Moms Who Smoke Weed

 

The stigma surrounding cannabis is slowly disappearing. And yet, moms who choose to use it -- recreationally or medicinally -- are still relegated to secrecy. So we met seven of them in their homes to ask them six questions about the connection between cannabis and motherhood.


1. Why are moms being isolated from the conversation around cannabis,  despite the overwhelming
benefits for women?

2. What role does cannabis play in your life as a mom?

3. How do you tailor your experience?

4. Wine brands are overtly targeting stressed out moms with names like Mommy Juice and Mommy’s Time Out, and yet, it’s not considered socially acceptable for moms to talk openly about cannabis use?  Why? 

5. How will you talk to your kids about cannabis?

6. If we were to eavesdrop on a conversation about cannabis between you and other moms, what would it sound like?

 
 
 
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Why did you feel you needed to stay anonymous to have this conversation?

I hope that if someone Googles 'moms who smoke weed', they find these powerful women who are also mothers, who are also doing other things with their lives, who are also smoking weed. Personally, it doesn’t feel fine for me to talk about it publicly yet -- not with other moms and also not with my job. The reason I wanted to stay anonymous is because I worry about the repercussions. I hope that five years from now, no one will want to remain anonymous because they won’t have to.

Why are moms being isolated from the conversation around cannabis use, despite the overwhelming benefits for women?

Because it’s still considered a vice and not a medicine. I wonder too if the conversation is made tougher because you are seen as a mom rather than a person, so if you wanted to talk to someone about your experiences or even how to buy weed, it’s hard when all they see is you as a mother. It’s not something you should be talking about, seeking, or asking for. After I had my baby and I no longer had a medical prescription,  I had my husband go and buy me weed because what was I going to do, strap my baby to my chest and go to a dispensary? It seemed so far away from who I was allowed to be but that was the time when I was super stressed and actually needed it to relax. It’s what kept me together for the first four months of my daughter’s life but it was this secret, hidden thing on the corner of my patio. I’d come inside and spray everything down in case someone came over to see the baby, I didn’t want them smelling weed in the house.

The other thing that I’ve always been really conscious of, as a person of colour, is this stereotype that brown and black skinned people are always smoking up. So on another level, I’m left feeling like I’m going to be seen as this super irresponsible mom. When you think of a white 30-something woman smoking weed, you might think that it’s for medicinal use or she has a prescription, whereas if you think of a brown mom of a similar age smoking, you think ‘in their culture they don’t know any better.’  This is an area where I’m especially aware of my image.

 
 
 
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What role does cannabis play in your life as a mom?

I think that being a mother, you’re constantly faced with a lot of judgement and always feeling like you have to prove yourself. With marijuana, the first image that comes to mind is a lazy college boy who smokes weed on the couch, a "pot head." You don’t think of successful, driven, multitasking, hardworking people -- women and men using cannabis to help with stresses in life. If I’m dealing with toddler tantrums throughout the day and I really want to be able to be a good mother and a good wife and not be in such high stress all the time, what can I do to balance that out? Once you change the perception of who uses weed and for what reasons, the entire conversation will change. I think as more mothers display themselves honestly and truthfully, that will give power to people who feel really ashamed when they shouldn’t be. 

How do you tailor your experience?
I choose the time of day to do it, usually when I put my kids to sleep and I can decompress and think about my day. Instead of having a glass of wine or a scotch, I use my vape pen.

If we were to eavesdrop on a conversation about cannabis between you and other moms, what would it sound like?
I’m lucky to be surrounded by open-minded moms, so the conversations that we’re having are about the beauty of being a parent but also the struggles that come along with it. It’s not all glamorous and it’s often not pretty, it’s fucking tough sometimes. Lets just say that I used to think I was the most zen person in the entire world, and becoming a mother taught me that I still have so much work to do on myself.  Aside from that, it's about being kind to other women and also being kind to yourself.

*toddler begins crying*
This is it, this is the life!

- Aleks Malkin 

 
 
 
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Why are moms being isolated from the conversation around cannabis use, despite the overwhelming benefits for women?

I think that moms are left out of a lot of conversations, not just around cannabis. I’m still pretty new to motherhood, and once I had a baby, I realized there was a whole entire world and community that I didn’t know existed or knew anything about, which I found really strange. A lot of people seem to think that as soon as you become a mom, that’s your entire identity and everything else falls away because what other relevance do you have? Now that you’re a mom, that’s where all your attention should be and that’s all you are. Which isn’t true. I also think that there is an immense amount of judgement towards the choices moms make with their own bodies, and cannabis is no different. I don’t know that people would even think that a mom could use it to deal with some parent-related issues, because it’s not even supposed to be something that you talk about.

How do you tailor your experience?

To be honest, I’m still figuring it out. I’m really excited about legalization because I think there is a lot of opportunity to take everything I’ve learned through Tokyo Smoke and Van Der Pop and explore it on my own terms and in my own time. I love that I’ve learned about vaping and oils and edibles, and the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the strains and how you can tailor an experience based on how you feel or what you want. I also really love that with impending legalization, the stigma is starting to drop and a vast array of people --  ages, ethnicities, demographics, occupations -- are coming out to say that they smoke weed too. It's amazing because it makes you realize that there isn’t one “type of person” who smokes weed. They don’t all live in a basement.

