We don’t have a society that looks at parents that consume alcohol with eyes of disgust. Instead, our society in general, considers parents that smoke/consume Cannabis- bad. Even when medicinally and recreationally legal, in the eyes of some, Cannabis is still the devil’s lettuce.
The government did quite the job making the masses fearful of a plant. A plant with thousands of years of medicinal history and one that grows wild. The government created the “devils’ lettuce” stigma and all these years later, even with legalization, that stigma continues to stick.
Many states have laws that don’t allow someone to have both a medicinal Cannabis card and a license to carry a gun. Many states still take kids out of the home because their parents consume Cannabis. Many states are keeping families separated over Cannabis offenses.
The masses that support the government's mission in keeping a plant prohibited, don’t help matters any. These are the people that judge the canna mom for consuming Cannabis, while holding wine/gin/tequila. The dad that says the canna dad, consuming Cannabis oil is bad, while holding an opioid bottle in his hand. The teacher wants to report the canna teacher to the union because she is consuming CBD oil in the teachers’ lounge, while taking his/her volume.
Cannabis and Threats- Separation of Family
Even in a legal state like California, Cannabis can still separate a family. According to Dr. Charles Sophy, the medical director of the Department of Child and Family Services in Los Angeles County:
“Even though marijuana is legal in California, it's still possible for the Department of Children and Family Services to remove kids from the home for parental marijuana use”.
Jacob Margolis, from Take Two (published on scpr.org) states that:
- A report on DCFS in L.A. County described situations in which families have had their children removed from their homes when parents tested positive for THC, without the homes being investigated for abuse or neglect.
- Cannabis and people of color have been the modern-day slave trade. People of color are in jail and prison for Cannabis at a rate that would make many throw up. Appeal.org states and reports the following: Even in states where cannabis is decriminalized, child welfare systems continue to treat it as a sign of neglectful parenting, particularly among families of color.
- Despite ample evidence that Black and Latinx people consume cannabis at much the same rates as white people, parents of color are much more likely to be targeted, surveilled, and policed for Cannabis than their white counterparts.
Interestingly enough, there is not enough emphasis on the truth. The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare, report:
- In the past three decades, the United States has experienced at least three major shifts in substances of abuse that have had dramatic effects on children and families. However, the increase of opioid misuse has been described by long-time child welfare professionals as having the worst effects on child welfare systems that they have seen.
Ms. D, a mother of two living in the Bronx, smoked Cannabis occasionally. She never smoked in front of her children, and her casual use never affected her ability to parent. So, when a child protective investigator asked her if she smoked, Ms. D was forthcoming. After all, her children were healthy, happy, and well cared for, and Cannabis use was decriminalized in New York and legal in many other states.
To Ms. D’s surprise, she was brought into court and charged with child neglect in part on the basis of her cannabis use. The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) agreed that Ms. D’s children could remain in her care only if she entered into a daily drug treatment program.
Savannah Lackey, who had a legitimate prescription for Cannabis and was cultivating a small amount of Cannabis on her land in northern California, had her children removed from the home after a raid. Law enforcement seized her legally grown marijuana and forcibly took their children at gunpoint.
In Idaho a mother of three children suffers from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and uses Cannabis to treat her symptoms. According to her, it’s the only thing that works. When her 10-year-old boy was accused of bringing pot to school, the charges were quickly found to be baseless, but that didn’t stop child protective services from raiding their home and seizing all three of the children.
I spoke with Ms. Craig, who reports that she hasn’t lost her kids, but is in an active custody case for one of the children. She consumed while pregnant with all of her children, and they have all tested positive at birth. She has had home visits and case managers in both Kansas and Missouri. And though a legal patient of Missouri, she is still fighting for custody.
Cannabis Vs Alcohol
Cannabis is a plant and of course, not lethal, but the systems and masses push it that way. Here are some studies, perspective, and insight into the truth from American Addiction Centers:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that people can't ingest a lethal dose of Cannabis.
- Alcohol is legal in all 50 states but is responsible for 88,000 deaths every year and 2.5 million years of potential life lost.
- Studies have shown drinking too much, either in a single instance or consistently over time, can severely harm the brain, heart, liver, pancreas, and can lead to several forms of cancer.
Hear from Canna Parents about Their Day to Day with Cannabis Consumption as Parents:
“I have been a Cannamom for about 10 years. My reasons for consuming THC over alcohol have more to do with wellness than to what people consider to be recreation. I use cannabis at home and away, always to help maintain authority over myself. THC helps to keep me aware of things I might not see if my anxiety is unchecked. THC will always be the healthiest choice for me.
Because of my physical issues, drunkenness is harder for me to hide than the average wine-loving mama. Although I’ve stepped out of my canna closet a little bit, discretion is still part of my social strategy. I can either go all out with big blunts in the den and then emerge and effectively parent my children or I can slip a piece of CBD chocolate and quell my social anxiety without embarrassing myself.
My children have seen me sick from alcohol. I always considered that to be a violation of our safety. So, I vowed to make better choices. THC is the safest and healthiest choice for me, and I will always advocate for it, especially for parents!”- @Dom_thecannamom
“I had to smoke while pregnant or lose him. I was getting up to 9 bags of IV fluid every two weeks just to keep hydrated. I kept nothing down.” – @K. Standley
“I used THC through my whole pregnancy, through breastfeeding as well. I have severe anxiety, bi-polar disorder, and PTSD from being raped at 6. My nearly 7-year-old is great at reading and math- even though I consumed cannabis throughout the pregnancy and even throughout labor”. – @T. Adam Woods.
We must, as a society, be more informed than the basics that the government gives us. What has been outlawed and prohibited- has been so because the one plant fixing all issues- doesn’t work for the government. There are too many industries threatened by plant Cannabis and instead of being better and helping people, the power that be is more interested in money and greed. There is no separation of families over orchids, roses, or tea. There is no reason that we should be seeing this for Cannabis. Cannabis and parenting should be a concept accepted by everyone.
Be sure to tap into the Plain Jane blog where we keep insight and information about cannabis laws and legalization coming in. Right now the big move and law in question is Delta 8. Plain Jane has insight and information on where delta 8 is, and isn’t available.
This is a piece originally written by the author and published in Oklahoma Chronic Magazine, a print publication.