From the Archives: How To Talk to Your Kids About Pot (2004)

By David Katz

Doris sputtered to her husband, coughing out a huge bluish cloud of Hawaiian X Super Skunk #1 spiked with a touch of Master Kush, which drifted toward what they thought was their locked bedroom door and swirled about the head of their “I can’t sleep” six-year-old. Arthur, an inquisitive, intelligent and, to be honest, somewhat pushy offspring, stared at his parents in disbelief from the foot of the bed, his attention fixed on the gigantic spliff that Mommy was passing to Daddy to “help them sleep.” Unfortunately, Arthur had just attended his first Drug Awareness Day at school, and he had a lot of questions. Luckily, Arthur’s parents had yet to commence the Vulcan Mind Meld, sparing young Arthur many years of future therapy.

“But you said you don’t smoke cigarettes. You said they were bad.”

“That’s right, Arthur, they are bad,” explained Dad. “But this isn’t a cigarette—really.” Doris blanched. “Steve, you’re confusing him.” Arthur’s cute brown eyes narrowed as he gave his parents that intense look he reserved for little league, girls and liars. “I know what it is. It’s a joint! They told us about that at school.”

“Who told you it was a joint?”

“Jack the policeman. He came to our class and showed us a cigarette just like that one!” said Arthur, pointing at the funny-looking “cigarette” with two pointy ends and a big bulge in the middle. “You lied!” he yelled, pointing at his father. Steve looked in desperation at his wife. “Come here, honey,” Doris said softly, as Arthur climbed onto the bed. “Mom and Dad need to talk to you about something.”

Doris and Steve are wrestling with an increasingly common dilemma among parents who smoke pot: just what to tell their young and pre-teen kids about the mighty herb. The nation’s airwaves and cable markets are saturated with carefully crafted, government-sponsored “public service ads” designed to scare, shame, intimidate and coerce kids into not smoking pot. There’s the cheery Investigator, which glamorizes parents who give their kids the third degree, grilling them mercilessly for information about their activities and friends just like, well, cops. In Pick Up, a stoner forgets to pick up his kid brother. Another one, Pool, shows a toddler pushing a raft into a swimming pool, presumably to follow the raft in, while a casual, low-key voiceover intones: “Just tell your parents you weren’t watching her, because you were getting stoned.”

No wonder intelligent parents who want to have a toke or two after a hard day have been looking at various methods of raising kids and having their reefer, too.

Let’s start with something we can all agree on: Kids should not smoke pot. Just as you don’t start the day by handing your six-year-old a tumbler of Jack Daniels and firing up his Camel, parents should not be in the business of getting kids stoned—just ask former Hollywood child-tokers and subsequent rehab-grads Robert Downey Jr. and Drew Barrymore, both of whom were exposed to grass at a tender age by their swinging-’60s parents and the crowds they ran in.

Parents should follow NORML’s (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) guide-lines for responsible marijuana use:

“NORML believes that marijuana smoking is not for kids and should only be used responsibly by adults. As with alcohol consumption, it must never be an excuse for misconduct or other bad behavior. Driving or operating heavy equipment while impaired from marijuana should be prohibited.”

Nonetheless, in the real world, 20 million Americans say they have toked the bone during the past year, and despite findings that reefer reduces sperm count, millions of these proud and unashamed potheads are now raising, or have raised, kids who aren’t one-eyed freaks, Charlie Mansonites or pinheads, thereby refuting the myth that pot causes genetic mutations (at least not the visible kinds, which in America, the land of fleeting images, are the only ones that count). Of course, herb—like alcohol, nicotine and mercury-laden tuna—is another substance that has no place in a woman’s body during pregnancy. However, once the pregnancy is over and the child has finished breast-feeding, many parents return to smoking pot, for all the good reasons: responsible recreation and relaxation.

The New York Times recently reported that in a poll conducted by RoperASW, as many as one in 10 American parents of children under 18—about six million people—said they had smoked herb in the past 12 months. One in 20 parents, or about three million people, said they had smoked in the preceding month. The number of Americans who lit up in the last 15 minutes was unavailable, but considering the reluctance of those still holding jobs, or respected members of highly paid role-model professions—i.e., doctors, lawyers, teachers, talkradio jocks, governors—to admit to being anything other than a pharmaceutical junkie in Ashcroft’s America, one suspects that the number of regular tokers is a lot higher than reported. Life in prison in three-strike states like Texas is less than appealing; then again, it’s not Malaysia, where, if you get caught sucking on a joint, a swift trial is soon followed by death.

But short of that, getting nabbed blowing a doob in front of the children can have grave consequences, chief among them losing your kids.

Frank and Sara are the parents of Jake, a 10-month-old baby who was properly strapped in the back in his car seat when his parents were pulled over by cops in Oregon.

“First of all,” Frank told High Times, “the cop just said, ‘Give me the pot, or we’ll search the car.’ So my wife handed him the baggie! I was flabbergasted.” The cops separated the couple. “There was Good Cop and Psycho Cop. First Psycho Cop wanted to know if there was anyone higher than me. How could there be,” laughed Frank, “since I’d been drinking Scotch, too!” An incorrigible wise-ass, Frank’s flippant comeback—“Pablo Escobar?”—didn’t go over well, either. “Sara was only stoned, but her license had expired, which gave another new wrinkle to the situation. Then I got the Good Cop, while Nut Cop went to work on my wife.”

