By MAMAMIA TEAM
So, a growing number of women in the USA are realising that the whole ‘parenting thing’ is actually kind of hard.
The obvious solution? Get stoned.
Yep – mums be gettin’ high. Several times daily in fact.
Since medical marijuana became legal in California in the mid 90s, more and more parents have reportedly been turning to pot to help them combat the daily stresses of parenting.
They’ve been dubbed ‘The Marijuana Moms of Beverly Hills’ (and no, it’s not a reality show… yet).
Yesterday, Channel Seven’s Sunday Night featured the story of Cheryl Shuman – a woman who started smoking pot to remedy her depression – and who now deals the stuff to many of Beverly Hills’ stressed-out elite parents.
A Californian mum who calls herself a ‘cannabis activist,’ Cheryl grows and distributes marijuana to anyone who comes to her, provided that they’re armed with a doctor’s note and enough cash.
“I like to think we are bringing some glamour and exclusivity to marijuana use,” Cheryl explained in a recent interview with Channel 7’s Sunday Night.
“These are successful corporate mums who use cannabis responsibly and it works well for them.”
In a few short years, Cheryl has grown (literally) a marijuana empire worth millions of dollars. What started as a few plants in her backyard has become a 30-hectare medical marijuana farm.
She has collaborated with top US chefs to create pot-filled gourmet meals, and sells a range of niche pot-products that are perfect for the woman who has everything (except an easy way to get high).
Take for example, January Thomas.
She’s 37 and the mum of beautiful two-year-old daughter Zenna. She also smokes pot five times a day and says that the drug helps her handle the pain of her early-onset arthritis.
“Marijuana makes me a better and more creative parent. It puts me in the moment with Zeena and stops me worrying about everyday problems,” Thomson told The Daily Mail.
But it’s not just the elite who are lighting up.
This anonymous American mum wrote on website Jezebel about what it’s like to parent after having a smoke, in a story called “I’m a mum and I’m stoned right now”:
“In the middle of playing some totally vacant, rule-less game that involved pretending to chew stuff, making growling noises, and giggling, I realized that she’s like the funniest fucking person I’ve ever met. Anybody who thinks that weed makes parents ignore their children has clearly never been high around one.
Weed takes the edge off of my fatigue-induced bitchiness. It helps me not care so much about things. Wait, that sounds bad! I mean, it helps me not care about the stupid little unimportant things that I have a habit of getting hung up on and stressed about.
…The point of all of this is that I know I’m not the only one, and I know I’m in good company, but I wish that more parents were open about smoking pot in order to reduce the stigma associated with it. You know, I’m a mom, but I’m also a person. Don’t put me in a box. Unless it’s a hot box.
There have been numerous studies to show that marijuana has positive side-effects for people with chronic illness or pain. In fact, that’s why it became legal for medical purposes in California in the first place.
But here’s the thing we want to know.
While cannabis may make the parent feel better about how well they’re managing, does it actually make them a better parent?
Highly regarded Australian addiction psychiatrist Dr. Karen Fischer was also interviewed as part of Sunday Night’s story and said there was no way marijuana could make someone a better parent.
“I’ve not seen it. I’ve not seen it at all. And I can imagine it’s much like suggesting to me that tobacco’s making you a better parent, alcohol’s making you a better parent,” Dr Fisher said.
“To me, cannabis has too many side effects for health,” she said, adding that the effects of smoking pot can be worse then what most people anticipate.
“If we’re talking about coming into us for a cannibis withdrawal, what we see are people truly struggling with their sleep patterns. We see highly agitated people.”
“We see people that don’t really know what to do with their time. We see people that have forgotten what it is to eat normally without having the stimulus that cannabis brings them.”
“We see people that are quite horrified that it’s turning out to be as hard as it is for them to get off what they perceived to be a drug that wasn’t really that big a deal.”
But Cheryl doesn’t think those risks outweigh the possible benefits.
“We’ve all come up against people who say marijuana is for dirty druggies, but we are proof you can be good parents and productive members of society and use it.”
“Now, I’m a much better mum. Sometimes I laugh and say ‘I’m not just a better mum, I’m a better human being’ because you know what? I’m so much more pleasant to be around these days. I’m always smiling, I’m always happy.”
Do you think there it’s okay to smoke marijuana when you’ve got kids? What about being high when you’re actually playing with your kids? Is it any different to having a couple of glasses of wine?