When a friend asked me to write a post for the launch of MJ Moms, sharing my “mommy POV” on the latest happenings in Washington state and across the country on the subject of marijuana legalization as it relates to our children, I found myself going back in time to when my 8 year old son asked me if I ever smoked pot. What was I to say? To admit at the time I had smoked what was considered an illegal substance was worrisome, as I did not want my son to model my behavior down the road. So I did what any loving mother would do – I denied it.
A few years later at 12 years of age, he popped the question again. This time I thought of President Clinton’s, “I smoked marijuana, but I didn’t inhale “ comment and responded to my son with something I felt was acceptable “I tried it… but didn’t like it.” Now he’s 16, living in the state of Washington where marijuana is legal – and I’m waiting for the inevitable question to be asked again.
But this time things are different. He’s older, more mature and much more exposed to alcohol and drugs through his social circles and the media. Yet admitting to this after so many years of denying it…put’s me in an uncomfortable situation. What’s a mother to do…?
My relationship with MJ has been my little secret for a long time. Just like there are secret eaters (like my mother, who would sit at the dinner table ingesting small portions of leafy greens with a “look at me, I’m eating healthy” smile on her face, only to find her late in the evening face planted in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s). Or the secret shoppers (you know who you are hoarders of shoes, clothing, make up and/or kitchen appliances to name a few… Well, I guess one could say I’m a secret smoker. I’ve been enjoying MJ on and off since the age of 14 and today at 51, I’m living in the state of Washington and indulging once again – but this time it’s legal.
Only a few of my close and personal friends know. It’s not that I’m ashamed, but it’s most certainly NOT something I wear on my sleeve either. I’m convinced there’s still a strong stigma out there about people who partake in MJ – and imagine some of these folks are in my social circles, and are either just too naïve about the subject, or have formed very strong negative opinions about this controversial substance.
That being said, I don’t consider myself a hardcore radical MJ mom. Marijuana doesn’t define who I am. I see it more as a personal indulgence. Like that great pair of shoes you just have to have. I just want to make sure I’m allowed to enjoy it as an adult, and if there comes a day when my son or my stepchildren end up having a relationship with MJ, I want to make sure they are safe as well.
Here’s a snap shot of my relationship with MJ:
- I’ve been a fan since my early teens, and participated recreationally on and off throughout my life.
- I enjoy MJ – it takes the edge off, like a nice glass of Chianti, or perhaps for some…that much needed Xanax or Valium (neither my drug of choice).
- I’m a social marijuana smoker. Rarely have I purchased. Just happy to participate.
- I don’t enjoy the combination of MJ and alcohol. My preference is that the vices are kept separate.
- I don’t feel comfortable driving under the influence of MJ. I just move too slowly.
- Moto – never ever go to work on MJ; only partake in the evenings, weekend and never around the kids.
In the end, I’m just a mom (and business executive) who occasionally enjoys hanging out with Mary Jane. While decriminalization of MJ is kicking in, I’m still not sure if I’m ready to open up Pandora’s box to let my son or certain friends in my close social circles in…just yet
So my question to all you MJ moms out there – at what age did you tell your kids about your relationship with MJ? And do all your friends know?