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Marijuana Prohibition and Fatherhood 2008: A Father’s Day Message From NORML

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director June 12, 2008

    By George Rohrbacher, NORML Board Member

    Rohrbacher Family

    George and Ann Rohrbacher with family in 1988. This photo captures the mid-point in George’s 40 years of cannabis use.


    Fatherhood.

    It was the fall of 1969, about six weeks after Woodstock, my senior year at the University of Denver. I had just moved into an apartment two blocks off campus. Tuesday, my first day in the new apartment, I’d borrowed a frying pan from the next-door neighbor, a young woman, tall and shapely with long honey-brown hair. She was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. I’d stood out on her porch for several minutes with the borrowed frying pan in hand, stunned.

    The next day, on Wednesday evening, I looked up to see someone knocking on my un-curtained living room window—a short guy with wild eyes and a goatee. There was a big, big smile on his face. He held up a nice fat joint pinched between his thumb and forefinger. With the other forefinger he pointed next door. My gorgeous new next-door neighbor had sent him. She wanted to meet me! Did I go? Hell yes!! No one need ask me twice after such inducements.

    Minutes later, in her apartment, we fired up that doobie. We had an unbelievably fun time together. Ann, my new neighbor, was not only good looking, but she was smart, interesting, and friendly, too—as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. To my eyes, Ann glowed like a homing beacon. I walked her to class on Thursday and wrote her a poem. On Friday, we flew to Seattle to meet her parents. A little over a week later, I asked her to marry me—that was 38 years and many pounds of pot ago.

    We were married in June of 1970, standing on a hill watching a sailboat race in Puget Sound. Six years later, the first of our four children was born and with him came the start of decades of parental responsibilities. I found Fatherhood to be one of the very best things to ever happen in my life, except perhaps for Grand fatherhood. The marathon challenge of raising children was exactly what Ann and I were on this earth to do. Our three sons and daughter are now 25-to-33-years old. They are the recent graduates of Yale, Lafayette, Colgate, and Cornell. Three of our four children also competed in Division I athletics; and all have graduated from the college they started at, and within four years, too. Two are married and currently Ann and I have four grandchildren.

    rohrbacher-family-copy.jpg

    Regardless that our marriage was a product of the ‘60’s—flower power and all that—I turned out to be a strict and loving parent. We farm and are in the cattle business. We live on a ranch three miles from our next-door neighbors. When our kids were growing up with no TV, or cable, or Internet to sop up time and attention—we were like families of an earlier era, we talked to each other instead. Our children all learned to read long before they went off to school—because in our family, you read a book if you were bored—or went out to play, or invented a game. Zero time was spent hanging out at the Mall. No school grade lower than a “B” was ever acceptable at our house. And, of course, while living on a farm, there were always plenty of chores to do. Mealtimes at our house were always together. My wife, Ann, and I saw chief among our many jobs as parents was the gradual hand-off, to our kids, of the reigns that controlled their own lives—and we tried to make that hand-off at the very earliest time possible. We were here on this planet to be their parents, not their friends; our job was to prepare them to fly away. We pushed plenty of extra curricular activities: 4-H, sports, etc. Burning off childhood’s energy properly builds strong kids and is the key to every parent’s sanity. At least two sports each per child was our prescription. If not sports then, theater or band. Our simple policy with kids and drugs: NONE. No Beer, Booze, or Wine. NONE. No prescription drugs, no Pot, no Pop—and of course, no Tobacco. The one thing that sets us off from most other parents was we never allowed our kids Caffeine in any form, none. We’ve never let soda pop into our home, though, we do keep tea and coffee to re-supply visiting adult addicts. And, surprise—our four kids, as adults, aren’t addicted to caffeine today. This was our parental drug program: Leave all drugs alone. Be a kid when you are a kid, you are going to have plenty of time to be an adult for the rest of your life.

