One night a few weeks ago I was out with my mom friends. The lot of us have children that range between toddlerhood and school-age. On the rare occasion of getting out the door childless and dressed in something other than grimy sweats and sneakers, I relish in the moments when I get to unwind with like-minded people and engage in conversations that don’t revolve around fart jokes or dinosaurs.

Somewhere between waiting for our food and one glass of Merlot, I stared into the empty glass and muttered so quietly under my breath “I could go for a joint right now.” I guess I wasn’t so quiet as the table fell silent; eyes now upon me. It was like high school fifth period all over again – when that one sneaky fart slips out during the only rare moment of silence.

“You smoke pot?” The hyper, type-A mom with the freakishly clean house asked me. Her judgey and questionable expression made me feel like I confessed to snorting Molly right before I met with my pimp. 

“I do,” I stated, confidentially. For what felt like seven hours, everyone around me was still. The bustling noises around us of busy Saturday night rang through the restaurant. Type-A Mom gave me sort of the stink eye while swirling her nine-ounce glass of something-I-can’t-pronounce which ironically, she clings to every night in the comfort of her own sofa. 

I felt a strong urge to run to the bathroom, afraid my bladder was about to betray me at any moment.

Just when I felt like I was going to melt into my seat out of pure shame, my dear friend to my right (we can call her Leigh) perked up. 

“You know what, I could go for one too!” she did her fascinating guffaw and eye wink. After that, the table loosened. Confessions of pot-smoking seemed to pour all around. 

“Do you do it often?” Jenny with the twins asked me, eyes sparkling.

By then, I was loose enough to be open and honest, I mean, the cat was around out of the bag, why not? 

“Weekly. I consider it my glass of wine.”

Type-A got hyper again. “What about your kids?” By now her right eye was twitching; hand firmly planted on her stem glass like a security blanket. 

I giggled. “My kids are secure in their beds, always sleeping before I smoke. Where are your kids when you settle down for your nightly glass?” It was a question meant to be light, but I knew she took a great offense to that. A few more crickets before she settled into a nervous laugh.

Quickly, the topic was changed. Everyone ordered another round of expensive wine and the conversation shifted to fundraisers and potty training. 

I hunted down Type-A outside after and apologized if I had offended her; explaining how my newfound tokin’ brain felt relaxed to say whatever shit was on my mind, pretty or not.

“No, I am sorry. I made you out to seem like some unfit mother when what I do is much worse!” She looked a little embarrassed as the words poured out of her mouth, a little slurred, and I was grateful she called an Uber. 

We hugged, the misunderstanding already over, and I was elated for some reason going home that night. Not that I owe any explanation for how I live my life, but I would never want anyone to deem me an unfit mother.

The next day, Leah private messaged me to confide in how admitting I toke up weekly was badass AF. Merely, I imagined it was because weed is awesome in general, but her reasoning was because mothers are automatically put into this box that every wife, mom (women in general) is a wino. Congrats on the little tyke! Here’s your manual – study up on the best wines since you’re going to need it for the next 18 years.

“Drinking every night is worse than smoking a joint once a week! Don’t worry about judgment. I got you.” I was grateful for friends like Leah and grateful that the stigma around marijuana was closer to being extinct, however not close enough, considering how Type-A’s knee-jerk reaction was to shame me for smoking. 

Don’t think I’m here to bash my fellow wine-drinking friends. I’m only a white token mom who wants to end the stigma of marijuana. Guys, it’s fucking amazing. My anxiety and depression have decreased ten-fold; I can lay off the strong pharmaceutical medications for my back pain. I’m happier, which is worth its weight in gold.

I used to be a wino. Relax every single night with a fruity, dry or fizzy alcoholic beverage in my hand. It got me through the day to know that when 7 p.m. hits, I could indulge in my favorite thing ever. In the long run, wine made me miserable – moody, more prone to lash out at the smallest things, anxiety spiked to a whole new level and just plain depressed. Through my terrible moody fits (and wine headaches the next day), I came across some realization that drinking a bottle of wine a night isn’t healthy. Call it divine intervention, but I quit cold-turkey. Marijuana doesn’t betray me like that. I feel more calm, peaceful – and the best thing? No hangover the next day.

Those green plants are jam-packed with awesomeness. Studies have shown that marijuana helps fight depression, manages chronic pain, regulates seizures, helps with ADD/ADHD, alleviates anxiety and… the list goes on!

Besides weed being illegal (dependent on where you live) the benefits far outweigh the risks. So toke up; chill out. Unwind. With a joint.


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