Pot and Parenting: Do Reefers and Responsibilities Mix?

True, close to no days have gone by between 1997 and 2019 without me consuming THC or CBD in one form or another, but I have also managed to maintain good credit, graduate from University, stay active and healthy, start and maintain multiple businesses of my own and marry and build a life with a beautiful, intelligent bride.

I pride myself on going to bed and getting up early (thanks Indica!), and can count on one hand the number of days I spend out past midnight or waking up hungover. I volunteer through my Rotary Club chapter, contribute to charity and always (eventually) pay my taxes.

By all accounts I am a responsible, educated, contributing member of society – and yet, by definition, I am a pothead.

Of course, I prefer the term cannabis consumer, and I only really considered the damage and drama caused by this widely-accepted stigma when I started having kids. The fact is that while I have no issues with cannabis use for adults, I have done enough research to understand the dangers it presents to children, babies and even teens. As a result, something I had never felt shame about before the birth of my first son, was now something I viewed through a dual lens.

It didn’t take much for me to see the value in ditching the showpiece paraphernalia and moving the product and accessories out of sight and reach. I had already switched most of my consumption preferences over to edibles and vape products (to eliminate the odour and second-hand emissions), but these decisions came from a desire to keep my children safe; not because I was ashamed of my personal choices.

That’s why I was completely blown away when my neighbour asked me out of the blue if I’d be quitting cannabis now that I had children. It appears that even though cannabis is now legal in Canada, many people (including neighbours out drinking their beers and smoking their cigarettes on the front lawn) still feel its users (which are in the millions) couldn’t possibly consume cannabis as part of a healthy, responsible lifestyle.

Let’s be very clear: what you consume is not what makes you a good or bad parent. It’s what you do.

As someone that was raised behind the scenes of several churches, I can attest that being drug and alcohol free makes you a good parent as much as going to church makes you a good person; or as much as sitting in a garage makes you a car.

Whether you choose to smoke, chew and run with girls that do, or meditate, eat kale and run the neighbourhood bible study, these activities in and of themselves do not make you a good parent any more than having 100K followers on social media makes you important.

This is not about comparing the lesser of two evils, and I refuse (outside of my cheeky comment about my neighbour above, and a bullet point below) to defend cannabis solely based on its merits as an alternative to different drugs (prescription or black market) like opiates, tobacco or alcohol.

This is a rally call out to the millions of high-functioning, “better-off-because-of-it” cannabis consumers to join me in kicking down the door to the closet we’ve all been hiding in and being proud of the fact that we’ve found something that helps us live a better, more fulfilled, more celebratory life than those who cannot or will not explore the greatest plant on earth.

The fact is that I know more parents between the ages of 25-45 that do consume cannabis regularly than those who don’t. And whether they smoke or not has little to zero bearing on their abilities as a caregiver.

I also know the following to be true for me and many of the parents I choose to associate with socially:

  • Cannabis can help reduce anxiety, making me more present when I’m at home
  • Cannabis helps me fall asleep quickly, which means I can take advantage of the few hours my young children allow me to sleep, and stay rested to tackle another day of parental servitude.
  • Cannabis can make it fun to do very little, and as a parent with children, in a struggling economy, it’s nice to have an option in my spare time that’s both inexpensive and entertaining.
  • Cannabis can help reduce pain and inflammation that keeps some parents from playing with their kids.
  • Cannabis can help make the transition from the stress of the work day to a family environment of connectivity and play a quick and seamless one.
  • Cannabis comes in non-psychoactive CBD form, which is proven to provide a plethora of benefits that were previously offered exclusively by (often) harmful prescription drugs.

If you are reading this and have been chastised or judged for your responsible cannabis use as a parent or just as a high-functioning adult, please know that there are more of us out there than you may think, and, as long as it doesn’t affect your ability to “do you”, there is nothing at all for you to be ashamed of!

For more information on common stigmas surrounding cannabis, and why they are both uninformed and irresponsible, check out this blog.

Or to learn why more parents are switching from dry flower to concentrates, check out these informational blogs:


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