With the impending legalization of marijuana advancing ever closer, much of the stigma surrounding the recreational use of the drug has fallen away.
One of the questions that still remains, however, is marijuana use in the home, and more specifically whether a stoned parent can be a good parent.
Freelance Journalist Jennifer Goldberg sought to answer that question in a recent article in Today’s Parent, which she joined Simi Sara to talk about on Monday.
First and foremost, Goldberg says the most challenging aspect was getting parents to speak on-the-record.
“There’s still quite a lot of stigma, and we have to remember that it is still illegal to use marijuana recreationally.”
Of those she did speak to, most maintained that their marijuana use was limited to after their children had gone to bed.
In fact, Goldberg says many parents likened it to the use of alcohol.
“When you come home from work and you have a glass of wine after the kids go to sleep just to unwind, or you’re at a party where there are some beers that you’re being offered – they would use marijuana in that situation.”
Many parents maintained that their marijuana use was medically-motivated, drawing parallels to others’ use anti-depressants.
Others said it was just to relieve stress after a long day.
However, according to Goldberg, the distinction between marijuana and other self-medication is an important one.
“Really consider the idea of, you know, are you self-medicating for an issue that would better be treated in a better way?”
As an example, Goldberg brought up the mother of an autistic boy who said she smoked pot to unwind at the end of the day.
She says this is becoming more and more common.
“Moms are human beings, and moms are going to do things that other adults do. Marijuana is one of those things.”
Goldberg went on to say that while articles like hers are working to break down the stigma around marijuana use, it’s still wise to stay skeptical.
“There are health risks associated with marijuana consumption and cannabis consumption, and those have to be taken seriously.”
She says with legalization looming, the important thing parents can do is communicate with their children.
“Kids are picking up a lot more than you think they are, so it’s going to have to come into the conversation.”