“It freaked me out,” recalled Sara. “The first thing he said is that they can take our son away for this. Then the cop gave me his card and said I had three days to rat out whoever sold us the pot. But we talked to the ACLU, who told us they were full of shit.”

“We never smoke in the car anymore, ” Frank added ruefully. “We shouldn’t have been smoking and driving in the first place.”

Both the US and Canadian governments use draconian drug laws to hassle groups and individuals who refuse to toe the antipot line, claiming that marijuana use—not to mention political activism—creates unfit parents. Divorced parents have used the marijuana laws to smite their mates, especially in nasty custody battles. Debra Cannistrad, a medical-cannabis user living in the San Joaquin Valley of California, was threatened by an ex-spouse for custody of her 12-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son, two days after holding a vigil for a jailed cannabis researcher. Fortunately for Debra, the father—a deadbeat dad—outpoints Debra for parental malfeasance, but nonetheless, the use of a joint as a loaded gun is an indication of the emergence of a snitch society, a la the late Soviet Union.

Other situations are even more bizarre. A couple in Washington State lost their daughter immediately after birth when hospital workers, without their knowledge or consent, tested both the mother and her newborn girl for cannabis. When both tested positive, doctors blamed minor medical problems with the baby on her mother’s cannabis use and accused her of endangering the child’s life. The baby was isolated and the mother not allowed to breast-feed her. The child was returned to the couple in a week, but they were first made to sign a contract with 13 conditions, including urine-testing, mental-health evaluations and agreeing to allow state inspectors to enter their home anytime they damned well pleased. So much for the Fourth Amendment. Once again, this woman obviously should not have been toking up during any stage of her pregnancy—but does that justify the extreme measures the hospital took?

As kids get older, the dilemma for parents who smoke pot gets even more problematic.

Even in a city as sophisticated and progressive as New York, there is a wide divergence in attitudes and styles among the city’s parents regarding their kids and pot, which one suspects mirrors the nation’s attitude as well.

Tahisa, an urban planner, and her husband are raising a 14-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl in New York’s most fashionably transgressive neighborhood, the East Village. She’s a pioneer, having lived in the EV more than 20 years, arriving long before the neighborhood’s recent resurgence and ultra-gentrification. Many of the tenement apartments, abandoned and trashed in the 1980s, now go for $2,500 a month, and uptown hipsters who once came to Avenue B for cocaine and heroin today travel downtown for gourmet coffee shops, expensive punk jewelry and haute cuisine. It’s now a prime residential neighborhood, attracting middle-class parents with children; its playgrounds and community gardens are packed with kids.

“I smoked when my kids were small, so they always saw us smoking, and all our friends smoke. So we never had to tell them that we smoke; they saw us smoke,” said Tahisa. When their kids started school, they started getting the standard anti-drug diatribes. Tahisa told them it was propaganda. “We told them pot was really good, that birds eat it, and that tobacco is much worse for you. Our biggest concerns were tobacco and glue-sniffing.”

Part of Tahisa’s agenda was to demystify pot. “We didn’t want to make pot seem so deviant that our kids would be attracted to it. We didn’t want to sneak around. If we were going to do this, we shouldn’t have to hide it. If they saw it as just a normal thing, we thought they would probably decide not to do it.”

Amy, a close friend of Tahisa’s, is medical researcher, and with her husband Ron, a media consultant, they have taken a similar tack with their 12-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter. “Pot is so much a part of our lifestyle, the kids take it for granted.” Amy, her husband and their friends have smoked weed for more than 30 years and have no intention of stopping. “When our kids have friends over—especially ones who we don’t know—we go into the bathroom, or up on the roof, to get high. And we certainly don’t buy pot with them around, say if a dealer comes to our home. But after all, this is the East Village.”

At a certain age, when Amy felt her kids were ready, she told them that she and Ron weren’t smoking cigarettes. “Then we went on to say that what we do is okay, but it’s against the law,” said Amy, “and we could go to jail for it if certain people found out.”

You don’t want to see Mommy and Daddy in an orange jumpsuit in chains behind bars, do you? That’s pretty effective. Amy and Ron also explained that not every law is good or just and that what they were doing wasn’t wrong; that some drugs, like medicines, are good, and other drugs, like heroin, cocaine, nicotine, PCP, glue, Ecstasy and acid, are very, very bad. “When they started school,” said Amy, “we told them never to mention that we smoke anything at all. And it’s surprising how well they understand.”

This medical tack is similar to the one used in a forthcoming 2005 children’s book, Just a Plant ( by Ricardo Cortes, an educator and Webmaster of the art-and-culture website The book tells the story of a little girl who discovers her parents smoking marijuana. Cortes then follows the efforts of the family to rationally explain to their daughter just what pot is and what it does.

“She goes to a farm, and the farmer talks to her about how it grows, how it has seeds and how it’s used for a lot of different things,” says Cortes. “People use corn for eating, people use marijuana for making canvas, paper, etc. Then there’s a medicinal aspect: How does it affect the body? In the story, she goes to a doctor to find out about it. He tells her patients use it as a medicine; there are many plants used as medicine. The doctor also explains that because it’s a medicine, it’s not something for children.”