- Abigail Van Den Broek

 
 
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Why are moms being isolated from the conversation around cannabis use, despite the overwhelming benefits for women?
I don’t know if it’s a mom thing so much as a female thing. Society, as a whole, tends to put women in boxes and if you don’t fit, people don’t understand you or they don’t want to because you are going outside of what they consider normal. Being a mom, I don’t feel that as much because of who I surround myself with. They are people who don’t care that I smoke weed and are helpful with the way I’m raising my daughter. I feel like this is a space for women to create and recreate ourselves, and really spark conversations like we’re having right now.

Wine brands are overtly targeting stressed out moms with names like Mommy Juice and Mommy’s Time Out, and yet, it’s not considered socially acceptable for moms to talk openly about cannabis use?

Alcohol is a problem. Not that I’ve ever been an alcoholic, but I’ve used it as a crutch a lot in my life. My dad passed away five years ago, and on the night of his funeral, I was out with some family members and we all got completely wasted. The next day I woke up and realized that if I kept drinking, I didn't know where I would be. I quit drinking for a year. It was hard. I’m older and hangovers make me feel like shit. I don’t want my daughter to see me like that. With cannabis, I wake up in the morning and I feel rested and fine to play with my daughter. When my husband and I tried edibles, we did it before we put baby girl to bed because we thought it would take awhile for it to kick in.  I went to give her a bath and I swear we were in there for half an hour.  She had the best bath of her life. We were playing for so long!

How do you tailor experience?

I prefer vaping.  I can’t roll and I don’t smoke enough to warrant a joint. It’s more of a social thing right now, and once it becomes legal, I’ll start playing around with it a bit more. I’m still nervous. I’m someone’s mom. If I get arrested with cannabis on me, I’d probably be fine but I don’t want to risk it. Personally, my husband and I will have drinks in front of her but I don’t smoke in front of her. I’ve spoken with three child psychologists and I think we have to be careful because we don’t want to normalize it too much to the point where teens think they can smoke all the time. It’s about education and having an open relationship with your children.

- Michelle Bilodeau

 
 
 
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Why are moms being isolated from the conversation around cannabis use, despite the overwhelming benefits for women? 
There's a stigma that it’s a drug, so naturally mothers feel especially ashamed because we’re put at the highest standard in society, so it's like a dirty little secret. If everyone was educated on the dosage, methods, benefits, and what it can be used to improve, maybe they wouldn't be so quick to dismiss it. Especially when we think about new moms who are so stressed out, overwhelmed, anxious, dealing with postpartum depression, or lacking a sex drive. 

Cannabis legitimately makes me a better person and a better parent. My kid will just repeat something ten thousand times, but I can't focus because I'm trying to answer an email or organize something. I find it helps me unjumble my brain and be more present in the moment. Like, 'okay, you’re trying to tell me that 2 + 2 = 4 and I’m going to be really excited about this because I can see this is really important to you.’ Besides, I become more carefree and fun, as opposed to hurried and too busy for the little things. I love how it can help you become a better version of yourself. Is that deep?

If we were to eavesdrop on a conversation about cannabis between you and other moms, what would it sound like?
Nikita and I created our Facebook group, Rebel Mamas, because we got pregnant within five weeks of each other and didn’t have any women around us who would have an honest conversation about motherhood - never mind cannabis. There are a lot of new and veteran moms who have now been added to the group and we monitor it pretty heavily to keep it a safe space.  In there, someone might write, ‘Oh my god, how long has it been since you guys have had sex? It's been a 6 months, is that normal?" And another mom will respond "Dude, smoke a little and you’ll be fine.’ Imagine somebody said that publicly? People would lose their minds! You guys should be moms, it’s really cool. It’s also really fun when you can be honest with the whole thing.

You're interviewing Nikita next right? I'm going to give you a loot bag with candy and weed in it to give to her. Don't bend the joint! 

- Aleks Jassem - 1/2 of The Rebel Mama

 
 
 
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What role does cannabis play in your life as a mom?

If anybody needs cannabis in their lives, it’s moms. Think about it. We literally exist in an anxious state. We're constantly scanning for danger, we're responsible for the lives of others on top of our own, then the financial responsibility comes into play too. It's just becomes this heightened level of crazy town. It’s a silly sounding thing to say, but for me I find cannabis helps to streamline my thinking process sometimes, whether I need to clean the whole fucking house or sit down and write my book. Sometimes I just need to snap out of the crazy and get down to work. 

How will you talk to your kids about cannabis?

I think by the time my kids are in junior school, they’ll be like ‘Ugh mom I can’t believe you lived in a time when cannabis was illegal, you’re a dinosaur, what was it like in the olden days?’ I think that they'll see people using cannabis products really normally for pretty much their entire lives. It's going to be in everything: beauty products, part of an athlete’s recovery. Across the board it will be totally normalized. If they ask me about it, I’ll be completely honest and I hope that I will be a good source of knowledge, but I honestly don’t think it’s going to be a thing.

