Despite widespread legalization and our own best efforts, we know there’s still a stigma attached to cannabis consumption. The taboo is magnified for parents, because parents are scrutinized for everything we do. ‘Are you a helicopter mom? Give that kid some space! Are you a free-range family? Give that child some supervision!’ We can’t win.
So parents who consume cannabis are an easy target for scorn and snark, especially from those who hold onto outdated ideas about the plant. At the same time, we live in an age where The Three Martini Playdate and Daddy Needs a Drink are perfectly acceptable titles for books on childrearing. An age where moms and dads talk openly about their “happy pills” and other chemical enhancements. If that’s all fair game, so is pot and parenting.
It’s up to us normalize cannabis as a safe and responsible choice for adults – even adults who have children. It’s up to us to show people that it’s okay to change their minds about this issue. And, for a responsibility as critical as this one, you must have a code.
Ten Tips for Splimm Parents
- Be extra attentive to your parenting duties. Our kids always come first. Splimm parents set a good example and defy stereotypes.
- Keep your stash and supplies secure, locked up, and out of reach. Just don’t take the chance. Ever.
- Clean up after yourself. Please don’t give your toddler an opportunity to grab the ashtray you left on the coffee table.
- Have the conversation with your child when they’re ready, but don’t necessarily wait until they ask about it. Kids are going to learn about “drugs” somewhere, and we strongly believe it should be from their parents first. Make sure you’re prepared; be honest and responsive, and pull in outside resources if needed.
- Model responsible consumption. Your children are watching you, and your choices form the basis of their concept of what it means to be a grownup.
- Don’t drive under the influence. Let’s not hand the prohibitionists more fuel for their anti-cannabis fire.
- Be prepared to talk to other parents about your cannabis use. We need to share our stories so others feel safe sharing theirs. This is how we normalize.
- Make your activism part of your family’s experience. Children learn so much about active citizenship by watching our political engagement.
- Find some likeminded people in the community and make friends. This is such a complicated, ever-changing sphere that it can be overwhelming. It helps to be able to get on the phone, or computer, or go out for coffee and hear how other people are going through the same things, are having the same problems, but that we all keep going because we know how beneficial this plant can be.
- Embrace your mistakes and forgive yourself. There is no such thing as a perfect parent, so the best you can hope for is to learn whatever you can whenever you can and apply that to the journey ahead.
Tell your story
The taboo around pot and parenting will linger as long as there’s a stigma around cannabis itself. The most effective thing we can do to counteract the prevailing narrative is to come out and tell our own stories, to put many diverse faces to the parents who use cannabis. Our voices are getting louder – and more convincing – together. Join us!