Cortes takes care in the book to explain that there are things adults can do that kids can’t: driving a car, having a glass of wine, drinking coffee. Then he deals skillfully with the illegality of pot. “At that point in the story, the child is like, I learned everything there is to know about pot, and it sounds beautiful.’ But if you just stop there, that’s dangerous, because now the little girl goes to school and says, ‘Yeah, my mom smokes pot!”’

In the story, the girl then stumbles upon some kids smoking a joint and tells them she knows what they’re smoking. Then the cops roll up for the last lesson of the story: It’s illegal. Cortes brings in the history of Prohibition and tries to portray the cops as good guys, to an extent, by stressing that there are laws they don’t like enforcing. “The cop says that this is how our country works,” Cortes explains, “and if you want to change a law, there are certain ways to go about it.”

But as Tahisa found, as children get older, social institutions intervene to make changes in a parent’s pot policy. “We stopped smoking for awhile because we could see our kids were being pressured at school. They gave a citywide questionnaire to the kids. We kept our son home from school that day because he told us about it, and it was really like: Rat out your parents and rat out your friends. We didn’t want to put him on the spot by making him have to lie, so we stopped smoking.”

But old habits die hard for parents who grew up in the ’60s and ’70s. “My husband still doesn’t smoke pot, but I started again. Because, in the words of Louis Armstrong, it relaxes me,” Tahisa said with a smile.

Other parents take an entirely opposite approach to herb and kids; one of hide and deny. Dennis and his wife Dee are raising twin girls, now 13 years old. Both girls are very bright and go to top-tier public schools on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

“I don’t tell them. That’s it,” Dennis laughed, then became serious. “There’re two ways to deal with it. One is how I deal with it when I want to get stoned, which is to go into the bathroom, open the window and lock the door. That kind of works, although one time we were out on Fire Island and I had smoked a joint in the bathroom, and my daughter goes in right afterwards and says, ‘Dad, that incense you burned really stinks!’ She was 11 or 12—they don’t know anything.”

Dennis fears that his daughter will be at a rock concert and somebody will be smoking a joint near her, and, says Dennis, “Her friends will say, ‘Oh, it’s pot!’ And she’s going to say, ‘Oh, no it’s not, it’s incense!’ And she’s going to look like an idiot and figure out that I lied.” Dennis has also gone to extremes to conceal his THC jones by concocting marijuana butter. “The feeling was that smoking is bad for you, so I’ll try a different way of doing this. I thought that if I could get this down, I wouldn’t have to go to the bathroom to smoke. I’d go to the refrigerator!” Dennis cooked up a butter recipe he found in High Times, but the project backfired. “We ate the butter, went to a party, had a great time, got really, really stoned—like we were tripping—and then we went out to dinner by ourselves. And we were both super-paranoid, terrified, and we stayed stoned for the next two days.”

The problem with the hide-and-deny method is, what do you tell your children when they inevitably ask? Do you tell them the truth? “They hear in school that marijuana sucks,” says Dennis. “We were on a long drive, and one of my daughters asked my wife if she ever smoked pot. And I’m thinking, ‘What is she going to say? It’s never come out that direct.’ And she said no. Then I’m thinking, ‘What am I gonna say? Yeah?’ Then my daughter said, ‘Dad, and you?’ And I said no, and she said, ‘Good.’ I think it’s a scary thing to be asked, because of what they see on TV and what it means, like breaking the law. They’re brainwashed. And I don’t want them smoking pot, you know? When they’re in college, they can smoke pot. I don’t think they should be smoking pot in junior high school or high school—even if I did!”

That brainwashing is orchestrated straight from the top, at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). ONDCP reports directly to the president, and it serves as a kind of amorphous umbrella organization for all of the precisely calibrated “campaigns” that “target” parents and young people with misleading and disingenuous public-service advertisements. ONDCP coordinates overall drug policy, along with the efforts of other government/business coalitions such as the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, to keep America scared of marijuana with recent media campaigns like Parents: The Anti-Drug and My Anti-Drug, specifically directed at kids. ONDCP’s Ad Gallery features such gems as Wallet, in which a young teen takes us down to the basement to meet his wasted, long-haired, glassy-eyed older brother, who looks more like a dope addict than a pothead, and who “never did anything at all.”

From the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, the creators of Parents: The Anti-Drug (, comes Slam, a truly vicious commercial teeming with violence and anger, in which a father and his teenage daughter yell and scream with vein-popping animus (“I hate you!”), slamming the door repeatedly in each other’s faces, after Dad covertly searches his daughter’s room and finds—horror of horrors—a bag of pot! Once again, so much for the Fourth Amendment, at least if you’re under 18. By the way, the daughter in the spot looks well over the age of consent. The commercial condones this kind of despotic, foaming-at-the-mouth behavior with an ambiguous admonition to parents at the end: “Afraid of a few slammed doors? Get over it. Because to help your kid with their problem, first you have to get over yours.” Let’s look at this statement: At first it seems to imply that the parents should get rid of their explosive anger, but actually it justifies this oppressive approach. The problem parents have to get over is their reluctance to get violent and hysterical. Obviously compromise, conflict resolution and reasoned argument are for sissies.

