@JohnOldschool shares his experience of fatherhood and breaking the stigmas associated with cannabis use. In his words, Sizing up the little things that matter most is easier when you can focus on what’s actually important. Parenting and some of the overwhelming challenges that come with the role can have us easily side tracked at times. Remaining peaceful and connected in times of stress while under the watchful eye of our littles is a whole vibe that requires intent, focus and consistency. After all ‘weed’ do anything for our kids right? Parenting struggles and cannabis use doesn't get the same support as other alternatives.
Maybe you sleep better when you’ve had a few gummies before bed. Perhaps black coffee and hash changes your internal dialogue in the early morning and relieves your body aches before another day begins its assault on you. Maybe that’s nobody’s business but yours and maybe you should think about keeping it that way. WTF really??? Did I just say that???
I openly managed dispensaries pre-legalization and have made a point of using a significant portion of my personal platform to breaking the stigmas associated with cannabis use by performing at a high level professionally and most importantly as a dad
It’s legal now so who cares, why should you feel like you have to hide it anymore? Believe it or not plenty of people still look down their nose at cannabis consumers, especially parents! Sure, you can handle your smoke and can list the endless ways it helps you go about your business day to day but being naïve to this fact might not come without some less than feel good circumstances. I openly managed dispensaries pre-legalization and have made a point of using a significant portion of my personal platform to breaking the stigmas associated with cannabis use by performing at a high level professionally and most importantly as a dad, but I can’t try and pretend like that has me included in some special feel-good club for canna-parents. Sure, there are a few other cannabis friendly parents and teachers and they’ve been super sweet and kind to me and my little beans. But I’ve also been snarled at in the grocery store, ignored while volunteering at the school and have had to hear my kids repeat some really hurtful things about me that they don’t understand from grownups who clearly don’t understand either. Opening my life up to a CAS enquiry about my medical cannabis use and spending needless time and resources in court to keep equal access to my kids although with a deserved and just outcome was a stress that we as a family unit could have easily gone without.
Thankfully I haven’t had to worry about cannabis use and my employment status but don’t think for a second that a majority of potential employers are going to be pumped to know that you smoke a 3.5 of White Death before breakfast and heading out to tackle your day. If you’ve got kids to care for, you’re going to need a significant income to help you do so. Is being open about cannabis worth interrupting your ability to do that without prejudice and professional consequence? Talk about playing with ‘fire’.
I’ve long said that the stigmas around cannabis have been more harmful than the plant itself and though I haven’t had a pleasant social experience as a parent I can say with 110% certainty that my personal relationship with my children and my ability to relate and engage with them has been greatly enhanced.
Using cannabis mainly for pain comes with some other really positive aspects for me. My brain is always busy tasking, planning and analyzing and although this doesn’t bother me much It definitely makes me slightly unavailable at times. The short-term effects of smoking cannabis help me take a step back from my autonomic dad state and grants me access to a softer and less black and white version of myself that craves connection and a more purposeful interaction on their level. I know I’m not alone on this as I’ve long lost track of the number of highly competent parents I’ve known, spoken with and admired for their low-key cannabis consumption.
There are days that I question whether or not I should have been so open about it. There are people that I care for that think I’m full of shit and don’t have much to do with me over it and though it comes with some significant pains I wouldn’t ever trade the bond I have with ‘Willie and Bobbie’ for a clean slate of opinions with people who aren’t growing inside. Knowing me (and I do) I’m going to keep on being the same dude I’ve always been when it comes to cannabis stigma breaking especially as a parent. A little louder than some, a little softer too.
Join the conversation on the Yes We Cann Parent Facebook Group here.
Read Carmela's story on cannabis and parenting here.