Hey Kids, Your Mom Smokes Weed (But You Can't)

by Jennifer Lima
Originally Published: 
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I am the mother of an adult child who has struggled for years with substance use disorders. I have been a tireless advocate for addiction prevention and recovery assistance. I am raising my younger children to learn how to handle stress and to be aware of the importance of making healthy choices. I am also the holder of a medical marijuana card.

I have suffered from migraine headaches since I was a teenager. The intensity and the frequency have fluctuated, but they have been an ever present part of my life. I’ve tried preventatives, abortives, homeopathic remedies, narcotics, Botox, no medication at all, and also tolerated well-meaning suggestions from every person who knows how to surf the internet.

When a friend offered me a pot brownie, the first (few) times I declined. I smoked plenty of it when I was younger but I was a mom now. I didn’t do that sort of thing anymore. Then I realized I was taking Vicodin in ever increasing amounts in order to manage the pain. I knew enough about the dangers of opiates to recognize that if I kept it up, my kids were going to have bigger problems than a mom who used a little dope to manage her headaches.

So I put my outdated stereotypes aside, gave it a try, and discovered what the medical community had already established. It worked.

Not wanting to depend on the local dealer to obtain what I needed, I took the legal option available to me and went through the process of qualifying for a card. I am a firm believer that marijuana should be legalized for medicinal purposes. I have seen firsthand in friends who have cancer the relief it has provided them and have experienced its benefits myself.

However, I struggle with the hypocrisy of preaching “just say no” to my kids while “just saying yes” myself. I know there is a difference between using it for medicinal purposes versus using it recreationally but I don’t know if that’s a subtlety my children are old enough to grasp. So despite the fact that I’m not doing anything wrong, it’s still something I do in secret.

When I was a teenager, I would wait till my parents were gone and then sneak over to a friend’s house to buy a dime bag from their older sibling. These days I wait till I’ve dropped my kids off at their various practices and then head for the nearest dispensary. I can choose from edibles, oils, vapes and even bubble baths. A Ziploc bag is a thing of a past and so is spending anywhere close to $10. Afterwards, instead of hitting the closest mini-mart for snacks, I swing by a drive-through at Starbucks for a coffee.

One day I will sit my kids down and share with them the good news that I have found an effective way to manage my migraine pain. I will tell them I believe that cannabis should be an option for those who need it for their medical conditions. I will also tell them that unless they are an adult who falls into that category, I don’t want them using it.

In the meantime, I will ask them if they are ready to leave for practice because mommy has an errand she has to run.

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