The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign also sponsors My Anti-Drug (, which brings us, in Spanish, Dummies, featuring the famed crash-test dummies (which used to promote seat belts) toking it up and getting into a devastating accident in a lab dedicated to making accidents happen. You don’t have to speak Spanish to figure out La Causa. Ads also come in Cambodian, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. Dummies mines the same vein of malleable truth and outright mendacity as the spot with the poor Hispanic kid mourning the loss of a friend in a traffic accident and blaming it on pot. What the ad fails to mention is that accidents involving pot usually also involve alcohol. Liquor is metabolized by the body in hours, leaving pot—which can stay in the fatty tissues for months—to take the blame.

And, of course, the ad that has generated the most controversy is the 2002 Super Bowl Sunday spot that equated blowing a J with supporting international terrorism. (“Where do terrorists get their money? If you buy drugs, it might come from you.”) Presumably Osama bin Laden gets a cut from every nickel-bag sold in America. Quaffing down a sixpack is way cool, because it’s legal. Filling up your SUV with expensive gasoline from those good friends of the Bush family (and our valiant ally in the war on terrorism), the House of Saud, is also no problemo—save when the dough goes to support Muslim madrassas throughout the world where children learn that Jews are pigs and monkeys, the United States is the Great Satan, and the lust for death is far more powerful than the lust for life. Think of it as No Terrorist Left Behind.

It’s swell for Budweiser to spend 50 G’s a second to keep people drinking beer—that’s free enterprise. It is quite another thing for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to spend over $1.6 million each for two 30-second ads during the Super Bowl, the biggest media market in the United States, to blast government propaganda down the throats of 130 million people. Since 1997, over a five-year period, approximately $1 billion has been allocated to paid media—your tax dollars at work, on behalf of ad agencies and TV networks. And most studies have shown that these scare tactics increase, rather then lessen, a kid’s curiosity about illegal substances. The moronic This Is Your Brain on Drugs campaign, which likened the Stoner’s cerebrum to an egg in a frying pan, became one of the most parodied and ridiculed advertisements of its day.

Maybe it’s time to allow parents who smoke pot to raise their children their own way, exercising responsibility and good judgment, and with the guidance, honesty and intuition that only a parent can bring to their children’s lives. Take the billions being squandered on frightening our kids and freaking out their parents, and turn it over to libraries, colleges and our sorely underfunded public schools—or return it to the taxpayers as a rebate, so the citizens of America can finally afford some decent herb.

High Times Magazine, July/August 2004

Read the full issue here.

The post From the Archives: How To Talk to Your Kids About Pot (2004) appeared first on High Times.

Cannabis Culture and Parenting – The Stoner Mom

Even in 2021 people still side eye any parent who admits they smoke cannabis. While it is perfectly fine for someone to have a glass of wine while cooking dinner or giving a child a bath.

The post Cannabis Culture and Parenting – The Stoner Mom appeared first on Latest Cannabis News Today – Headlines, Videos & Stocks.

Explaining Cannabis to Kids as a Parent and Smoker

Let’s just get it out of the way, times they are a’changing and parenting is like trying to build IKEA furniture without the instructions. How do you have one of the hardest conversations with your kids ever – without lying or being a hypocrite?

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Edibles and children: Poison center calls rise

If a 3-year-old finds a cookie on the table, chances are they are going to eat it.

Even if it is made with marijuana or THC, CBD, or other components of cannabis.

As more states have legalized the use of marijuana and an ever-widening range of derivative products, it’s not surprising that more children are being exposed — including by eating marijuana edibles. A research brief published in the journal Pediatrics found that between 2017 and 2019, there were 4,172 calls to regional poison control centers about exposures to cannabis in babies and children through age 9. About half of the calls were related to edibles.

The frequency of these calls, and the percentage related to edibles, went up over the two-year period. Not surprisingly, the exposures were about twice as common in states where marijuana use is legal as in those where it is not.

More calls about edibles involving younger children

The most common age group involved was 3- to 5-year-olds, which makes sense: this is the age where they are old enough for parents to take their eyes off them for a minute or two, but not old enough to understand why they shouldn’t eat that brownie, gummy bear, or piece of chocolate.

Thankfully, the effects of these exposures were mostly minor — but in 15% they were moderate, and in 1.4% they were severe. In rare cases, significant ingestion can lead to trouble breathing or even coma. That’s the problem with edibles: it’s hard to know how much cannabis is in each one, it’s easy to ingest a lot, and the effects can last a long time.

It’s important to remember, too, that this was just a study of calls to poison centers. It’s impossible to know how many exposures there have been that were never reported — including how many went completely unnoticed by parents or caregivers.

Safety first: Children and cannabis

Clearly, there will need to be some regulation around labeling and child-safe packaging. But as an immediate step, parents and others shouldn’t buy marijuana edibles that might appeal to children (just like it’s best not to buy detergent pods that look like candy). If you do buy marijuana edibles that a child might want to eat, they need to be stored securely, out of reach, always.

