What’s a parent to do?

Photo of little girl coughing into sleeve

A recent study, as discussed in a Westword article, really pissed me off. It’s just another way to demonize parents who consume marijuana, painting them as bad parents for “exposing” their kids to THC.

A statement by Dr. Wilson about the results reads in part: “Our study demonstrates that, as with secondhand tobacco smoke, children can be exposed to the chemicals in marijuana when it is smoked by someone nearby. Especially as marijuana becomes more available and acceptable, we need to learn more about how this may affect children’s health and development.”

She adds: “Marijuana should never be smoked in the presence of children.”

Study: One in Six CO Kids Hospitalized With Lung Issue Test Positive for Pot

With all the restrictions on “open and public” consumption, no events, clubs or social venues allowed, apartment complexes and HOAs banning outside consumption, and the risk of being reported to law enforcement or CPS for consuming cannabis around kids, what’s a parent to do?

Yes, we want to protect kids, but where are parents to go, other than to hide inside their homes with the curtains drawn and the windows closed?

Isn’t that what the prohibitionists wanted? Nothing in public. Nothing that can be seen. Because, you know, God forbid someone should see or smell the Devil’s Lettuce!

They were happier when we were all hiding underground because they could keep on pretending the drug war was working. Out of sight, out of mind. If they could keep their kids from seeing a pot leaf, like putting blinders on a horse, they could avoid those difficult conversations and leave it all up to DARE. They wouldn’t have to answer the dreaded question: “Daddy, did you smoke pot when it was illegal?”

But now there’s a bright light shining on marijuana in Colorado. Everybody’s watching. Prohibitionists are just waiting for someone to screw up so they can finally put an end to this grand experiment. And the media is more than happy to help because if it’s weed, it leads.

In the meantime, responsible parents continue to be stigmatized and put at risk for simply exercising their constitutional right to consume cannabis, whether that’s medicinally or recreationally.

Is it a wonder that “non-white children were more likely to be exposed than white children,” considering that non-whites are still more likely to be targeted by school officials, law enforcement and child welfare? With marijuana arrest rates dropping at a greater rate for white kids than African-Americans or Hispanics, is it a wonder that minority parents might find it more necessary than whites to hide their use?

If you don’t want clubs, don’t want public consumption, don’t want smoking outdoors so you don’t have to see it or smell it, and now you don’t want consumption indoors either, what’s your solution?

And before you start down that road of “just say no,” that’s not a reasonable solution. Nancy Reagan was wrong. Get over it. That ship has sailed.

So again I ask: What’s a parent to do?

— Rx MaryJane (Teri Robnett)

Cannabis Patients Alliance is working hard to change hearts and minds, one conversation at a time. We can’t do it alone. We need your support! Please, DONATE NOW or BECOME AN ALLY so we can continue this important work.

Categories: Children, Teens & Youth, Colorado, Family & Relationships, Medical & Research, Research

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