    Another word about the ubiquitous CAFFEINE, America’s one and only true “gateway drug”(if there is such a thing): Caffeine is now available in caffeinated candy and so-called “energy drinks” that are really nothing but sweetened “drug drinks.” Espresso shops are on every corner for a shot of “mini-meth”. Children don’t need any damn caffeine, ever. And kids sure don’t need the 12 teaspoons of sugar and/or corn syrup per glass or the swirl of industrial chemicals that pop is made from—wake up America, this isn’t food for young growing bodies. Young brains and psyches have plenty of internal challenges without “getting a buzz on” in the process. The maturation of the human neurology is a slow and delicate process and psychoactive drugs have no business there. Getting high, in any form, should be treated just like driving a semi-truck or skydiving; it is a potentially hazardous undertaking reserved ONLY FOR ADULTS.

    The majority of the people I know who have had real problems with alcohol and drugs got started young—usually sneaking their folk’s booze or prescription drugs when they were 13 or 14 years old. Really bad habits easily get started then, before the competing good habits are firmly rooted. My wife and I were very frank and open with our kids, from the very earliest ages, about the dangers of drugs—about the heroin, cocaine, and alcohol induced nightmares of two of Ann’s youngest siblings, the DWIs that Grandpa got, or the Uncle that had to be lead, in an alcoholic stupor, off to bed every night, or the another Uncle arrested for drunk and disorderly who also got picked up for a DWI and had to call cross-country from jail to arrange for babysitting for his child that he’d left home alone.

    As an example of the prophylactic effects of this straight-forward approach had on our children, this metered but raw, unfiltered family reality—one of our sons, because of the alcoholic problems within our large extended family, made a secret pledge to himself not to drink alcohol until he was 21—a promise he kept, while his peers, America’s under-aged college kids, slurped up over 1/5th of our nation’s annual booze consumption. A toxically drunk roommate at Yale pleaded to our son, “Please, don’t let me die…please, don’t let me die…” That roomie lived, but several of our daughter’s schoolmates didn’t, in an alcohol-related disaster at Colgate. My parental observation after seeing our kids go through a total of 16 years of undergraduate education is that ALCOHOL is by far the most dangerous drug on American college campuses—nothing else is even close. At the same time, the evidence continues to show that the worst danger of using pot is simply being arrested for it.

    Ann and I both come from large families. Our combined siblings and their spouses (first and second choices) total 29 people, baby-boomers all. We all grew up in the ‘60’s, and, as a group, more than any other previous generation of Americans, we sampled from the full menu of drugs and alcohol. Well, now 38 years later, which substance has proved to be the most dangerous drug for this sample group of 29 baby-boomers? BOOZE wins, hands down, as America’s most dangerous drug! What was our family’s drug wreckage caused by alcohol over the last four decades? Eight of my brother-in-laws and sister-in-laws, nearly 1/3 of our group, have ended up with severe alcohol problems requiring intervention of some type. No one in this entire group of 29, my children’s baby-boomer aunts and uncles, had similar problems with marijuana.

    As part of the larger effort to protect our kids while they were growing up in a very rural area (and I do mean rural, until two years ago there wasn’t a single traffic light in our entire county), it was best for all concerned that I be extremely quiet and stealthy about my marijuana use—it was for my children’s safety, so the state or local cops didn’t rob them of a parent by arrest. Our kids are grown and gone now. But today, my primary parental job of protecting my children has changed. Now to best protect my grown children and grandchildren; I must get loud and active and help to change America’s insane, destructive, and counter-productive marijuana laws before one of my offspring or their friends gets caught in this legal meat grinder.

    My wife, Ann, during all her child-bearing and rearing years, for our children’s safety used no drugs whatsoever, I mean, rarely even an aspirin—while at the same time, I evolved, leaving alcohol behind entirely, I evolved into a cannabis-only man.

    As they were growing up, with all this frankness over the drug problems of aunts and uncles, did my kids know their Dad was using marijuana? Sure, you bet they did—but it wasn’t until they figured it out on their own when they were older. I didn’t use pot in front of them.

    Every day I went out to check the cows or hiked into the woods to get high—very much like the millions of middle-aged suburban moms and dads who will be out willfully walking their dogs tonight, walking along, feeling their cannabis in private. But inside families there are very few real secrets that can stay covered for long. So, no matter how secretive I was being about my marijuana use, the kids eventually knew it—plus, come on, they’d seen pictures of their Dad during the ‘60s in the family photo album, and they also could probably could smell it occasionally on my breath. As for my own views on the subject of marijuana—I was silent about them, completely unlike my openness in any other area of my life.

