Pro-Cannabis Activism: Parenting While Supporting Cannabis
Parenting by its nature seems to be filled with challenges, judgment, and guilt. When another mother or father boasts that their child is the top of the class while yours is still learning to write, a parent feels guilty. Society has a way of reaching out to parents, finding what they believe the faults are and making parents feel guilty about them. Pro-cannabis parents seem to get the blunt end of this most days. If there is one thing that parents judge other parents on, it’s marijuana. Often, parents can’t wear traditional every-day pro-cannabis clothing to support activism groups because of this.
Individuals that remain uneducated on the benefits of cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes maintain an older, outdated stereotype of those that support marijuana. It often involves parents that do not give their children boundaries, let their kids party or consume alcohol, and rooms full of smoke while everyone makes brownies. Granted, parents that enjoy cannabis might be more relaxed because of the medicinal benefits of cannabis, but that does not mean that they are bad parents. Unfortunately, some parents that are transparent about their pro-cannabis status never get the chance to explain this.
Children Not Allowed in Private Schools
In some areas, including those areas that have already legalized marijuana for recreational use, it can be more difficult for children to get into elite schools if their parents are pro-cannabis and do not hide it. This is because of the above two reasons: those parents are judged, stereotyped and deemed guilty as soon as they walk through the door in a shirt that has a marijuana leaf on it. While this discrimination is not right, it continues.
Children May Have A Harder Time Maintaining Friendships
When children have parents that are pro-cannabis, and that is judged by other parents, it can be more difficult for them to find and keep friends. Once the gossip starts about someone using marijuana, it can be hard to get past the stereotypes mentioned above so that other children can come to your kid’s sleepover. The same parents that are judging pro-cannabis parents often do not feel comfortable with their children spending the night with those same parents in charge.
Parents that support marijuana in areas that have not legalized the use of cannabis for recreational use are more likely to face legal consequences for a variety of things. They are more likely to get a ticket if they get pulled over while wearing clothing that advocates for this important cause, and they are more likely to have their car searched.
When parents openly express their pro-cannabis feelings or advocate in their state, they are more likely to be seen as unfit parents. In states that have yet to legalize marijuana, this is considered a drug, and parents can be thrown into the same category as those that use hard drugs, such as crack cocaine, by child welfare agencies.
What Can You Do, Though?
Most parents feel guilted into hiding their support, and this is somewhat understandable. No one wants to be judged, and no one wants their children to suffer. On the other hand, most people do not want to withdraw their support, either. There are several things that parents can do to support this cause while reducing the negative things that they have to deal with.
Educate to Dispel Stereotypes
People develop stereotypes because of things they have heard, things they have seen, such as movie scenes, or from real-life experiences. A person may judge a cannabis activist because they used to have a brother or friend that smoked marijuana, did not have a job and did not help around the house. If this is their only experience with cannabis, it makes sense that they would have this impression.
By explaining the benefits of cannabis and how a person can use cannabis while still being a productive member of society, parents may lessen the judgment that they face and help bring more supporters to the cause.
Some important points that parents can bring up are:
· Parenting techniques. Instead of letting people assume that pro-cannabis parents are lazy or bad parents, inform them of things that your own children participate in or how they are doing. For example, one could point out that their child receives only A’s and B’s, that their son plays the violin or how hard their daughter works.
· Remind them of medicinal benefits. Most people agree that marijuana can make great contributions to the medical community, but some people are still not aware of this. Educate them on:
o It helps minimize seizures
o Reduces anxiety
o Reduces symptoms of anxiety-related disorders, such as PTSD
o Helps combat insomnia
o Assists in those with eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia
o Can help with weight gain
o Stress reduction
Often, people will take a step back from their judgment when they are reminded of the benefits of cannabis.
Parents often face a great deal of judgment when they are pro-cannabis. These parents can be frowned upon by society as a whole and feel as though they can only be friends with other people that support cannabis as well. Instead, parents can choose who they would like to be transparent to or educate others to help create a world that is pro-cannabis.