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Moms for Marijuana

Moms for marijuana advocate the medicinal benefits the plant exhibits both during and after pregnancy.

As a longtime marijuana smoker, I have faced discrimination from family, friends, and coworkers. Weed has a bad rep, but what harm is it really causing? As a mother, I know the true benefits of this herbal remedy. Between nausea, raging hormones, and constant discomfort brought on by pregnancy, pot can be a true lifesaver during those periods. Cannabis can also lend a helping hand once you’ve regained control of your body and care for a tiny human—it keeps you relaxed. 

There are many health benefits from smoking pot, including stress reduction, anxiety relief, increased productivity, and headache relief. On a more extreme note, marijuana helps cancer patients going through chemotherapy as a method of pain management. Not only does marijuana offer health benefits, but it offers societal ones as well. Legalization of the industry could create new jobs, generate consistent revenue, and promote crime reduction. 

However, there are some negative side effects when it comes to pot smoking as well. These elements include memory loss, impaired body movement, and difficulty problem solving. As a result, I am a firm believer in moderation.

Photo via CNN

Popular Fact vs. Popular Fiction

The label of "pothead" or "stoner" typically connotes negative images. Parents think ill of their smoking children, friends remark upon weed's perceived reckless reputation, and employers could potentially fire staff if marijuana use is made public. Why are people so anti-marijuana? Perhaps it's the general fear of the unknown. As the decriminalization of marijuana continues in America, citizens are slowly becoming more relaxed about the taboo nature of the subject. I am from Detroit, in which the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program is in place. MMMP provides patients the choice to grow their own medicinal marijuana or to find a caregiver for assistance. People all over the state have obtained medical marijuana cards. But could motherhood warrant a card for treatment? 

Are women covertly lighting up during all stages of pregnancy? I can’t be certain, but what I can say is that marijuana helped me manage some of my less-than-awesome pregnancy symptoms. During the first trimester of pregnancy, you will discover that extreme nausea and spontaneous vomiting are both common and frequent. A small puff on a vape has the power to eliminate debilitating nausea. It's that easy! 

What about the mothers who don’t have appetites? Babies need regular nourishment in spite of your lack of desire to nom. Weed works great as an appetite-inducer. Pregnancy can also bring about a great deal of additional stress due to hormone fluctuations. A calm and stress-free pregnancy is best for both mother and baby. Smoking marijuana can help alleviate some of your stress while physically relaxing your muscles. 

Studies have shown that THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) is not linked to birth defects during pregnancy. We're all aware that alcohol consumption and tobacco do cause adverse effects after the child is born. Why shouldn't we have a solution that makes the experience of growing another person a bit more tolerable? This may not be the same for every marijuana-using mom, but I have three strong, healthy, functioning children who I believe have not been negatively affected by my cannabis use. 

Post-Pardum Puffing

As a mother to three active, developing dependents, stress levels are high in my household! I am grateful for my small vice. It keeps me sane. I have come to realize that Mary Jane helps my parenting in many ways. While smoking pot, I am less likely to yell or become agitated. If you have faced a four-year-old hell-bent on only eating chocolate chips, then you know the struggle. A small toke on the bowl can calm your nerves and alleviate that pounding headache. Like most children, mine are always on the go. They constantly need something (water, snack, a toy, a blankie... you get the picture). As a parent, you are faced with an array of daily challenges that you must tackle with a smile. Children are emotional creatures as well, and sometimes their outbursts make little sense. 

Marijuana has a way of helping me relate with my children. I am able to slow down and get on their level, and I’m also more aware of my emotions. Marijuana is already legal in a number of states, including Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington for recreational use. I believe that the other states will eventually follow suit. I take pride in my parenting, and I do a darn good job. My kids are all intelligent, feisty, emotional beings. They need lots of guidance, attention, and love. Parents who partake in a bit of pot smoking should, like all parents, rejoice in the good times and keep calm when the going gets rough. Marijuana is a benefit to us all.

Benefits and Risks

The most common use for pot is to ease tension, anxiety, and stress. It must be working if so many individuals are choosing this as an alternate route to pharmaceuticals! Cannabis is known to treat many ailments that affect our society, including depression, autism, speech impediments, appetite problems, and PTSD. Weed is also known to be a metabolism regulator, meaning it may even prevent diabetes, improve life for those struggling with ADHD, glaucoma, and other debilitating diseases.

Marijuana does pose short and long term risks to frequent users. Short term effects include impaired body movement, altered sense of time, mood swings, difficulty problem solving, and impaired memory. These symptoms may also affect a growing baby's brain. Long term effects include dependency, lost brain cells, trouble breathing, increased heart rate, and temporary paranoia. Marijuana is also recognized as a gateway drug to other less organic alternatives. Marijuana can leave you with mucus and tar build up in your lungs. It can also disturb healthy sleep patterns in a similar manner to alcohol. 

After many years of habitual use, I am probably suffering from some memory loss—but who isn’t? If used in moderation, marijuana can be beneficial to certain individuals' lifestyles. If used appropriately, the drug's benefits may outweigh the risk of adverse side effects. 

Image via Tumblr user vavavape

The Future

Marijuana’s notoriety should be replaced with acceptance and tolerance. Marijuana continues to shed its unfavorable outlook by making positive changes in the world. The legalization of marijuana in Colorado has already helped decrease crime. The state has collected millions of dollars in retail taxes, and it’s even creating new jobs. Cannabis is here to eliminate your nausea and bring comfort during pregnancy. It will alleviate headaches and help handle depression; it can help a soldier suffering from PTSD. Marijuana will keep you calm and collected when under pressure. Carl Sagan, an astronomer, astrophysicist, and author said it best: “The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.”

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