Let’s get a few things straight before we start talking seriously about my marijuana use.
Yes, I smoke pot every day.
Yes, I have two children.
No, I do not smoke pot in front of them. They have no idea what “pot” is.
No, I do not smoke pot when I am alone with them. I only smoke when my husband is home.
No, I never smoke and drive.
Satisfied? Probably not. But I’ll explain myself anyway.
I have various psychiatric conditions. These include a killer anxiety disorder that can leave me on my knees. It can mask itself as anger and impatience, which makes me a beast to be around for husband and children alike. I might cry in a corner or scream at everyone to clean the house. I’m medicated for this, of course, but the medication isn’t a cure-all, and my rescue meds (the kind I take when a panic attack sets in, for example) can take up to a half an hour to work. A half an hour of chest-pounding, breath-hitching, feeling like you’re going to die.
Marijuana can stop my panic attacks in under five minutes. I’ve timed it.
Moreover, pot makes me a better mom. No, seriously. It really does. I’m naturally the wound-up type. Clutter and messes upset me, as do activities that produce them. I’m not very good, naturally, at playing with my kids. I can read them books. I can teach them things. I’m really great at that. I’m great at crafting with them.
But get-down-on-the-floor, let’s-play-pretend, the kind of play kids really crave from their parents? I suck at that stuff. It’s like I forgot how to do it somewhere around age nine and never remembered how. I watch my kids build dinosaur zoos and send PJ Mask figures on adventures with the Paw Patrol and I don’t know how to join in.
Pot changes that.
I’m much calmer. Messes don’t bother me. I can always clean it later, I reason, and I do, and it’s not painful or stressful or annoying. I sing a lot, songs I love: my husband and I spent half an hour singing David Bowie songs to our son and tickling him the other day. He adored it. I was gently, mildly, and undetectably stoned, just enough to let loose a little.
I can get down on my knees and say things like, “Let’s make a zoo. What animals should live in it?” and we get out the blocks and wall off cages and stick various animals in them. Or we send Batman to save Skye from Paw Patrol from the Ningelinos of PJ Mask fame. I do pretend voices. I make plastic figures dance and say silly things. I giggle. I play restaurant and pretend to eat wooden eggs with a side of plastic chicken leg.
This makes my children happy. It fills their buckets. It makes them feel loved. However you want to put it, it accrues domestic happiness all the way around. They feel contented, and I feel like a good mama — no longer rushing around to do the dishes and the laundry, but sitting down to paint suncatchers and let them draw tattoos on the backs of my hand in marker.
My husband is around to drive us anywhere we need to go. Sometimes that’s to my mother’s house, where fraught relationships with siblings are smoothed and I help happily in the kitchen. I don’t fret about children breaking Grandma’s precious knickknacks.
I don’t worry about stupid shit that doesn’t matter. I’m a better mother. At that point, wouldn’t I be remiss not to smoke? If I lived in a state where it was legal, no one would judge me. No one would say a word. It would be like having a beer once in a while. And no, I’m not dependent. I regularly take breaks, go for days or a week without it. While pot isn’t physically addictive, I don’t want to develop a psychological dependence either.
And yes, I smoke the good stuff. The medical-grade stuff I get from another state, through a supremely kind friend, which is specially formulated to make you feel good without acting like a college freshman.
Yes, I occasionally get the munchies. I try to smoke after I eat, and have learned not to buy Aldi frozen French toast bites. I vape like an adult; I don’t roll a joint like a college kid. My lungs are fine, thank you very much. I smoke in a locked, ventilated bathroom, and keep my stash (unrecognizable unless you know what you’re looking at) hidden in a secret spot far out of children’s reach.
But yes, I smoke almost every day. It makes me a better mom and a better person. Judge away. I see it as a medication I take to make my life easier, to ease the symptoms of the heavy psychological burden I carry. I can’t wait until it’s legalized everywhere. But I can’t wait until then. My kids will only be young once. I won’t miss it because I was too much of a prude to break an unjust law. I won’t spend my time in misery because some people still think pot is the devil’s weed.
I’m a mom. I smoke pot on the reg. You, my friend, are welcome to call me a terrible person. I couldn’t care less.