When parents bring their children to visit friends, it may be a good idea to add marijuana edibles to the list of safety issues to ask about. Think of something along the lines of, “Hey, our daughter is still little and curious, so we like to ask about things like matches, guns, medications, marijuana edibles, or other things that might be dangerous for her if she gets into them. Is there anything that might be in her reach?”

It might be a bit awkward, but if you make it quick and routine, you can decrease the awkwardness. And ultimately, it’s worth a bit of awkwardness to keep your child safe.

Follow me on Twitter @drClaire

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CBD Products That Help Moms Crush The Parenting Game

There’s no denying that parenting is up there among some of the hardest jobs in society—yep, that includes digging ditches, bomb deactivation, and uranium mining. 

In a telephone-based study of 5800 parents, only 48% of women reported getting 7 hours of sleep per night—this on top of also being responsible for carrying out countless additional household and work tasks. Their children aren’t the only people who depend on them and some parents must also care for special needs or ill kids, while simultaneously taking care of other family members and working additional jobs. Add to that how hard it can be to communicate with young people and things become even more complicated.

Due to America’s typical family structure where children increasingly move away from parents and settle some distance from home, questionable childcare arrangements and lackluster maternity leave programs (or no leave programs at all, in many cases), much of the responsibility of family care falls on the mother, or on one primary caregiver. 

But CBD companies have been stepping up with a host of products and services that appear to be just what the doctor ordered for tired, overextended, and frustrated moms. 

Perhaps this is because an increasing number of CBD products and companies are led by women—a 2018 report states that 27% of America’s cannabis companies are women-run. 

Shanel Lindsay, CEO and founder of Ardent Cannabis and mother to two children is one of them, and she gets it. “Using cannabis helps me relax not just in parenting situations, but also after having a long, stressful day.”

Katie Miles, a fashion product designer and Los Angeles-based mom of two feels confident that CBD aids her in her mom related duties. “My husband I often take CBD on the weekends when we are just hanging about the house with the kids,” she explained. “It helps us be more relaxed around our seven and four-year-old who have so much energy and constantly want to play and make messes. I feel like I can be more in the moment and get down on their level when my anxieties about all the stuff I need to do around the house and with work is calmed by the CBD.”

The options of ways to utilize CBD without necessarily having to smoke or vape cannabis are ever increasing. 

Courtesy of Homesick

Light It Up

Candles are a multi-billion-dollar industry which, in 2013, earned $3.14 billion in profits. OK, then! Stand-up comedian Selena Coppock, host of the candle podcast Two Wick Minimum, says “A lot of closet “candleheads” revealed themselves when [my podcast] launched. In the current political and cultural climate, there is such a need for self care and relaxation, and my podcast really showed me that.” 

The Homesick brand bridges that gap with a cannabis-scented candle, perfect for moms who need to relax after a long day of schlepping, shopping, and shepherding children around. Scents include bergamot, cedar wood, sandalwood, patchouli, musk, and of course, cannabis, in relaxing, mom-approved combinations. Made from a soy-wax blend, the candles also burn safely and cleanly for upwards of 80 hours.

CBD Products That Help Moms Crush The Parenting Game
Courtesy of CannaCakeBabe

One Bite At A Time

Cupcakes have long been a popular coping mechanism for moms, parents, and people of all ages and responsibility levels and for good reason. They are pretty much awesome. What’s not to love about a palm-sized iced muffin? Baked Bazaar, a new online marketplace that sells quality CBD products from top-of-the-line artisan makers, has rolled out the thing moms didn’t know they needed — mini cupcakes in jars with customizable flavor, filling, and toppings.

Voila! It’s a cupcake in a jar. 

Perfect for snack-loving moms everywhere, CannaCakeBabe cupcakes, the brainchild of Nandi Shange based out of Las Vegas, are made using vegan ingredients. Each jar contains two servings (about 550 calories total) with 25 mg of CBD total, and take the edge off like…woah. Having these cakes in my refrigerator as a quick pick-me-up and mellow-me-out has been a literal godsend. I sampled the vanilla and chocolate flavors and loved them both tremendously. I ate them one blessed spoonful at a time over the course of a week or so. Many, many CBD products come across my desk and these things are a solid gold hit. They’re not cheap, running about $20 per jar (or $10 per “slice” if you’re doing the math, which moms always are), but they are real tasty. Bonuses: they travel well, stay fresh longer and come in a cute reusable jar.

‘I’m finding that a lot of moms are looking for new ways to incorporate CBD into their lifestyle,” Nandi told me, referring to her new, increasing fan base. “I’m combining CBD with treats that the whole family can enjoy.”

CBD Products That Help Moms Crush The Parenting Game
Courtesy of Dawson+Hellman

Sleep It Off

The National Sleep Foundation recommends choosing breathable, loose sleepwear in a fabric best suited to your body to aid a quality night’s sleep. Designer luxury bedding and sleepwear company Dawson+Hellman have just the thing for us tired mamas. Their truly comfortable pajamas arrive in a beautifully wrapped and gloriously smelling package that will bring a smile to any weary mom’s face. It’s like Christmas in…whenever. The two-piece piped sleep shirt and cozy pants pajama sets ($95) are super soft, appropriately loose and casual, and here’s the kicker: they are covered in pot leaves, so moms can spread a political bedtime message, be the cool mom at the sleepover, or just connect with their inner hippie child as they hit the pillow. They also have a shortie version of the sleepy pants set ($130) and a lovely, crisp white knee-length nightgown which are both simultaneously adorable with a hint of sexy, for those who are feeling that mommy magic.