    Here I was, an honest, ethical man, devoted to his wife and children, a tax-paying involved citizen, law-abiding in every way, every way except for one—I absolutely refused to let the government tell me I couldn’t use cannabis. But as my kids grew up, I never defended marijuana to them, I just stood quietly by and let the state propaganda machine do its worst, and I trusted that my kids would be able sort out the truth when they got older.

    By 1980, the government started confiscating farms and homes all over the country for the growing even small amounts of pot. I stopped raising my own marijuana for the safety of our farm and my family. I’d practically killed myself during very tough economic times during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s holding on to our family farm of 1,100 acres. I wasn’t about to let some over-zealous cop steal our farm over a couple ounces of weed! I started buying my marijuana on the black-market like everyone else and paying that black-market price. For the last 30 years, I’ve been a farmer too cautious to grow his own.
    I love the wonderful feeling of well being that the ingestion or inhalation of cannabis vapors gives to me. The active ingredients, the cannabinoids, lubricate my brain in some marvelous and non-toxic way, releasing torrents of thoughts from which I get to dipnet the most interesting. Getting high, sitting on a rock or tree stump out in the woods, communing with the natural world, is a form of sublime and holy meditation for me—something I have done joyously and reverently for nearly forty years now and something I hope to continue doing for the next forty years. Humanity has been cultivating marijuana for its psychoactive effects since the dawn of agriculture. For many thousands of years the Hindus have used the psychoactive properties of cannabis in seeking the spiritual side of life on this earth. They believe cannabis to be a holy sacrament, expressly given to humanity for our use—a similar view can be found in the Bible, on page one, Genesis: 1:29-31: God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is on the face of all the earth…To you it will be meat”(cannabis seeds are 33% protein)…and God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”

    But what about the Partnership for a Drug Free America, etc.? What a sad sick joke these self-righteous, government-funded groups are in our over-caffeinated, pill-popping, alcohol-addled society. America’s athletes and racehorses are on steroids, our society is saturated, dripping with drugs of every description, prescription and otherwise, with more coming on line every day (there are reportedly 400,000 prescription and over-the-counter ‘drugs’ available in America). Every trip to the family doctor is expected to end with a prescription written for some magic substance.

    Well, in this environment, what should you tell your kids?

    My universal drug safety rule of thumb: 1) avoid all drugs that are toxic and have an easily achievable poisonous dose, 2) also avoid all drugs that give you a hangover and/or withdrawal symptoms. (Cannabis, of course, causes neither; it is truly nature’s gift to humanity, the safest of all psychoactive and therapeutic substances), and 3) Stick to non-toxic natural psychoactive substances.

    With our kids all grown up now, all gone from the nest, what about my marijuana-aided walks from years ago? Do I still do them? You bet, every chance I get—at least 5-times a week. I learned something during all those trips out to the woods to get high when the kids were at home: Those walks are very good for my heart, very good for my chronic back pain and bum leg, and very very good for my spirits. Hiking up Badger Mountain to see the mists rising out of Swale Canyon and to hear a red-tailed hawk calling out to me…Or, to see the Sunrise, or Sunset…For some reason, walking, and stretching just works better for me on ganja. I enjoy it more. I appreciate it more. I do it more often. Now, as a farmer pushing 60-years old, I still find myself doing a lot of the very same physical labor I was doing when I was 25-years old. Luckily for me, I live in Washington State; a medical marijuana state after the voters (by a wide margin) trumped our state’s politicians by voter referendum in 1998.

    As I see it, the prime ingredients of a long and happy life are good-loving, exercise outdoors, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables, beef and seafood, fresh air, pure spring water, and marijuana.

    Our children have all now grown into fine young adults, what do I have to say to them now about marijuana? What will I say to my grandchildren, when they are old enough to have this conversation?

    Here it is:

    Father’s Day 2008My Dear Ones,

    Marijuana has been proven one of the safest therapeutically active drugs known to mankind. I have used it with little or no harm for 40 years. My mind still finds cannabis fun and enlightening after decades of inter-cranial adventures, and, as an adult, should you choose to employ a drug for such purposes, marijuana is the only drug I would recommend. For me, pot is fun and is very easy to walk away from, if need be. Also, cannabis possesses healing properties I’d ever dreamed or suspected possible. And as I continue to age, and I require more healing from my sports and work-related injuries, trusty cannabis helps me maintain my quality and love of life.

