Burning Question

“Can pot make you a better parent?”

Asks the Guardian, in a classic-sentence-kind-of-way. It has to be said, even for the Guardian, it isn’t the most promising start:

An Oregon mother posted a photo last year of herself breastfeeding her baby while she took a bong hit.

This photo here, in case you’re curious. 

Naturally, the image went viral…. Jenn Lauder, an Oregon cannabis activist… chided the breastfeeder for exposing the baby to smoke and for the “optics” of the image. “That mom could have made better choices,” Lauder told me recently.

Happily, things soon mellow out a bit:

Yes, it’s jarring to see a woman in a quintessential act of motherhood with her face in a bong. But the reality is some parents believe cannabis improves their child rearing… Marijuana, as cannamoms and cannadads see it, relieves the tedium of parenting while helping them engage with their children. With marijuana, “I’m able to sit and play Legos for an extensive period of time… and make it more fun rather than something functional,” said April Pride, founder of Van der Pop, a line of stylish cannabis accessories for women. She said it also helped break up the monotony of spending more time at home. 

You see, they’re doing it for the kids. How terribly selfless and high-minded. Another imbibing parent adds, “There’s too much taboo about it. It’s the equivalent of having a couple of glasses of wine in my life.” Though I suspect that a parent knocking back several glasses of wine during the day, every day, to make playing with their child more fun, might raise a few eyebrows.

And then,

When a parent is an open cannabis user it can also change the tenor of conversations with kids about drug use. “Cannabis has strengthened the bond I have with my daughter because I’m honest about something that’s important to me,” Lauder said. “At age 10, she’s incredibly social justice minded.”

Oh dear. And it was going so well.

Update, via the comments:

For what it’s worth, I’m not disapproving of recreational cannabis use, though it’s not my thing. I find it incapacitating. But the Guardian article does feature a tangle of messages that aren’t entirely consonant and seem rather self-serving. We’re told that getting stoned while supposedly being responsible for small children, and talking with 10-year-olds about the joys of getting high, is “the equivalent of having a couple of glasses of wine.” As if parents getting pissed while looking after the kids, and as if 10-year-olds talking about mummy’s drug use, were in no way contentious. We’re also told that getting stoned while on duty, as it were, is a bonding exercise. Specifically,

Cannabis has strengthened the bond I have with my daughter because I’m honest about something that’s important to me.

But imagine someone saying my drinking is important to me. What would that suggest?

Via Julia

Harshing Your Mellow On A Daily Basis

In the pages of the Guardian, another pressing issue of the day:

Marijuana: is it time to stop using a word with racist roots?

Posing the question for a general readership, even one as fretful and agonised as the Guardian’s, is, however, somewhat misleading, given the author’s conviction that only “marginalised communities” have the “moral authority to decide if marijuana is a racist word which should be avoided, or an important reminder of a more racist past.”