Whether it’s used recreationally or therapeutically, we all have a general awareness of the seemingly never-ending stigma with cannabis and its users. However, the judgment feels even more exacerbated when it’s a parent that comes under scrutiny for choosing to incorporate this plant into their lifestyle.

There’s No Manual on How to Parent

First off, parenting is hard! It’s not a feat for the faint of heart. It’s a very important responsibility that involves fierce preparation for the future. However, the secret is out! Nobody really knows what they are doing. Indeed, there are books, forums, and the like, that are filled to the brim with how-to’s. In the end, it’s all just advice and opinion that will eventually become obsolete or debunked. There’s never going to be an official manual of how to parent “the right way”. Parenting is and will always be subjective to the perpetual shifting of time, culture, and belief systems.

The humor is that, until the end of time, the mercy of the future lies in the hands of every inexpert person that is raising a child! Parents, we are a bunch of people crossing our fingers as we attempt to form the forthcoming generation. It is mentally and physically daunting. Furthermore, our society is ever more in favor of helicoptering our kids and foolishly policing other parents when what we really need is just some camaraderie and a little encouragement.

With all of this immense pressure, it is no wonder that we glorify the frazzled parent that boasts the need for wine o’clock. We all acknowledge that parents need a designated time to unravel. We’d go insane otherwise! But why is there such division amongst us when it’s a parent that opts for pot instead of wine? There is little difference in the bottom line. Perhaps, it could be the laws or lack thereof. How are we supposed to promote responsible usage without some sort of basic standard to follow?

Unclear Laws & Parenting

“…the true heart of the matter should lie at the threshold between use and abuse. There are good parents who have a glass of wine when they get home. But, there are also parents who are alcoholics and do not have control over their one glass of wine that turns into too many.  The same is true with cannabis. The crux..truly boils down to an issue of neglect and a question of whether a child is properly cared for. If there’s a problem, it lies with the individual engaging in the substance, whatever that substance may be, but it does not lie in the substance itself.”

It’s Over Easy

Alcohol and prescribed/OTC medications are deemed legal and heavily regulated in most, if not all, developed countries. In regards to parenting, the current US laws surrounding these leave it up to the designated parent or guardian to utilize their own safety measures until it becomes an issue of child neglect or harm. From there on out, there are clear consequences. But what are the rules for using cannabis when you have kids? In some of the legal states, there are laws that protect those who consume. However, any concrete legislation about cannabis use and responsible guardianship doesn’t currently exist. The dilemma is that while parents might be following the laws in a legal state, cannabis is still a Schedule 1 drug and is federally illegal which will ultimately jeopardize their parental rights no matter what state they are in. The need for clear drug policies and reform is dire!

Use Responsibly

It’s important to use discretion and consider the risks of negatively affecting your children no matter what you do. Until cannabis becomes properly allowed across the United States, parents will always be risking the removal of their children. For those willing to take the risks, using special precautions is absolutely paramount in promoting responsible use and obliterating the stigma. Some examples include:

– Keep all cannabis products, paraphernalia, and plants clearly labeled and out of reach or locked away from minors

– Do not use in front of minors

– Do not drive under the influence especially with minors 

– If cannabis severely affects your ability to properly care for your children, make time to do it in their absence. Or make sure there is at least one other sober person present in case something happens

– It is also important to consider that cannabis has the potential to be problematic for those who have a history of substance abuse which can result in serious adverse outcomes 

My Personal Experience

I’ve written about why I use cannabis. It’s a vice that I believe can help others sail better through life. The lifestyle where we live is incredibly fast-paced and so busy. It’s easy to forget to slow down which inevitably leads to mounting agitation and stress. Parenting within this negative environment can have detrimental effects. I know people who grew up on the receiving end of a burnt-out parent and still suffer its consequences.

It’s unfair for children to have to grow up with issues that could have been easily mitigated in their childhood. This is something that I fervently try to avoid doing to my children. Parenting is a constant work in progress. When I incorporate cannabis, I slow down. I have a positive state of mind to better help usher my babies in the direction they need to go. My goal is to be able to give them the proper mechanics to be stable citizens of society.

After a lot of consideration, I chose to use cannabis to help alleviate a lot of stress that was accumulating in my life. With the help of Veriheal, I was able to obtain my MMJ card and utilize some of their products in their CBD line. My personal conclusion is that cannabis is incredibly beneficial in my life and I don’t want to be demonized for doing my best to promote a better future; not only for me but for my children too.