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Wait, the Majority of Pot Smokers Are Parents?!
Not too long ago it was taboo for adults to even mention marijuana — much less that they use it. Fast forward to 2017, and the majority of marijuana users aren’t just adults, they’re also parents. Yahoo News and the Marist Poll surveyed 1,122 adults in America and found that 54 percent of cannabis users are parents, while 30 percent are parents with children under the age of 18.
But that’s not even the most surprising part of the new study. Nearly half of pot-using parents (47 percent, to be exact) have consumed it in front of their children, shared it with their children or both. Meanwhile, 60 percent of pot-using parents have told their children honestly that they use cannabis.
While these statistics may be startling, it’s likely that just as many parents are getting stoned these days as they were a decade ago — but because of the drug’s destigmatization in recent years, more of them are owning up to it. After all, weed is now legal in some form in 26 states as well as the District of Columbia.
A slew of celebrity parents have candidly confessed their love for cannabis — Kate Hudson, Morgan Freeman, Megan Fox and Madonna are just a few — but very few cop to sharing their stash with their kids. Melissa Etheridge recently admitted that she smokes marijuana with her 20-year-old daughter, Bailey, and 18-year-old son, Beckett. Etheridge tells Yahoo that she thinks of it simply as a bonding mechanism.
“I have smoked with my older two,” she said. “It was funny at first, and then they realized it’s a very natural, end-of-the-day [activity]…. And it brings you much closer. I’d much rather have a smoke with my grown kids than a drink — oh, God, no.” The 55-year-old’s 10-year-old twins haven’t been kept in the dark about her pot use, either. “My children have a very clear understanding of cannabis,” she continued. “When I hold it without shame or confusion, then they can understand it as simple as if I was pointing to a bottle of Percocet and said, ‘That’s Mama’s medicine.’ You take the naughtiness out of it, and it’s not something that kids run to.”
Snoop Dogg even bragged to The Hollywood Reporter in 2012 that his teenage son learned “from the master” when it comes to smoking. “My kids can do whatever the hell they want,” he said. “For me to say otherwise would be hypocritical. A lot of motherf---ers don’t have a relationship with their kids, and that’s when they get on drugs and have suicidal thoughts and drive drunk. Me and my son is mellow. I’m his father, so I wanna show him the proper way, because he looks up to me.”
But not all stars believe that pot and parenting go hand in hand. Mark Wahlberg, a longtime marijuana user, stopped smoking because of his kids. “One day we were driving and you could smell it from somewhere. My daughter asked what the smell was, so I told her it was a skunk,” he explained on the stage of the Palm Springs Film Festival in 2011. “Then she said, ‘Sometimes Daddy smells like that!’ to me and my wife. So I knew I had quit.”
Even Paul McCartney, who spent a good portion of his life smoking the ganja, recently called it quits. “I don’t do it anymore. The truth is, I really don’t want to set an example for my kids and grandkids. It’s now a parent thing,” he explained.
But before you spark up a joint outside of your next PTA meeting, keep this in mind: The Yahoo News survey found that 52 percent of Americans have tried marijuana in their life, and only 22 percent use it currently. So while you shouldn’t assume that the parent sitting next to you lights up a joint before going to bed every night, there’s a pretty fair chance that they do.
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Leah Groth is a writer and editor currently based in Chicago. She has covered topics such as entertainment, health & wellness for such publications and websites as xoJane, Babble, Radar, Fit Pregnancy, Mommy Nearest, Living Healthy and PopDust.