If we were to eavesdrop on a conversation about cannabis between you and other moms, what would it sound like?

I hang out with mostly liberal people, and generally, anyone who is on the more conservative side of things will end up saying something along the lines of ‘How do you do it? Two young kids and you run a business and you have a family life?’ and I’ll be like, ‘Well, I smoke a lot of weed.' They tend to be a bit taken aback at first, but then they’re always like ‘I’ve actually heard good things about that CBD stuff, what’s that? You can use cannabis during the day?! How?!’ Well it’s not 1998 anymore and you don’t green out the second you smoke a joint. People are curious, though. Especially women, because they’ve heard the whispers that this is the new health revolution for us. They want to know if it actually helps with period cramps, which of course it does. They want to know if you have to get stoned to use it which of course you don't. Cannabis is a complete game changer. I think soon we'll see people taking fewer pills and drinking less. Even just from a practical level, why use the one that's going to give you a hangover when you have to be up at 6:30 a.m. with your kids and on. your. fucking. game? My kid comes into my room in his Iron Man mask yelling, ‘HEY. READY TO PLAY?!’ and I better be ready to play! I really don’t understand why there is this taboo for moms. Even just weighing the side effects of cannabis versus alcohol, cannabis makes way more sense. 

Before we forget, Alex told us to give you this loot bag. The last thing she said to us on our way out of her house was 'don't bend the joint!'
Have you just been getting to smoke weed with moms all day?
No, Alex is the only one who smoked a joint with us -- in her special corner by the bathroom window.
Why am I not surprised? She can convince anyone to smoke weed with her.

That’s exactly what she said you’d say about her!

- Nikita Stanley - the other 1/2 of The Rebel Mama

 
 
 
 
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Why are moms being isolated from the conversation around cannabis use, despite the overwhelming benefits for women? 
I think cannabis is only recently a topic that people are talking about but we still aren’t talking openly about moms smoking weed, even though the timing would be appropriate. It’s going to take a lot of people bringing it to the forefront for that to ever be part of a regular conversation. Once you become a mom, things do change; your life changes, the purpose of your day changes. My reason for smoking pot after having a kid is so different than what it was before. Becoming a mom is pretty isolating, and a lot of the conversation around motherhood is isolating. I don’t have a group of mom friends that I talk about cannabis with, which is something I would love to be part of.  There is a lot of dialogue in my world that doesn’t exist about being an adult and a mom and smoking weed or eating edibles, and that being a normal thing.

What role does cannabis play in your life as a mom?

I’m a much more relaxed mom and I’m much more engaged with my son, Oliver. We play for hours because timelines don’t matter, bedtimes don’t matter, messes don’t matter. Life is just better with a bit of micro-dosing in there, and I know there’s a whole world of moms doing the same thing. I would love if I could post a picture of my beautiful chocolate bar with my beautiful cannabis-infused kombucha and not feel ridiculed. I don’t think I’ll ever be a mom who will indulge with my kids, but it’s impossible to imagine what the landscape will be like a decade from now.

Wine brands are overtly targeting stressed out moms with names like Mommy Juice and Mommy’s Time Out, and yet, it’s not considered socially acceptable for moms to talk openly about cannabis use?
I’ve always been envious of people who love wine and who come home and have a glass, and it somehow has that relaxing impact. It just never has for me. Cannabis is my glass of wine. I’m not an anxious person but I can get frustrated and I have a short fuse, so it just puts a pause button on that. My husband and I are united in the fact that cannabis is something we’re interested in, and not because we’re stoners or need to escape anything, or can’t take care of our kid without it, we just think there’s amazing benefits and that we’re better people. I still have moments where I doubt myself and what the perception of us might be. Again, it’s opening yourself up and deciding that you’re comfortable in your decision, that you’re an adult and you’re responsible. No one is ever going to be okay with it if we don’t start talking about it, and someone is going to have to take one for the team and start posting pictures and have the rest of the community approve. 

Why did you say yes to being part of this project?
When you asked me to participate, my first thought was: I can’t do that, I’m pregnant! It’s one thing to be a mom, but it’s another thing to be a pregnant mom. But I want to talk about it, no matter what state I’m in. Cannabis is an interest of mine because I’ve been smoking pot for 20 years and there’s been a huge evolution in my life. It’s no longer about rolling a joint and going out and getting high, it’s now about coming home, enjoying an edible, and managing that state in a really mature and blissful way. I’m a more relaxed, better, and engaged mom, so it’s an important part of my life and I want that to be a normal thing. Last summer, I was like ‘maybe I should dial it back with the chocolates after work' because we’d have dinner and then go out for a walk and sometimes it would hit me a little harder. I was worried that I looked high and that it would be inappropriate to be out scootering with my kid. But we were the ones who stayed at the park too late, and played and got dirty, which is cool because far too often parents don’t have time with their kids or they’re already thinking four steps ahead. It’s the epitome of living in the moment.

- Jennifer Mooers

 
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Photography by Nick Thiessen