In a number of ways, cannabis makes you a better parent. Photo: Leonid Mamchenkov
In a number of ways, cannabis makes you a better parent. Photo: Leonid Mamchenkov

In the 1960s, we had “mother’s little helpers” – Valium pills. Now we have “mommy juice” – alcohol. But might cannabis make you a better parent than these?

Start early

Start pre-birth. Prudence Hall, MD, of California’s Hall Center, explained that cannabis has been used during pregnancy for millennia, all the way back to ancient Chinese and Egyptian times, decreasing anxiety, nausea and the pain of labour. The idea that it leads to low birth weight and premature birth is being dispelled.

Use cannabis in the face of post-partum depression

One out of every nine new mothers suffers from post-partum depression (PPD). One was Celie Behar, who experienced the usual symptoms of PPD, including thoughts of suicide, after the birth of her first sprog. Her troubles doubled when child #2 came along. She was prescribed Fluoxetine, better known as Prozac, but this caused adverse symptoms that included migraines and severe insomnia.

When a friend recommended cannabis, Behar was horrified: “moms don’t smoke pot.” But her problems were so severe, she reconsidered days later, and began taking cannabis, which is known to relieve depression. This allowed her to sleep better and be more content while awake. She made a video telling all. Aren’t you a better parent if you aren’t contemplating suicide?

Wouldn’t you rather be a less-stressed parent?

Kids cause stress. After smoking cannabis, you will be slower to become angry or even frustrated. You’ll be more patient. Doesn’t that make for better parents? Could you sit and play cars for two hours on a rainy Sunday afternoon if you were unstoned? Smoking dope makes you feel more empathy, so you are more likely to take your child’s perspective into account, which is often lacking in parental decisions.

It’ll make you eat properly

Many parents are too damn busy to eat properly, and so they subsist on sandwich crusts and Starbucks and the odd kid snack leftovers. Mothers can get to 3pm without putting anything in their stomachs. Getting the munchies makes you want to eat, and millennials often stock their kitchens with healthy food, so fast food can be avoided. Won’t you be a better parent if you aren’t starving?

It makes for happier parents

Cannabis can mean that parents get along better, for instance if one is anxious or behaves like a dick when drunk.

What to tell the kids

Parents are likely to wish to conceal their drug consumption from their children if they’re younger. If cannabis is illegal where you live, which it generally is, better parents won’t want to encourage their offspring to break the law. Further down the line, you could smoke with them and connect on a more intimate level. In between, you can have age-appropriate conversations about why people use cannabis while still teaching them to respect the law on the whole.

How to do it

You won’t be taking drugs in front of your children if you wait until they go to bed. With vape pens and edibles, you may not even have to wait that long. And anyway, you could always just leave the room.

One possible downside is that cannabis usage could call your character into question if you divorce, but then the extent of usage, the effect on parenting and children’s exposure to the drug are what will be considered. Even then, hardened users will have a tolerance and have learned to control their doses, while casual users get higher.

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