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Medical Pot and Parenting, and a Son’s Questions About Marijuana

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Medical Pot and Parenting, and a Son’s Questions About Marijuana

parents and baby walking in parkParenting is not a topic only for mothers, by any means. But somehow I wanted to write this post specifically for The Brentwood House blog.

There’s something happening across the country, or at least in some areas that points to another wrench in the marijuana discussion. In March, there was an article on CNNHealth about the parents of a little girl, a couple in California that had been prescribed medical marijuana. A doctor prescribed it for the father for chronic pain and anxiety, and the mother got a prescription to treat depression and anxiety. The police came and took their almost-1-year-old away and the child ended up in protective custody.

The mom pleaded with the police, saying they were good parents, but the policeman that day said that the baby didn’t need to be subjected to pot. The problem, as the article points out, is that the perception of pot from before the tide turned in the last year or so still lingers.

An expert in the CA Department of Social Services said that Child Protective Services handles pot in the home the same way it does heroin or ecstacy, so it’s understandable that children are removed from the home. I’m not arguing one way or the other, but in truth, I’ve seen articles attesting to the fact that some children have ingested pot-laced brownies and the like, so there is that danger. And what about second-hand smoke? How much of a danger for the children? In addition, this article points out that some babies have tested positive for pot at birth and others from breastfeeding.

Parental use of medical marijuana around kids, and now legalized recreational pot, had to start surfacing as an issue, right? Then there’s the question of whether growing pot in your home increases the chances of an armed robbery when there are children in the house. This actually came up during a custody battle in Michigan. The mother and stepfather had to stop using medical marijuana if the woman wanted to regain custody of her child.

Not long after I read that article, I saw a Dear Abby letter that couldn’t be any timelier and appropriate for this post. A mother in Colorado wrote Dear Abby to say that now that times are changing, she was at a loss about what to tell her 13-year-old son, who had always heard that pot is illegal and bad for you (poisonous, even).

Dear Abby answered that pot is only truly poisonous if it was sprayed with a poisonous chemical while it was growing. But she reminded the woman that experts warn pot is not good for young people because “it can impair brain development.” She also compared it to alcohol in that it can “slow reaction time and impair judgment and memory, which is why it’s illegal for minors to use it.” And while it may be legal in your state, she told the woman, that’s not true of all states.

Seems like a well-thought out answer that may do the job for that young teen. But the post also points out another effect of the legalization of pot. What are youngsters who are themselves expected to do a 180-degree turnaround supposed to think? How can they figure it all out when so many adults are still trying to?


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