Are responsible parenting and pot smoking mutually exclusive? One man tells his story of striking a balance between the two.
When you become a parent, the one word that echos over and over again in your head is “responsibility.” This comes from both internal and external voices. Virtually over night, a kid who can barely take care of himself becomes an adult responsible for teaching a human how to exist. This feeling goes double for those who regularly use marijuana.
Accepting parenting and pot together is a relatively new phenomenon. Until recently, marijuana use has often been associated with the lazy stoner and is something people “get over” as they grow up. But times are changing with the gradual mainstream acceptance of marijuana. Why is age a factor? If nothing else, is it not more responsible to smoke as an adult?
We are no longer in a world where marijuana use and responsibility are mutually exclusive. Just like there is no magic pill to make you more responsible, there is no drug that will do the opposite. In the end, it really depends on the person and how that person deals with responsibility in life.
I have been a regular marijuana user since well before my son was born. It was a common interest of both myself and my wife, and we have many fond memories of smoking together on our porch during a beautiful sunset. On the days leading up to the birth of my son I kept telling myself it was my last smoking hurrah. What I should have anticipated was that my stress level was going to increase dramatically after he was born. Seems obvious right? It took me about 2 days to realize that being stressed out with no sleep would not help anyone in my family.
In today’s society, marijuana is often compared to alcohol. Many people come home and have a drink after work and it is totally acceptable. Furthermore, you don’t see news reports on television of a man abusing his family in a weed-filled rage. Additionally medically speaking, marijuana tends to be safer than alcohol, and a number of weed-smoking benefits have been discovered.
Like any substance, whether it is alcohol or food, knowing how to use it is what makes it “good” or “bad.” I see taking a hit or two after my son goes down to help me relax and sleep akin to an after dinner drink. It increases my interest, helps me be more patient, and makes me a better husband and father. It does not make me lazy but rather helps me focus less on the negative and appreciate all the good that is in my life.
Just like anything else, etiquette plays a role. Even though I use it, I do not appreciate when people smoke a joint in the park while my son is playing. I do not drive other people’s children around after smoking. I do not take bong hits and blow it in my son’s face just like I do not let him funnel my beer. Frankly, it is common sense.
Knowing yourself and how much you can smoke is important as well. I argue that if made to choose between pot and alcohol, pot is the more responsible choice. When the time comes I look forward to framing it for my son in the proper way so that perhaps we can get rid of the stigma once and for all.
Enjoy weed responsibly and legally; find your local dispensary here.
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