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Can Smoking Marijuana Make You A Better Parent? One Dad Says Yes.

Father knows best?

In a recent op-ed editorial entitled, Pot for Parents, in The Opinion Pages of the New York Times, a California father states bluntly (pun intended!) that he believes that smoking weed makes him a better parent.

Mark Wolfe, a forty-something San Francisco art dealer, writes that ever since he was prescribed medical marijuana by his doctor (to help relieve a combination of symptoms resulting from back pain and stress and anxiety), he has gone from a somewhat withdrawn uninterested father to one who is much more inclined to get down on the floor and be active and engaged with his young children.

California is one of 18 states (including Washington D.C.) that allows appointed physicians to prescribe medicinal marijuana to combat various physical and mental symptoms in patients.

Yet, until now, very little has been heard from patients who are parents in regards to how their legal pot affects their lives at home, with their families.

In one compelling bit of his article, Wolfe explains how he used to act around his 5 year-old daughter before he smoked marijuana.

“Here is what a typical weekday evening exchange between me and my oldest daughter once looked like:

Child: Daddy, can you show me how to make a Q?

Father: (sipping bourbon and soda, not looking up from iPad) Just make a circle and put a little squiggle at the bottom.

Child: No, show me!

Father: Sweetie, not now, O.K.? Daddy’s tired.

He then compares that with how he acts now, as a weed user.

It’s different now:

Child: Daddy, can you show me how to make a Q?

Father: (getting down on the floor) Here, I’ll hold your hand while you hold the pen and we’ll make one together. There! We made a Q! Isn’t it fantastic?

Child: Thanks, Daddy!

Father: Don’t you just love the shape of this pen?

On the surface, it’s easy to dismiss Wolfe’s argument that pot has helped him be a better daddy, mostly because of the fact that generations of Americans have been told that, from a legal standpoint, if it’s against the law it must be bad news.

Yet, over the past decade or so, as states have investigated the medical marijuana question and debated whether or not there are actual benefits to be had from it, the fact is: the number of voices advocating marijuana law reform are growing and being heard. And furthermore, the lingering question of whether possession of the leafy green should be considered a criminal act punishable by jail time and hefty fines is continuing to gather steam as states like Washington debate whether or not it should just be decriminalized completely.

Wolfe’s New York Times op-ed doesn’t really push too hard at the legalization aspect, and that’s probably a smart move on his part. Rather, he just simply puts out there his own experience, that of a father with three young kids who didn’t have the time or money to commit to other, possibly more holistic approaches to his problems, like “meditation or yoga or Zen mindfulness.”

After reading it, and imagining the wild debate it is likely causing in cyberspace, my take is basically that it’s just a first-hand account of a seemingly successful law-abiding man in midlife who feels as if something long deemed bad for us might just not be so bad after all.

In the end, Wolfe acknowledges that his findings might not work for everyone. Then he adds:

“But for me, at least, the benefits clearly outweigh the risks. I find the time I spend with my children to be qualitatively different and simply more fun when I take my medicine (always in private, never in front of them, never too much). I am able to become a kid again, to see things through my daughters’ eyes and experience, if I’m lucky, the wonder of each new game, each new object and sound, as they do.”

And, if nothing else, that gives us one more thing to ponder in this current climate of finger-pointing, polarity, and confusion.

So, what do you think?

 

Image: flickr.com/photos/caveman_92223

Info Sources: The New York Times, Pro-con.org,  Forbes

You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.

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More from Serge:

20 Ways The Internet Has Changed Parenting Forever

Young At Heart: 15 Ways Having Kids Made Me Young Again

Was I Wrong to Post This Picture of My Daughter and Myself on the Internet?

10 Qualities I Hope My Daughter Picks Up From Her Mother

Baby’s First Week At Home: Invaluable Tips For New Dads

 

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