A Mother’s Day Dream

  • by Sabrina Fendrick May 9, 2010

    Why Moms Want Marijuana Legalized

    A mother’s wish is for her child or children to grow up and be able to make responsible decisions about their friendships, their education and especially their safety. It is socially acceptable for parents, alcohol distributors, and even the government to teach children about safe drinking practices with a full understanding that alcohol is directly responsible for thousands of deaths every year. On college campuses, where binge drinking runs rampant, alcohol abuse has resulted in thousands of students suffering from alcohol poisoning, sexual assault, or serious injury. No parent wants to see his or her child become a statistic and many mothers have openly stated that they would rather their adult children choose marijuana over alcohol.

    The physical and behavioral effects of marijuana are significantly less damaging than those associated with alcohol. However the criminal prohibition of marijuana sends the message that “marijuana is morally wrong” and implies that there is no such thing as a responsible marijuana consumer. Yet, just like with alcohol, all use of marijuana is NOT abuse.

    Society condones the responsible use of alcohol consumption, yet drinking causes far more harm to the user, and to society than does the use of marijuana. Liquor companies, Federal, State and local governments dedicate millions of dollars every year toward promoting responsible drinking practices. For example,Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc.has an entire website, called “Drink Smart,” dedicated to promoting principles of control, moderation, and education. Nevertheless, their ‘Statement of Principles’ emphasizes that, “moderate alcohol consumption can be compatible with a healthy lifestyle.” The same philosophy should be applied to marijuana.

    Mothers from all over the country (both consumers and abstainers) are fed up with the outdated, unjust consequences of marijuana prohibition. Their unique experiences with marijuana and the current marijuana laws are diverse and wide-ranging. Some have had their families destroyed. Some have found life-changing relief from medical marijuana, as well as freedom from pharmaceutical narcotics. Some believe that prohibition improperly allows the government to interfere in the parent’s job of teaching their kids about moderation and responsibility. They understand that marijuana prohibition breeds disrespect for the law and government, just as it did during America’s failed prohibition of alcohol. Others would simply prefer their children be allowed to legally choose a safer alternative to alcohol.

    “I’m a 54 year old mother of two teenagers…. Depression runs in my family and [marijuana has] been my saving grace. I have run, sold and continue to build businesses. I teach, I speak, I write, I’m a great mom judging by my children’s success and I will never make an excuse for my marijuana… I’m furious that I’m considered a criminal.” Leslie Singer

    It should be legalized…because its not a substance that’s going to make me be irrational or aggressive. It’s going to relax my mind after a day of taking care of the kids, cleaning the house, running the errands, its not like I’m going to be up for the next 24 hours or am going to be spending my kids diaper money to go out and get it. It relaxes and puts you in a better mind state after a rough day and lord knows kids like to cause rough days!” Lynnsey M Nece

    “I want a safer alternative to Alcohol. I feel much more comfortable smoking a joint and caring for my child, than to drink and then try to care for my child. And, if it is legalized and regulated, it will become harder for my daughter to get a hold of it.” Audrey Roberts

    Marijuana’s legal status forces millions of responsible, hard working, tax paying citizens into the dangerous , unregulated world of the illegal black market. The only sensible answer to containing this market and achieving a sufficient level of public safety, is through state and local government regulation and a message of moderation. An ever increasing number of American citizens believe that one day, our society will no longer spend time denying the reality that millions of people are consuming marijuana every single day, and will instead focus on promoting a safe environment for those who do. Many mothers are working towards the day when we will live in a society where children’s access to marijuana is actually limited (unlike under prohibition where children have ready, unfettered access to the herb). According to a major report issued in 2005 by the NORML Foundation looking at both marijuana use patterns and arrest rates, shockingly, over 1 million children sell marijuana annually. Similar to alcohol products, children need to be taught to have a sound understanding of how adults can responsibly consume marijuana. One day, we will live in a society where adults, in the privacy of their own home, can legally choose to consume marijuana and forgo the alcohol.

    It comes down to this: Were it not for marijuana’s legal context, would you rather your adult child engage in binge drinking (and all that comes with it), or be able to enjoy the safer activity of consuming marijuana without fear of legal repercussions? Would you rather your younger children continue to have unfettered access to marijuana or restricted access and a sound understanding of responsible adult use?

