Despite the gradual mainstreaming of cannabis in the US, many mothers, especially those of color, are uncomfortable making public declarations of their cannabis usage. But can you blame us? First off, we are so damn hard on ourselves; even more so when it comes to mothering. Secondly, it’s still federally illegal, so there’s the shadow of criminality over our heads. And let’s not forget the influence of marijuana miseducation.
Cannabis has been so demonized it almost doesn’t matter how many states legalize it. Moms of color, in particular, are often less willing to shout about their marijuana usage from the roof-tops. Sure, we’ll proclaim our ganja-love amongst like-minded mamas, but we’re more likely to be penalized, both socially and legally, for using it – and what’s bad for mamma is bad for baby. Add to that the responsibility balancing the needs of our family with those of our own. As nurturers, we want to make sure that our self-care regimen doesn’t come at the cost of our children’s well-being. It’s no wonder most cannamoms are more likely to own up to enjoying a glass of wine than a joint.
Curiosity compelled me to take a closer look at the fears that drive so many cannamoms’ into silence. Self-reflection and a few heart-to-hearts with other mammas produced the following list:
- Your kids being ostracized/stigmatized if your cannabis usage becomes public knowledge.
- Folks thinking your an addict or “pot head.”
- Parents may not want to leave their kids in your care.
- Being ashamed of yourself because your child thinks you’re a pothead.
- Being declared legally unfit and losing custody of your child.
- Your kids finding your stash before having “the talk” with them.
- Your kids finding – and consuming – your stash.
- Your kids being embarrassed or ashamed of your cannabis use.
- Your child’s school staff and/or administrators finding out about your cannabis use (and the negative impact it could have on your him/her/them).
- Getting arrested for possession.
- Being considered a bad mom.
- Your kid may fall for the Reefer Madness ‘okey doke.’
- If you hide your cannabis usage, your child will view cannabis – and you – in a negative light.
- The fear that your cannabis usage may encourage your child to develop a cannabis dependence.
- The fear that your kid may get freaked out by your cannabis consumption.
- The fear of developing an unhealthy dependence on cannabis.
What did we miss? Feel free to share your worst nightmare too!