out of the pot closet is something not unfamiliar toTania Cyalume, the co-owner of a medical marijuana dispensary in Toronto. She says there has been a big shift in buying patterns over the last year, with many parents visiting the store to buy ready-rolled joints, topicals, edibles and buds.
Responsible use should always be the keyword for parents with children like Arnold and Smith-Monroe who limit their recreational pot-time to the hours after children have gone to sleep. Goldstein, too, ascribes to this credo saying that she and her husband would never dream of driving while under the influence of marijuana.
What pot is popular among parents?
- Vaporizers – these allow cannabis vapors to be inhaled and not the potentially harmful carcinogenic smoke generated by joints.
- Edibles – that can make for carefree enjoyment without any tell-tale marijuana smoke aromas.
- Dabs – heated cannabis extracts smoked from a dab rig like a vaporizer.
Next day marijuana delivery services make all of these products easily accessible to parents whose busy schedules may not allow them the time to pick up supplies at retail outlets.
But, as a mother, smoking weed while going through a divorce can be concerning, especially if your spouse uses your “drug use” as a reason to fight for custody of the children.
The director of the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Lisa Tomlinson, says her organization will not involve itself in cases where parents use weed recreationally. However, someone smoking pot all day long and who is unable to get out of bed and see the children off to school is a completely different matter.
Pot parenting antagonists
Antagonists of marijuana include Pamela McColl, the founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Canada, an anti-legalization group. McColl says marijuana cannot be used responsibly because it’s a drug unsafe for human consumption.
Other warning bells for pot-using parents are also ringing such as keeping weed supplies under lock-and-key. Edibles such as brownies, cookies and candies should never be left lying around because they spelt temptation to any child.
A professor of pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Sheryl Ryan, says there was an increase in the number of children who had ingested marijuana and who were admitted to the ER in Colorado after the legalization of weed. A study that was published in Pediatric Research noted that the toddlers who were hospitalized with apparent signs of bronchitis had metabolized marijuana in their urine.
The names of parents mentioned in this article are pseudonyms.