    Excerpt: “Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?”

    When marijuana is legal, a abusive husband or boyfriend somewhere in America will realize that he is better able to control his temper when he ingests pot instead of alcohol and will cut down on the Budweiser and switch to the kinder bud. Some college student we will never hear about will choose to use marijuana one night instead of joining his fraternity brothers in a drinking contest-thus avoiding a potentially tragic trip to the hospital that was otherwise fated to happen. When marijuana is legal, a man well on his way to chronic and eventually fatal liver disease will conclude that he wants to live a longer and healthier life and will voluntarily give up the booze in favor of pot. A young woman will decide to smoke marijuana and watch a movie one evening instead of going out drinking with her girlfriends, unknowingly missing a sexual assault that would have occurred after she had consumed one gin and tonic too many. By the very nature of introducing the less harmful recreational substance, marijuana, into the stream of commerce, probability dictates that these things will happen. Not just once, but hundred and thousands of times. When marijuana is legal, we will, collectively, be safer.”



    Serra Frank: A Mom With a Mission

    Serra Frank is the mother of two young boys and is the founder of “Moms For Marijuana ” — an organization made up of brave mothers who are fighting for marijuana law reform and their children’s future. Frank was not always a supporter of ending marijuana prohibition. She grew up a part of the D.A.R.E. generation, and was “taught that drugs will cause long term physical harm, addiction, and will ruin your life. At the same time [she] learned through [her] observations of our society, that once you are an adult, it is acceptable to occasionally alter your state of mind.” She believes that “creating a system of marijuana regulation would tell [children] that, like alcohol and cigarettes, recreational use of marijuana is an adult decision. Educating them to the risks and benefits of the plant is a much better choice than lying to them.”

    In 2002, Frank started having extreme pain in her lower abdomen and for a year and a half was prescribed Vicodin, Darvocet, Perceocet, Oxycotin, Naproxin and even methadone. She was forced to rely on her husband and friends to take care of her children. Since trying marijuana, she has used it practically every day and is so thankful to have “found a way to live not just survive… I owe my life to this plant. Without it, I would probably still be in bed… unable to care for myself or my children.” Said Frank. Serra decided she could no longer sit idly by, privately opposing marijuana prohibition. She took it upon herself to find other like-minded mothers to come out of the closet. What started as a MySpace page in 2005, “Moms for Marijuana” evolved into a real grassroots movement, that now has an official website and its own chapter network.

    Erin Hildebrandt: A Success Story

    Erin Hildebrandt is a Maryland soccer mom and (should be) marijuana patient who bravely pioneered the movement for women and mothers everywhere. Erin, who suffers from Chron’s Disease, migraines and hyperemesis gravidarum (a complication of pregnancy that leads to mal nutrition) was motivated to join the movement after her own positive experience with marijuana and it’s effect on her symptoms. She became involved in 2002 and shortly after started the prophetic website: www.parentsendingprohibition.org. In 2003, Hildebrandt became one of the faces of the medical marijuana movement in Maryland when she testified before the State Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

    “It’s not too often that housewives find themselves standing before the State Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, in front of numerous people in police uniforms, explaining how they broke the law and that they’re very glad they did.”

    Hildebrandt began writing letters to editors and even got an op-ed published in the Baltimore Sun. In May of 2003, her hard work, bravery and activism paid off when she got to stand with the governor and other lawmakers as he signed the Medical Marijuana Compassionate Use Act into law. Erin now has the chance to live a normal life free from the restrictions caused by her debilitating disease and had a major role moving her state one step closing to sensible marijuana legislation.

