Coming Out of the Canna-Closet: Part I

I had an interesting dialogue with a mom I met recently. My new mom-friend – who I shall refer to as Jane – admitted that she finally reached a point where she feels comfortable having a glass of wine in front of her 4-year-old son, but dreads the day when he asks her why she drinks. I confessed to her that I consume both alcohol and cannabis on occasion. That was a helluva risk, being as though I barely know the woman. I’m glad I did, though. The fact that she appeared curious and non-judgmental was a plus. The fact that her husband smokes didn’t hurt either. Ultimately, however, I was presented with an opportunity to publicly come out of the canna-closet, and I took it.

I told Jane that my eldest child once asked me why adults like to drink. The funny thing was that I had no fear or self-consciousness in sharing my opinion with him. I told him grown-ups like drinking alcohol because it often makes us feel like kids again. Sad to say but for most adults it takes a harsh substance like liquor to lower our inhibitions enough enjoy a guilt-free experience of being brazenly silly, playful and carefree – at least until the morning after.

To her question as to whether I drink around the kids, I said “not often.”

“Do you get drunk around your kids?” she asked. I replied “no” because I’m an occasional social drinker so they’re fast asleep by the time I bring my tipsy ass through the front door.

Then, Jane pops the question I knew was first and foremost on her mind:

“Do you get high around your kids?”

“No. I’m the CBD Queen,” I said.

She was like: “WTF is CBD?” In this moment I was reminded that most people don’t know shit about cannabis and its healing properties.

At this stage in my life, getting high is akin to a luxury spa retreat: It’s a rare event of recreational self-care that involves an atmosphere of peace and serenity. There’s a reason children aren’t allowed in spas. When I get lit, I can relax, recharge, enjoy the sensation and focus on myself – for a change.

I told Jane that I rarely get high these days. “CBD has become the medicine for me.” It provides all the benefits of cannabis sans the THC effect, I said. I then had to explain to that consuming cannabis isn’t limited smoking. The intermittent use of edibles, including gummies, capsules or tinctures work like a charm in managing my stress and anxiety levels.

But then I got to thinking: Do my kids know that cannabis is a healing plant? Yes. Have I told them that I consume it in various forms? No. And I’m not in any particular rush to discuss it with them.

Why? I blame it on government sponsored “Reefer Madness” propaganda, but I’m working my way through it.

Do you remember when the “drug talk” was an awkward parent-led discussion explaining the hazards of drug use? Parents who were bold enough would use their own experiences with substance abuse as examples to discourage their kids from doing drugs. In many cases, those kids were, essentially, us!

In 2019, we, the parents of the cannabis consuming variety, can approach “the talk” in a whole new way. On the one hand, there’s the conversation where can we warn our kids about the destructive effects of real drugs like highly toxic narcotics and pharmaceuticals.

On the other, is the opportunity to teach kids about cannabis and why it’s demonized, while reinforcing that it’s a potent medicinal plant to be used mindfully. I can’t overlook the issue of cannabis abuse, because that shit is real. And due to cannabis Schedule I status, there exists a thick layer of caution, particularly for Black and Brown folks who know some law enforcement agents are looking for any and every excuse to lock us up. Today’s “drug talk” presents complexities some folks (like me) need more time to prepare for.

My candid chat with Jane was the impetus behind this new series. I’m not the only canna mom struggling with the notion of coming out of the closet about responsible cannabis consumption. It can be risky business, so we intend to create a space where canna fams can share their thoughts and experiences to support each other step by step.

The following video is hella relevant to the cause. Canna mami’s and papi’s are out there blazing new trails & coming out the closet to their little ones. Check it out:

Canna-fams, feel free to share your stories with us, we may feature it in our next installment:


About Author