    Much Love,

    Dad (and now Grandpa)

    15 years ago my daughter asked me for the truth, the whole truth on this subject. I avoided giving her an answer then, and have been ashamed of myself ever since. Here it is Sweetheart, better late than never.

    Since Nixon was president, there have been 20 million Americans arrested for marijuana, casualties of our government’s war on weed. It’s time for America to wake up and fix this problem, it’s time to tax and regulate marijuana. Stop the pot war now! Support NORML & contribute.

    88 Responses to “Marijuana Prohibition and Fatherhood 2008: A Father’s Day Message From NORML”

    1. riley says:

      dude…thanks for this. that was such a good read.

    2. Rev. Mary Richardson says:

      Thank you George for your wonderful and truthful Father’s day letter.

      God’s peace.

    3. Jeffrey J Trejos says:

      It’s good to know that there’s somone out there that feels the same way I do. Thanx and happy father’s day.

    4. EPT says:

      What is your deal man? What are you trying to accomplish with your anti-alcohol rants? I trust you understand that it isn’t just that cannabis is too fun, therapeutic, and harmless for it to be prohibited, but that prohibition laws themselves are in contradiction to American values and our venerable traditions. My friend, I would also like to implore you to have somebody edit your stories before you post them: it is hard to believe you have Ivy League graduates for children with so many sentence fragments in your writing. Other than that man, keep up the good fight and have a very happy Father’s Day.

    5. Aislinn Webb says:

      great article- thanks! wish more citizens would share their stories.

    6. Lee L. Lacker says:

      I solute you Mr. Rohrbacher, you are an honest man, you are one of the people who can get others to realize how hard-working alot of marijuana users really are, and how safe cannabis really is.

      If your story was published on national television, I’d bet that alot of people would open their eyes.

      You did the right thing by protecting your children at their early ages, and now they can be proud to say they have a responsible cannabis consumer as a dad.

    7. Leon Jackson says:

      My daughter, 15, just ended her sophomore year of high school. Her entire life she has been taught the real dangers of drugs and given solid reasons why they are not for developing minds and bodies.
      The last day of school, her class was wrapping up their D.A.R.E. program for the year by having an “open and frank discussion about drugs”. Then the subject came to marijuana and the teacher began to regurgitate the same propaganda the government has espoused since I was her age. My child explained to the teacher that by not supplying solid facts, choosing instead to rely on scare tactics and outright lies, that trust and credibility are undermined. She went even further and asked the kids in the class “What’s easier to get, beer or pot?” As one would guess it was almost unanimous, weed. She explained to the teacher and class that the reason is ‘in order to get beer, it ultimately comes from a place that will card the buyer, drug dealers don’t do that’.

      Just when you think they never listen.

      Leon Jackson
      NORML of Dallas & Ft. Worth

    8. New to this Father Stuff says:

      I have one two year old boy and girl due in September.

      I appreciate you sharing this story, and I can find real meaning in it for myself.

      Your descriptions of sacral compared nicely with your discussion of your own personal use patterns.

      I might aspire to limit my use to private and sacral activities.

      I can’t imagine not involving my wife, however.

      Take care, and Happy Father Day.

    9. It’s a shame you use your children to drive home the message that we should part with our money! lame

    10. Evelyn says:

      I myself am a responsible marijuana-smoking individual. I am ALWAYS in support of legalizing cannabis for ADULTS only. I myself am currently suffering from a kind of depression and use it (when i can afford it, or contact my dealer) to alleviate stress. But I strongly disagree with a few statements:

      “Well, in this environment, what should you tell your kids?

      My universal drug safety rule of thumb: 1) avoid all drugs that are toxic and have an easily achievable poisonous dose, 2) also avoid all drugs that give you a hangover and/or withdrawal symptoms. (Cannabis, of course, causes neither; it is truly nature’s gift to humanity, the safest of all psychoactive and therapeutic substances), and 3) Stick to non-toxic natural psychoactive substances.”

