Pot parenting problems: are non-consuming peers worried about weed?

cannabis parent stigma

With more states legalizing cannabis for adult use, the general public is beginning to regard the plant more like alcohol than an illicit substance. There is still some stigma. Parents who consume often still feel like targets for cannabis stigma.

As a cannabis reporter who values my relationship with the plant, having my son didn’t make me want to quit forever. Becoming a parent just made me more aware of how my cannabis consumption might isolate me, and in turn my kiddo, from building relationships with other families.

When I was only responsible for my own social life, deterring from talking about my work in the cannabis space or preference for flower over edibles was just a nice way to weed out those who didn’t share these interests. Now, my demeanor and lifestyle choices seem to impact which parents want to schedule playdates or interact at the playground. This made me wonder if my association with the cannabis plant would negatively impact my toddler’s social life.

Polling the local moms

Since my subjective perspective is inherently biased, I took to the local mom’s group to find out if my hunch was accurate. Because it’s a mom’s group, most respondents are mothers. However, I got one response from a dad via my personal Instagram story which is also included. Here’s a clear picture of the parents that were polled.

I live in a town that has had access to adult-use cannabis since 2012 and medical weed since 1998. Just under 94,000 people live here, 77 percent of which are white, 9.5 percent are Latino or Hispanic, 7.4 percent are mixed, 5.7 percent Asian, 1.3 percent Black, and 0.9 percent Indigenous. Of censused residents, 73 percent are families living in the same house.

That said, I posed an open question to a mother’s support group in town that asked for the opinion of parents who do not consume cannabis. The question read as follows: “So, those who don’t smoke weed or eat edibles, do you have any feelings about parents who safely do? (Assuming their kids are safe and products are properly stored away from them).”

What do other parents really think about cannabis?

Of the 8700 group members, 30 responded. The general consensus? “As long as you aren’t inebriated or consuming around my children, I’m fine with it.” Most mothers expressed that they see the plant as they do alcohol—there’s a time and a place for it, and when their children are present it is not the right time. Some shared a belief that alcohol and illicit substances are worse, centering harm reduction in their thoughtful replies.

There were a few points made that could be considered cons. One mother observed another parent pick up their child from baseball practice reeking of cannabis as if they’d just taken down a full blunt in the car before coming over. This rightfully brought the conversation back to ensuring you’re consuming safely, and blowing blunts before driving your 9-year-old isn’t responsible.

Another respondent worried that if a parent can’t drive high, what makes them think that they can parent under the influence? Some agreed, with two likes and one laughing emoji on that comment. This was the extent of any form of negative response, though who is to say what those who abstained from answering think.

The main takeaway from respondents? As long as you and all the kids in your stead are safe and cared for, most moms in this town, where adult-use cannabis is long-established, don’t mind if you smoke ganja. These results are for a liberal locale with more than 20 years of experience with some form of legal cannabis. Though this group specifically fosters a more conservative approach to parenting. It would be interesting to pose this question in other regions.

As for this location, perhaps wearing my cute industry merch won’t keep playground parents from exchanging numbers for future playdates. One thing’s for sure: it’ll draw in like-minded parents. Based on this limited sample size, it seems that with legalization comes leniency from fellow parents when their peers choose to smoke a joint to unwind after bedtime.

Cara Wietstock is senior content producer of GreenState.com and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.