CBD Products That Help Moms Crush The Parenting Game
Courtesy of Moon Mother Hemp

Cream Of The Crop

Skincare products of a wide variety are ever up-and-coming in the CBD market and provide a series of functions that serve moms of all ages. From facial creams to under-eye salves, each product is geared towards helping parents in all the many ways they can be benefited from them. 

Ester Vigil, president of 1933 Industries uses and loves her company’s own Canna Hemp CBD products. “I use an array of them every day,” she explained. “The body lotion is easily absorbed into the bloodstream when rubbed into my skin, leaving me feeling soft and moisturized.” 

Plant People won my heart over with a wonderful, useful tincture which legitimately changed my sleep game. Now they have added a skincare line to their offerings. The new Revive (serum, $82), Restore (face mask, $62) and Nourish (lotion, $55)—it’s like these products were made with moms in mind—are highly rated on the website and along with CBD, contain CBC (cannabichromene), a hot new element of cannabis, which like it’s cousin, CBD, also bonds to pain receptors, furthering relief. So they’re basically a two-fer, and you know how us moms feel about getting a good deal (almost as good as sex).

Jessica Bates, mother of two and CEO and founder of Moon Mother Hemp attests to how the tide is shifting regarding mothers using CBD products. “I take CBD daily for anxiety and sleep issues and it helps so much,” she explained. “Many of our customers are moms and they are feeling increasingly more comfortable calling and asking questions and speaking out about the stresses of motherhood. The stigma around admitting that motherhood can be stressful is lifting and so is the stigma around cannabis use for moms.”

Hear, hear!

For those moms who wake with puffy eyes (hello, all of us?), TriBeauty CBD Eye Cream ($60) tackles under eye lines while also offering a relaxing and comforting sensation that is refreshing and soothing in the morning.

But perhaps my favorite of all the lotions and maybe even all CBD products is the TribeRevive pain cream ($50), sold by TribeTokes, an NYC-based lady duo. It’s sincerely incredible and worth every penny. I use it on everything from muscle aches to headaches and neck aches. I rub it into my hairline when I feel a migraine coming on, into sore muscles or errant pains and within minutes, I feel relief. Some on my neck also helps me drift into sleep with ease. It is truly a miracle product.  

The best thing about CBD products is that they are now easier to come by and are in nearly every corner of the country, even available at many gift shops and online stores. National drugstore chains and even Amazon carry them in most states, so if your state doesn’t (yet), look around a state over.

As a tired mom who is always looking for quick fixes and magic answers to the issues that may arise, I find myself turning to CBD regularly, and it never disappoints. CBD is truly Mother Nature’s gift to all mothers.

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How Conservative Mom Mieko Hester-Perez Became a Global Cannabis Advocate

Mieko Hester-Perez wasn’t planning on being an advocate for cannabis growing up in Orange County, California. That is, until life put her on a path she never otherwise would have embarked on.

Cannabis was never an option for Mieko, as a child or as an adult. The legal services professional comes from a conservative family and embraces such beliefs to this day. Her extended family represents several slices of conservative values. They include three pastors, numerous uncles in the LAPD (some serving in the narcotics division), and her brother, a high-ranking firefighter.  

While remaining conservative, Mieko Hester-Perez has fully embraced the progressive cannabis movement. Over the past decade, she has used her upbringing and beliefs to introduce an array of people to medical cannabis while advocating for families like her own. 

However, Hester-Perez would not be in this position if it weren’t for her son, Joey. Born with severe autism, Joey often struggled with daily life. This included a wasting syndrome that left him at 46 pounds when he was ten years old. In addition to appetite struggles, Joey would harm himself on occasion during outbursts. 

She knew that Joey’s diagnosis meant that a 9-to-5 job would not allow her to support Joey or her older daughter. Instead, Mieko Hester-Perez opened her own business, CA Corp & Attorney Services. Always one to conduct thorough research, Hester-Perez searched for treatment options while caring for her family and running a business. Her work put her in contact with doctors performing then-controversial cannabis treatments. Soon enough, she felt that Joey could benefit from such treatments. 

Finding Success in Cannabis

Edibles allowed Joey’s appetite to change soon after consuming. His aggressive and self-injurious behavior subsided. Hester-Perez became a believer in cannabis. She wanted to do more for other families like her own. The legal advisor and advocate said that Joey became the biggest case she’s ever taken on. She explained why she decided to fight for Joey and others’ access to cannabis.

“I believe in [cannabis] so much. I was actually able to extend my son’s life. And once you save one life, it becomes contagious,” the mother and advocate explained. 

Hester-Perez took her family’s story to the media. In 2009, an appearance on Good Morning America amplified the saga families like her own were going through. Stories like Joey and Mieko’s further normalized medical cannabis use, especially for those unlikely to support the cause otherwise. 

Since the GMA appearance, Mieko has continued to share Joey’s relationship with medical cannabis on scores of news outlets in the U.S., Latin America, Australia and on several major online outlets.  