      I agree with everything except rule of thumb 2. Although it is of the SAFEST PSYCOACTIVE drugs, I HAVE noticed withdrawal when i smoke marijuana for long periods and then stop when i run out. I get temper tantrums and life seems unable to cope for long periods of time, even while taking fluoxetine, until i get to smoke pot again. I know that fluoxetine is not natural… but somehow i’ve convinced myself that it helps me not be AS depressed, though pot sooooo works the best, and instantly, and even with my “better” condition while being on anti-depressants, I’m still quite moody and unbearable at times. Anyway, I strongly disagree with pointing out to children that pot is not habit-forming. I believe, unless your child shows symptoms of depression, not eating well, glaucoma, or what not, then they shouldn’t be told it doesn’t have withdrawal effects. I reject the claim that since i’ve grown up drinking caffeine, that i would then have an addictive personality because i have given up caffeine and tobacco for long periods of time. And especially if i were even THINKING about having children i would never contaminate my body with anything i don’t need to SURVIVE with.

      Which brings me to the other point I disagree with:

      “As I see it, the prime ingredients of a long and happy life are good-loving, exercise outdoors, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables, beef and seafood, fresh air, pure spring water, and marijuana.”

      I am a vegetarian and I have nothing against eating meat and I would do so if I felt my unborn/born child were in dire need of proteins, vitamins, or minerals that could not be administered in any other way, but my main concern is that marijuana is a prime ingredient for a “long and happy life.” Love, honesty, communications and all others that were above mentioned from the article are vital for a “long and happy life.” But no PSYCHOACTIVE DRUG should be the ingredient to long happy lives. Surely life itself, living, and loving truly should be all that is required to give us happiness and longevity.

      This is not my claim that marijuana is unsafe. I just don’t believe that it is so required to live life, the way it should be, naturally without trying to get out of our heads unless we have illnesses that need to be treated. Then of course, they should be treated naturally.

    11. You did a great job with this Father’s Day article. Thank you …everything is 100% correct.
      I too have stood up as I will not allow my grown children or myself become a victim of the drug war on America’s citizens.
      Thank you.

    12. CDXX says:

      Wow, a truly spiritual tale. Remarkable. Congrats on the life well spent, sounds like you have accomplished many hard to reach goals with the help of our friend, Marijuana.

    13. Wesley Elis says:

      A true American; thank you, and I salute you.
      Semper Fidelis

    14. Jim says:

      While I support the responsible use of marijuana for medical problems and even private home use, I think that both sides of the story should be told.

      I used marijuana when I was younger (I’m 44 now) and it unleashed in me problems with anxiety and depression that I still struggle with to this day.

      If you or you child has any problem with anxiety or depression I would not recommend that they ever use marijuana. It’s not for everybody, but neither is it so bad that it should be prohibited.

      I very much agree with the “no drug” policy that you had with your kids growing up. I’ve tried to do the same with mine.

    15. Kevin says:

      This article brought tears to my eyes. Many members of my family have and continue to use cannibus. To read the words of such a dedicated and stoic father speak of his trials and tribulations leading the dual life of father and potsmoker really hit home. It is ashame that there are good parents across the country that have the constant threat of loosing there family over an issue of private morality. Meanwhile families are constantly being torn apart by alcohol and prescription drug use while the “moral majority” stand by and do nothing. It’s amazing how easily public opinion can be shaped by thirty second TV spots. Especially since, if you follow the money, you will find the largest contributor to Partnership for a Drug Free America are pharmaceutical companies, but this irony is lost on most people. Not only that, but most non-violent drug offenders are sentenced to privatized prisons which are basically companies to which our government outsources the responsibility of penal system. So, in effect, each prisoner of a privatized prison represents a paycheck, officially turning drug users into imprisoned slaves. How a country founded on the ideals of freedom has become the tyrant once so hated, is beyond me. In the end though, you can’t fully blame the government. They have power, which is absolutely the worst drug of all. Our current stat of things is the failure of the American people. Democracy can only work when the citizenship accepts responsibility for the country, and becomes active in the control of the government. It is our country after all, not “theirs.” The official job title of any elected official is “public servant” which is exactly how the should be viewed, servants to will of the people. we have lost this, and now view our servants like kings and queens, to whom we turn to for how to live our lives. And whom do they serve? Whoever has the biggest pockets, which would be alcohol and pharmaceutical companies, that would gladly place a million innocent people in jail to protect profits. so, as a closing note, change can only be come when the citizenship is willing the accept the responsibility to insight change.

