I have to admit that I am completely guilty of buying into the stereotypes assigned to “pot-heads” and “stoners.” I expected my experience with visiting a local recreational marijuana shop to embody these preconceived notions – people all talking about how “high” or “stoned” they are and stuff like “really good bud, dude.” And I certainly applied that same stereotype when my kids would talk about their friends and classmates smoking weed.
My opinion about cannabis was most definitely shaped by the few encounters I had with the drug in my earlier years. Number one, unlike today (with the wealth of knowledge one can access (Leafly.com) and the help of my wonderful pot shop peeps) I had absolutely NO idea what strain I was smoking – and other than being able to say, “yea got it from that guy over there” at some college party, I had no knowledge of where that pot came from, how it was grown or what was in it.
Plus, back then I was with people that completely fit the stereotypes – the wake and bake frat dudes that were obsessed with getting as high as they could and then endlessly talking about it. The fact that they found it entertaining that I would begin to feel paranoid and freaked out did not help the experience at all. In my mind, I packaged the whole thing into one neat little bundle – to be pulled out and reexamined whenever the topic of marijuana came up in the future.
That is, until recently.
As I mentioned in my article for Healthline, I worried about my children when considering using cannabis for my chronic pain. I have three teenagers – and to the best of my knowledge, none of them have tried marijuana. But being as it was legalized recreationally here in our state a few years ago, I have addressed the topic of smoking weed similarly to alcohol.
“Prefer that you don’t, but if you do, be safe. Do NOT drive (or get in the car with anyone that has been partaking.) If you find yourself in a situation you need to get out of, you can always call me and I will come get you, no questions asked….”
But, truth be told, I was much more apprehensive about them trying cannabis than alcohol. Simply because I am familiar with drinking (and being drunk) and not so much with pot. I had the few foggy and blurred memories of smoke sessions in some fraternity house years ago, and none of them were pleasant. I didn’t want my “babies” feeling paranoid and scared like I had and I sure as hell didn’t want them to be “unmotivated, couch lounging stoners”, so i really hoped they would steer clear of it altogether.
But launching into my MMJ adventures and sharing it with just about anyone that will listen has had perks beyond the relief from the chronic pain that I have been living with over the past few years. It has really opened up a new line of communication with my kids. Some of it is constructive, some, not so much. But still, it’s conversation. We are talking about it, and that has to be a good thing.
Last week, I had this text exchange with my son;
Now, you need to know that when I responded with the “Do you want to leave?” I REALLY wanted to send a follow up text that said
“and come home and hang out with your mother while SHE smokes?”
But I resisted…
The fact that he knows and understands that just because I am experimenting with marijuana for my chronic pain (and writing about it on social media for the world to know) doesn’t make it ok for him to use it and that I still would prefer that he not try it, is huge. Although my recent experiences have made me believe that using cannabis is no different than using alcohol, it doesn’t change my opinion that use in moderation for grown adults is fine, but not so much for teens.
Then last night was I was asked…
Although I feel I have learned a ton over the past months, there is still a lot of information that I don’t know about when it comes to marijuana. This little exchange did make me realize that it is definitely a topic that is out there in the world of teens; not so different from my teen years and alcohol, kids are going to talk. Given the easy access they all have these days with social media and the internet, it should come as no surprise that my 16 year old daughter would know “STUFF.” It’s all around them, whether or not they choose to try it, and better to be able to talk to them about it, than remain ignorant to it’s existence in their lives.
At the moment, I am using cannabis as medicine and have found using a vape pen is the quickest and easiest method. In my mind it is no different than all the pills I washed down daily for years. I would never imagine to “offer” up my pills to others and that’s how I view my vape pen.
“It’s not a “hey….wanna get high” type of thing…it’s a “time to take my medicine because the pain is creeping up” type of thing.”
I have told my kids that I am not going to become some bong hugging, smoke surrounded hippie or a Weed model of Instagram – posting my wake and bake sessions for all to regal and comment on. (Although… I also did say that I wasn’t going to become a pot pusher and yet now I seem to be pushing it, or at least wanting to try and share my story, so maybe someday I will be one of those people – but I really don’t see it.)
Over the past few months I have changed my views on cannabis. From a medicinal standpoint – learning all that I have, experimenting with different strains and products and finding relief from my chronic pain has certainly made me a huge advocate for medical marijuana. But what about recreationally? Have my views of that changed? Absolutely! Although I have not yet sought out strains and products to use just to alter my thought process and experiences, it is most definitely not out of the realm of possibility. I don’t see it as any different than choosing to have a glass of wine, a beer or a cocktail. The idea of consuming a bit of weed (whether smoking or edibles) and sitting by the campfire with Shawn sounds pretty damn good to me! So we will see.
I am fully aware that if I do decide to use marijuana recreationally, I will be opening up the floodgates to teasing and joking from the kids, and I’ll be sure to be ready for it!:)
I am grateful for these opportunities to talk to my kids about pot. Having it be a subject that we can discuss, and that I now know more about seems much more constructive than just a simple blanket “just don’t do it.” I expressed that I had been worried about remaining a good role model for my children. Although “good” may be defined differently around here (given my propensity to “inappropriateness”) I am not concerned about this as much these days.
If my kids see me advocating for myself, and my well being; actively trying to make improvements to my life – I figure there has to be some good in that.
**This is my personal blog and all opinions are my own. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one here on my blog. The content here is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to replace the advise of medical professionals. Be sure to contact your doctor before trying any new medications/vitamins/supplements, physical activities or therapies **