Tuesday, December 27, 2005

In praise of pot-smoking moms

From today's Denver Post (also archived at MAP), a profile of just a few of the voters who voted last month to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. The feature profiles one group of legalization supporters who don't get a lot of press: parents who happen to be responsible marijuana smokers themselves. A few of the highlights from the moms who were interviewed:
"It slows me down," says a Washington Park 40-something mother of a 10-year-old daughter. "It's a nice, relaxing, low-key thing."

One Denver psychologist, the 46-year-old mother of a young child, smokes because it helps her find "that space that is so about me and not about being a parent."

"It helps you stop thinking," says a 37-year-old Crestmoor mother of two, a mildly conservative Republican who, like most of the women interviewed, smokes once or twice a week. "I either can't sleep at night because I'm restless, or I can't get in the mood with my husband because my mind is spinning.
But of course, the opposition must have their say too:
"They are sending those kids a message that it's OK to get high, and they intend to send that message," says Dr. Mary Holley, the director of Mothers Against Meth-Amphetamine, in Alabama. The physician works to organize mothers against all illegal drugs. "That's an extremely destructive message." Through their habits, the moms tell their kids that "if he has a problem, he can just go out and get high."
Believe it or not, I think Dr. Holley actually got it about half right. These moms are sending a message that it's OK to get high. They're sending a message that the notion of responsible marijuana use isn't just pro-legalization propaganda; it's a reality for millions of productive citizens from all walks of life, and these moms are living proof. In fact, contrary to Holley's overblown hysteria, the message that they want to send to their kids is pretty clear:
Young brains, the moms say, can't handle marijuana. Like sex and alcohol, the decision about whether to take a toke should be reserved for people with proper seasoning: old enough to vote, finished with high school, stepping into adulthood.
Here's the thing: millions of parents, whether they currently smoke or not, have certainly smoked marijuana at some point in their past, many with some degree of regularity. Deep down, they know that the scare stories our kids get from programs like D.A.R.E. just don't match up with the reality that they've actually experienced for themselves. Still, it seems that far too few speak out against the nonsense that's crammed down the throats of our nation's youth ad nauseum by outfits like Dr. Holley's Mothers Against Meth-Amphetamine and the ONDCP. Our society needs more parents like those described in the article, with the courge to be open and honest with their kids about drugs. We just don't hear nearly enough about parents who are willing to give their kids the real facts about drugs instead of just copping out and towing the government's line of propaganda. The article is fairly short with lots more great quotes from the moms who were interviewed; it's definitely a must-read.


800 pound gorilla said...

Yes, it is all right to get high. In fact, most high level business decisions and almost all diplomatic successes are accomplished by adults bonding with drugs. Admittedly the details are worked out by minions with clearer heads. Jesus had many incidences in the Bible where he and his followers bonded with drugs. He even provided them to wedding guests.
Kids see their parents and their parents' peers bonding with drugs at work and other social venues. The great Renaissance was accomplished with the heavy use and/or abuse of caffeinated beverages. Voltaire reportedly consumed 72 cups of coffee daily [today's equivalent of a "tweaker"?].
I get my insights through heavy exercise and the endorphins that they create. At one point in my life I was heavily addicted to exercise induced endorphins and experienced moderate withdrawal symptoms when I missed a day of running.
Kids see adults bonding with drugs. Kids see adults becoming dependent on drugs for health-related reasons. Kids see adults use over the counter painkillers live Alleve like candy to function at work and home. They even see spokespeople for Media United Against Drugs chug expresso and proclaim their addiction to drugs in front of the camera [an addiction for which they don't even bother to seek treatment? Now that would be a story!].
Why should we only stigmatize use of certain drugs by adults? Children don't just see parents when they use banned drugs in an unproductive, counterproductive or irresponsible manner. They see them when they use "good drugs" in an irresponsible manner. Children learn how to use drugs from their parents. Unfortunately, thanks to DARE and drug war hysteria, parents never learned anything useful about drugs from their schools. Now this is a real tragedy!
BTW, I love the de facto drug test that I take before I post [with the code that I have to copy in word verification].

800 pound gorilla said...

Sorry to make a double post but Mothers Against Methamphetamine is so unlike Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Driving drunk is stupid and dangerous - not only for yourself, but for innocent drivers, passengers and pedestrians who share the road with you. Using meth is not stupid and dangerous period. And I guarantee that no one will ever debate this in a public forum.
Anyone who suffers from narcolepsy can attest to this: meth is the only known treatment for narcolepsy. It has also proven useful in diet and controlled psychotherapy. It has been used as a short term treatment for burnout or combat fatigue. It increases metabolism so it can and has been used by military in frigid battle zones to combat the effects of severe cold.

Mothers Against Meth are probably misguided by drug war propaganda imbedded in our language and media reporting. They have no clue as to how useful drugs can be. They have only slight clues as to how drugs can be harmful with prolonged use and/or abuse. Over reliance often leads to dependency and addiction. That holds equally true whether that drug is Alleve, Tylenol, or Methamphetamine. Drugs should be treated as an emergency line of credit. If you use them when you don't need them they won't be there when you do. Ask Rush Limbaugh how that works. He became overly reliant on over the counter painkillers. Soon they didn't work. He graduated up to prescription, shopped doctors, then finally went online to get unprescribed painkillers and was nabbed as a trafficker. Thanks to his large bankroll, he - unlike many in the ghettos and barrios of this great country - didn't have to serve hard time.

Susie said...

Great! Thank you! BTW, I hate those damn capchas too and have an anxiety attack every time I have to do one.

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