    16. Marc says:

      I hope I will still be able to find this article and reference it when I must face these issues with my children.

    17. Middle-Aged Man says:

      Three cheers for Grandpa George! Thank you for telling us the truth. My story is similar, except that my children are younger, and I am one of those people working in an office for a large corporation. My relatives are not such heavy drinkers, but more prone to depression and multiple university degrees. The only ex-heroin one has three degrees, and a job so important and sensitive that I won’t even mention the country in which she/he works.

      There is one point not convered. Based on my own experiences and those of my friends, it appears that chronic long-term use of massive quantities of marihuana leads to people either severely limiting their smoking or giving up altogether. One might speculate that marihuana enhances common sense, and this enhanced common sense inspires one to smoke the optimum rather than the maximum amount.

      As a tax-payer and a responsible adult, I consider anti-drug law enforcement to be a criminal waste of resources that could otherwise be used to make our society a safer place. The police should be there to protect me and my family, rather than lock me away because I have a little bag of green stuff.

      To conclude; I wish you the best of luck in spreading common sense on this topic.

    18. Andrew Martinek says:

      How about you stop being a hypocrite and set a good example for your children by not getting high either. I applaud your drug free stance for your children, but if you don’t follow the same guidelines yourself, they will consider you a hypocrite and sneak your stash and start smoking while their minds are still developing. Your unwillingness to set the proper example is selfish and irresponsible. Maybe they should take your kids away from you until you can avoid all psychoactive drugs. Especially the illegal ones. Only the expansion of prohibition will send the proper message to our young people that drugs make you weak and pathetic. People who need them are self-medicating to mask their depression, stress or whatever, instead of finding healthier, more productive ways to deal with life. Every time I read an essay like this by some poor pathetic pothead trying to justify his own addiction I really feel sorry for that person, and not in a good way. I can deal with researching the stuff for medical uses. But through the proper channels at the FDA only. I can even deal with lighter sentencing and favor house arrest for first-time recreational abusers (However, drug dealers are the scum of the earth and should be publically humiliated and tortured in the stockades). Come on, you gave up alcohol and caffeine and tobacco. Take it all the way and kick your pot habit too. You don’t need it. It serves you no purpose. Grow up and be responsible for the sake of your children and, more importantly, my children.

    19. Donna says:

      I loved this letter. I wish more Older folks would concede this. I guess the government is waiting for a mass revolution on this issue. I am willing, am able to stand up to them, But my representatives just do not acknowledge the impact that Marijuana has had on many persons from the good Old USA. Lets get rid of the negativeness they put into our socitey. Maybe we should send them many more letters such as this one. I am a 50ish year old woman who suceeds in daily life with the use of Marijuana. Graduated from school, have my own business and work full time. I enjoy my share of Marijuana and have no after affects like alochol. I contribute when I can to NORML. I spread the word to friends and family. More and more I find that a majority of the population thinks it is a waste of government (tax payers) funds to give propraganda to our children. And those children dont believe the ads because they have first hand knowledge from their parents regarding Marijuana. We diffinently need more persons to come out of the closet and stand up to the government that has ruled/controlled our lives regarding this issue.

    20. Crystal says:

      This is all so true. I’m a 38 year old Mom of 3 and always
      have the worry of the feds Taking our home or even worse our kids. So keep up the good work you are doing
      Mr. Rohrbacher

    21. Amethyst says:

      Great Letter…my experience has been similiar with a few variations…I graduated from an exclusive private girl’s school in St Louis back in ’68 and did not ‘inhale’ until I went away to a coed college in upper state New York. My brother & I got caught smoking cigarettes he had stolen when we were VERY young. Our parents punished us by making us ‘chain smoke’ until we ‘turned green’ & were truly sick, but it did not stop me from succumbing to peer pressure & picking up the habit in highschool. I was too naive to realize my mother STILL knew when I started smoking despite her own addiction to tobacco. She was a very controlling & perfectionist person and managed to win/control her battle with alcohol, but her ‘double addiction’ to menthol cigarettes (menthol/nicotine) was stronger than her ability to control…she was a slave to her addiction & emphysema eventually killed her in a long slow torturous manner. But she never complained because she knew that she did it to herself.