Her legal experience would grow in the cannabis space, as would her advocacy know-how. In time, Hester-Perez would become an influential figure in the medical cannabis community across the globe. The self-described “autism warrior mom” embraced a role as a healthcare advocate. She took a particular interest in family courts, ensuring children receive proper cannabis care. 

Other efforts include the co-founding of The Unconventional Foundation for Autism (UF4A), an advocacy and support network for families. At UF4A, Hester-Perez consults families, autism organizations, universities and the healthcare community. 

Hester-Perez joined the advisory board for the bottle design, manufacturing, brand and sales company Acology Inc. The partnership led to the creation of an FDA-approved child-resistant container which would store the autism-spectrum specific strain of cannabis named after her son. 

In the following years, Hester-Perez’s insights and influence would flourish. The mom and advocate would join boards, including the NORML Women’s Alliance and the Economic & Policy Impact Center. 

Mieko Hester-Perez: A Lauded and Awarded Activist

Hester-Perez would earn accolades over the years for her efforts. They include the 2012 Evelyn DuPont Award for her work improving the lives of children with autism. Other achievements include the 2016 Chalice Festival lifetime advocate award.  

Hester-Perez also credits the wisdom passed on by leaders in the space for helping her spread the word while learning about a once-foreign community to her. “I was very lucky to be able to work with some of the greats in the industry…the Kyle Kushmans and the Ed Rosenthals; the pioneers of this entire industry.” 

She added, “I received a crash course like no one in the entire industry could have, having no experience with cannabis at all.”

Crash courses are no longer needed for Hester-Perez. Her expertise eventually brought her to Israel, where she’d form lasting connections with a number of groups, including mothers and business ventures. She recalled the impact speaking at an international event like CannaTech 2017 had on her. Calling the experience “eye opening,” Hester-Perez said, “At that time, I had been on every major network. I traveled all over the country. But now I’m in Israel. This is unbelievable.” 

Calling the experience “magical,” Hester-Perez recalled bonding with the mothers. “They were fighters. They were everything that I was when I had went public in 2009.” She added, “I immediately had a bond with Israel.”

Her connection to Israel would be further cemented when she linked up with the medical cannabis company Tikun Olam at CannaTech 2017. The company began as a non-profit in 2005 by founder Tzahi Cohen after requesting the country allow him to grow 100 plants for the country’s medical cannabis patients. Mieko Hester-Perez began serving as a spokesperson for the company. She calls the role “the best pay it forward for me.” In 2019, she joined the company where she recommends the products, along with the strain Avidekel, in autism protocols. 

While cannabis improved and lengthened Joey’s life, he sadly passed away in April of 2018. Mieko has chosen not to speak much about her son’s passing with the public since. However, she has continued to work in legal services, where she provides professional and advocacy advice. She also serves as a healthcare liaison for Wellness Works, a consulting firm adjacent to the Kannabis Works dispensary in Santa Ana, California. 

Mieko Hester-Perez now hopes to use her experience and her family’s story as inspiration in other countries. In addition to the U.S. and Israel, she is now working on an autism protocol in her ancestral Puerto Rico.

The post How Conservative Mom Mieko Hester-Perez Became a Global Cannabis Advocate appeared first on High Times.

How Intrusive CPS Visits Led To The Formation of The Family Law Cannabis Alliance

As legalization continues throughout the country, more discussions are happening about one sore spot in the cannabis space: Child Protective Services’ involvement, which often creates destructive change. Sara Arnold aka Sahra Kant, understands the horrifying damage CPS can cause more than most, having dealt with them four times. The fourth CPS visit was the day after the death of Arnold’s daughter Liberty, continuing to investigate her family for six weeks.

During this extremely trying time, Arnold didn’t see any support from the cannabis community, despite the tireless activism work she put into the space. Arnold has been talking about CPS for almost a decade, first under a pseudonym (Sahra Kant), and then as the co-founder of Family Law Cannabis Alliance (FLCA). The same week Arnold took part of a front cover Time article about women activists in cannabis, her daughter Liberty was diagnosed with DIPG brain cancer. 

“Over four times dealing with CPS, I learned that parents are often alone in it,” Arnold tells High Times, “There is little to no legal help, and what exists often costs far more than parents are able to afford.”

She points out that there is no burden of proof on the part of CPS, something she saw firsthand when she got the call that she would be dealing with the agency for her and her daughter’s medical cannabis use.

“CPS is a Kafkaesque system where parents have to be compliant or risk further steps taken against them, by some people who, even in fully medicalized and legalized states, consider cannabis to be as dangerous a drug for parents to use as heroin.”

Arnold points to the stigmatization that is specific to dealing with CPS, saying that the process makes parents feel like second-class citizens. While marginalized communities are targeted for possible “drug” use, no parent can really protect themselves against the interference of CPS. She says that upper-middle-class white parents may feel a sense of freedom in legal and medical states because they are ignorant to the fact that the agency can and will involve itself in their lives at the slightest provocation.

“Parents of color, those on Medicaid, parents with any kind of disabilities or mental health issues are quite aware that their cannabis use can still result in stigma and interdiction by CPS,” Arnold said.