      I tried pot once in the spring of ’68 before graduation from highschool but nothing happened…it might have been oregano for all I know, but at college that fall my 2nd attempt to ‘inhale’ was 180 degrees different. I was fortunate that my date was not only my mentor but he also my caretaker instead of an opportunist who could have committed ‘date rape’ with ease. I was later faced with that situation at a frat party where the ‘drug of choice’ was BEER. I learned in my 20’s that alcohol was an adult activity that I do not do well…I spent many college nights ‘praying to the porcelain god’ (puking). I grew up around alcoholics…my mom, uncle, eventually my brother and numerous other friends, family & co-workers. I slowly learned about addiction,moderation & control. As long as a person is in control there is no problem, but when the substance is in control & the person loses control over their lives and addiction becomes the obvious problem.

      Politicians who have never inhaled claim pot is lethal these ?!? days but those who have inhaled know that is another brainwashing scare tactic…what ‘stoner’ ever DIES from smoking too much

    22. robbie says:

      this sound like me in 15 years. im also on the offensive about pot. im tired of the rhetoric “it’s not as bad as alchohol..” ITS NOT BAD AT ALL. people ask me frequently, “how do you smoke pot when you have kids?” i ask how do you have kids and not smoke pot? everyone needs a little artificial patience. i don’t get baked stupid like i used to (or do on sundays), but i do feel like my daddy breaks have a positive influence on the manner in which i have raised my two sons (6&5yo). they go to school with kids that have parents that ignore them because they’re too career oriented and/or disconnected to get on the floor with their kids and make-beleive like a 6 year old.
      the idea of loosing my kids and having to deal with the rest of the drug culture is the negative. it is enfuriating that i can’t go down to the gas station and pick up a pack of pot. instead i have to call someone that could have a vice cop watching his every move. this is the ONLY aspect of weed that can be used as a negative for parenthood. i still choose to run that risk, although i do live in a decriminilized state (possesion is an offence, the equivelent of a speeding ticket..only a really expensive one). I don’t feel like defending myself anymore.
      i will sit down with my kids on their 16th birthday with a bottle of Jonny Walker Blue and have a glass, acknowledging that their friends are probally already drinking, and that these are the rules (to be established later – thats 10 years from now). I will definently let them know that if i ever see them with a bottle of aristocrat im gonna have thier ass. establishing good taste and appreciation can reinforce moderation. as far as pot goes, i didn’t start until i was in college. thats a good time i think. but warnings of the drug culture are imperitive. i experimented with almost everything (and experiment is the proper word for it) and deceided that casual involvemnet in a lot of recreational drugs is mostly harmless, but if experimenting occurs on multiple consecutive evenings one enters a danger zone. of course you can’t tell your kids to feel free to try meth or ghb, or that they should smoke pot. but the lack of honest messages create a false disconnect between experimenting and addiction.
      parents have to be on their toes and communicate. i know a lot of parents of teenagers would say “just wait till your boys are 15. see how well communication works then.” i know it’ll be just fine. i know i’ll always be paitent and have the ability to play like they play every step of the way.

    23. norcal215 says:

      great story, very well written and enlighting. legalize it & god bless all

    24. William G. Fields says:

      Amen, I thought I may have written this article while smoking a little pot….It sounds very much like my experiences.
      Thank you for sharing.
      I recently was caught up in a marijuana cultivation sting that was all politically motivated. When I get cleared (6/24 it will be thrown out)I am going to become an “In-your-face-Activist”….I am tired of this government’s BS. Hopefully, you will see and hear me in the news media.
      Thanks again and I will forward this url to all my friends.