Because cannabis is illegal on a Federal level, CPS has the authority to consider it as something that could potentially endanger the well-being of a child. While certain legislation like California’s Proposition 64 and its subsequent amendments may allow for certain protections for medical cannabis patients, it is still CPS’s role to determine if there is neglect. CPS involvement can occur because something as simple as a cannabis smell coming from a purse or clothing can motivate someone call in a complaint. 

Once CPS (or Department of Children and Families, depending on the state) opens a case, the investigation process begins a personal survey of family, sexual, physical and mental histories, among other intimate inquiries. The parent then must wait anxiously for weeks to know the next steps, which can include addiction treatment and other interventions that seriously disrupt family life. In many cases, parents lose their jobs while trying to regain custody, because they are forced to enter some sort of rehab which is time-consuming and costly.

Additionally, parents who have a medical need for cannabis are forced into cessation, which can result in loss of income and the ability to supply the best care for their child. In her article titled The Shocking State of Cannabis-Related Child Protection in Massachusetts, Arnold makes it clear that CPS is allowed to adopt a child to a foster parent if the child is taken out the biological parent’s care for being in CPS custody for six months out of the previous twelve months if under the age of four. 

The months in foster care don’t have to be consecutive, and CPS can allow a foster parent or alternate caregiver to adopt if a child creates a bond with them. Reports to the agency can occur because of prenatal testing showing cannabis use, or because individuals who consider themselves “mandated reporters” call anonymously, but it can also be anyone who opposes cannabis. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) outlines prenatal exposure to illegal drugs or substances as neglect or abuse, and many mothers have to deal with losing custody the minute their baby is born. 

For parents dealing with this precarious situation, Arnold co-founded the FCLA, which gave cannabis users invaluable resources and connections to legal professionals. In addition to detailed state profiles outlining current custody and cannabis laws, the FCLA has a guide on dealing with CPS, an extensive collection of cannabis research, and has created language that shaped legislation. 

“We provided direct service to those in need as well as significant amounts of state-based legal analysis, a legal network including referrals, and even model language for parent-protective provisions in legislation (drafted by 2 well-known cannabis attorneys in addition to myself), among additional resources.  Our model language is in a few bills, including the legalization law successfully passed in Massachusetts”, Arnold said. 

Unfortunately, because the cannabis community support is lacking, FCLA is shutting down, becoming an archived educational and historical resource. While Arnold is discouraged by the lack of public conversation surrounding CPS involvement, she appreciates that other people are doing the work. One of those people is Marissa Fratoni, a cannabis nurse, educator, and advocate who helps parents make informed decisions about cannabis use. On her blog, Holistic Nurse Mama, Fratoni discusses things like the health effects and benefits of using cannabis, but says that the greatest risk for parents (using cannabis) is the possibility of CPS involvement.

“I feel that parents cannot make informed decisions about cannabis use without having thorough understanding of the social and legal consequences they may face as cannabis users,” Fratoni tells High Times, “I do my best to fill these gaps for parents who reach out to me either by directing them to a resource on my blog, or by consulting with them through” is another resource for mothers who use cannabis, offering an online clinic and other educational resources. Tokeativity is a global community (both online and physical events) that offers an online forum and social media platform for cannabis-consuming mothers to discuss the complexities with each other privately, and hosts events for the purpose of empowering mothers to medicate with cannabis. Americans for Safe Access has a helpful guide for how to deal with CPS intervention, along with other legal resources.

While there are limited resources available, the overall outlook of cannabis use and custody stays dim as long as CPS has the power to predict the outcome. In the meantime, the conversation surrounding this issue needs to become more mainstream so that activists can flourish and continue to build on available support systems.

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Why pregnant and nursing mothers shouldn’t smoke marijuana

As more states legalize marijuana, the number of pregnant women who smoke marijuana is rising — and this could be really bad for babies.

In 2002, 2.3% of pregnant women used marijuana. In 2014, that number was up to 3.84%, a rise of two-thirds. To make matters worse, the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana has quadrupled. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana, the chemical that gives the “high.”

We don’t know all the effects of THC on infants, but we know enough that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a statement warning parents.

THC can pass easily through the placenta and into the bloodstream of a developing baby. Studies suggest that when it does, it can affect the brain. Because babies are still developing, anything that affects that development can lead to permanent changes. THC can affect something called executive function. These are skills such as concentration, attention, impulse control, and problem solving; they are crucial skills for learning and life success. Studies also suggest that children who have prenatal exposure to marijuana may have a higher risk of substance use disorder or mental illness.

THC also passes into breast milk. That means that it’s still not okay to smoke marijuana after birth, because the brains of infants are actively developing — actually they are actively developing for the first three or so years of life. The effects of secondhand marijuana smoke on kids appear to last even longer, with possibly permanent effects on executive function continuing even through the teenage years.

As with alcohol, it’s impossible to say for sure what a safe amount is during pregnancy. The safest thing is not to use it at all, and to not take any form of it while breastfeeding or to smoke it around children. Some women use it to manage the nausea of pregnancy, but there are many other ways of managing nausea.

When you are pregnant and parenting, it’s no longer just about you. The choices you make could have a lifelong effect on your child — so make good choices.

Follow me on Twitter @drClaire

The post Why pregnant and nursing mothers shouldn’t smoke marijuana appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.