    25. Cindy Thomas says:

      Well said. We need to bring democracy back and educate the people in this country. When my daughter started asking questions I simply pointed out the facts. People in our country are negatively impacted every second by alcohol, whether it is those who lose their lives or are forever maimed by a drunk driver or being battered and abused by a drinking partner. Any “they” consider marijuana harmful? Hah! Blind faith in our leaders will get us no where. Thank you for words, to someone like me who believes like you, it’s a huge comfort. Cindy

    26. brandon calcote says:

      most definatly no more cronic till my mind is fully devaloped i have seen so many problems with all legal drugs yet i am the one getting my freedom robbed from me because i abused something the lord has givin to me to use in the future. i hate being looked at as a criminal for abusing a wonderful substance .
      good day mate
      stay fly
      god bless
      brandon

    27. JayDubya says:

      Thanks for bring to life your story, if more folks learned that what they are doing regularly is the same thing others are doing, it would blow their minds.
      How about speaking in terms of DECRIMINALIZATION instead of legalization- this allows the saving of face for all those years of badmouthing that politicians and cops have done on the subject of cannibis.
      Thank ya, and Y’all Take Care Now, Hear?

    28. Jim Johnson says:

      Think on this Christian People who know and have read Revelations. The leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations. The gtree of life puts forth twelve manner of fruits. Textiles, Plastics, Fuel, Food, Lubricants, Pharmacueticals. I don’t remember all of them but there are twelve main industries that are affected by the cultivation of hemp/marijuana. But just with the six that I listed the amount of money filtered to congress from the PAC groups for these big businesses is inconcievable.

    29. Thank you for that, right now I cant help but remember the old days when I would roll up good one take off on a journey to a resevouir behind our 25 acre ranch those were the days here ten years have past now I’m going on 28 this year with my first born going on 7 months and to read this today June 22nd 1:04am helps me feel better that a responsible cannabis smoker can raise a family and teach their kids right from wrong. If only the everyday ordanary person each knew the facts about this so called drug war first it was started as an alternative to telling mexican laborers that they were not needed anymore either “LEAVE OR GO TO PRISON” Or for the black community another reason to get them off the street and have them on hard labor for years, Sometimes it make me question is our government really by and for the people. Dont think I’ve lost all hope but after these few years it makes me wonder about my son’s future… If only the people would come to scences and vote into law the federal or even state regulated sale and or consumbtion of cannabis Like more and more people are realizing that alcohol and tabacco are far more lethal than even the hight grade cannabis. Which brings me to my next point if the potency of cannabis is so great dosent mean its deadlier it just means you dont have to smoke as much and thats a good thing right. I think hopefully in the near future we as americans can see the true potential that cannabis has for our economy our community and our great country. Heres’ a lil food for thought put a drunk in a drunk tank with another drunk then put a cannabis user and another cannabis user in another who do you think is more likley to start a brawl. just a thought…Well guess i better stop chating for now but until next time live your life love your life and enjoy gods gifts… from children to parents and fine greens. Your average freindly cannabis connoisseur

    30. oh and dont listen to all the negative things some people put on here you did great things that so many more people commend you for your honesty. Happy Fathers Day

    31. Mrdy says:

      Hats off to you. I truly hope that one day, the government will open their eyes and see that the drugs that they have deemed legal (prescripts, alcohol and tobacco) have caused so much more damage to families than marijuana. In my opinion, the government needs to make alcohol and tobacco illegal. Keep fighting the green fight, my friend.

    32. Charles Queen says:

      I for one being a disabled nam vet would certainly like to see marijuana legalized.I suffer from PTSD,depression,anxiet and panic attacks and have found that marijuana does more for me than any prscription meds that I have been using.I also have my first 5 lower disks flattened which has gone to digernerative disk desease.I take morphine and loratb 10’s.Again I have found that marijuana does more for my chronic never ending pain than does the meds that I am presently having to take.Considering the vast amount of marijuana thats grown here in Kentucky one would think that it would have joined the ranks of states that have made medicinal marijuana legal

    33. Anonymous says:

      Interesting, but what did your daughter say?

    34. What’s included in my membership?

    35. Rhydayhunny says:

      How is that original prosperous on? You be aware ..the united you ve been righting quest of three years? NO? lol Over-nice network!

    36. […] George Rohrbacher is a retired cattle rancher, former WA state senator (R), former Commissioner of Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, currently serving on the NORML Board of Directors (For additional information please review the titles of two of the blogs I’ve written for the NORML blog: “Confessions of a Medical Marijuana Patient” and “Marijuana Prohibition and Fatherhood”) […]

    37. Bob Shellock says:

      I have read this every Fathers Day for the past 5 years. Thanks George

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