    Read more stories from highlighted mothers

    45 responses to “A Mother’s Day Dream”

    1. Jeremy Torman says:

      Okay- Alcohol being legal= more jobs. Police, fire, rescue, doctors, rehab, etc. Alcohol being illegal= less jobs+ more organized crime in the distribution areas, so arguably more police jobs, but it might not make up for the difference with other jobs lost. Cannabis being legal= less jobs, police mostly, some jobs are gained, growers, dispensaries, etc. But also a lot of psych/field jobs would be lost, production of “medicine”, anti-psychotics, A.D.D., A.D.H.D., other psych related medications. The demand for most big pharma production would all but die, and the demand for a lot of the medical industry, tobacco industry, alcohol, firearms, military, etc would drop significantly if herb, was legalized. Remember there is a lot of $ invested in that stuff. Could the government ever gain support for war if everybody was walking around with their 3rd eye opened, thinking for themselves? Its a complex dynamic system (the world that we live in), and sure there are a lot of good reasons, (most of them great) as to why we should legalize it, but unless society is willing to massively restructure our priorities, its not likely to happen.

      So I would say, the fact that something that is basically harmless is against the law, is more of a symptom of the dis-balanced power structure that perpetuates the idea that people with, triumph (rule) over the people without.

    2. random says:

      This article talks of freedom from pharmaceutical narcotics. I’m currently on pain meds for my back, and I would love the opportunity to try marijuana as an alternative pain medication. The pain meds I am on are horribly addicting and cause extreme irritability when I don’t take them. Sadly, marijuana is illegal in my state and I wish I had a chance to try it out without the paranoia of getting arrested.

    3. random says:

      oh yea, So I just posted about pain medication, and I feel I must add that I often need to mix the medication with alcohol to feel good…which is horrible. It can cause liver damage, make me sick and results in me being inebriated.

    4. Theo says:

      I agree with Jeremy 100%. I also suffer back pain and apnea. The 2 Rx for pain and 1 for apnea dont quite provide 100% relief. I fall alseep in pain and wake up in pain. I tried smoking and it helped for a week but until my finances improve, or the laws change, I’m stuck with my Rx’s.

    5. Pain-fully Stressed says:

      im for legalization , but i feel like im the only one calling my reps , writing emails, telling friends, family, even co-workers! spread the word out people cause writin a blog kinda doesnt speed anything up i believe. there should be a 1 – 2 million women march against prohibition like there was many years ago. if u want it marijuana legalized then get aggressively active.

    6. fishcreekbob says:

      It’s gonna take awhile to plant 10’s of millions of acres of hemp to get rolling down that road to green economy/industry and we need to do it now.

    7. cjd says:

      Jeremy,you are right on the nose with your comment.Its a shame that PROFITS have been chosen over the masses since the 30’s. OUR Government is supposed to be of the people,by the people and for the people! VOTE!!!

    8. Eric says:

      As a future parent (6 months), it disheartens me that I will need to have a discussion with my child about marijuana that directly conflicts with the education they will be receiving about it. I can only hope that they choose to listen to me rather than the state’s defunct diatribe. I would much rather my children smoke marijuana when they become adults, but the government puts me in a precarious position when I need to explain to my kids that I would rather them engage in “criminal” behavior than something that a majority of people in our town subscribe to as a way of life. I have seen lives ruined, good friends of mine have been raped, and people lose their lives on a daily basis as a result of alcohol. I can’t help but think that if they had had a safer alternative that wasn’t “morally questionable” than those things didn’t have to happen.

    9. Jayla says:

      Random, I can understand where your coming from completely. After I broke my back in 4 places in 2000, I was diagnosed with degenerative disk disease. I have been on all the most popular pain meds. At one time taking 4 V- ES a day. I was a zombie, my blood pressure was dangerously high, I was depressed cause I was still in pain most of the time (baring a 30 minute period of time, that started 45 minutes after each dose)and more important to me than all that, was the fact that I was a stark raving B!tch most of the time, and like you I drank…. !! I had always “used” weed socially but started to pay more attention to how I “felt” when using it. I was in less pain, and it took the “edge” off, so I wasn’t so EVIL. To make what could be a long story, I eventually wheened myself off all the meds I was on. I was always honest with my doctor about the fact that I consumed Marijuana. He was glad to see me be able to stop all the other meds. My blood pressure has gone back to with-in normal (for me) levels, I am not quite so depressed, I am able to get up and move around more, and mostly I’m not such a…. well you know.. anymore. I took the chances you would/will/do to use this herb, during that period of time my middle child reported me to her school (yes, there was some other stuff going on), cause the DARE group was infiltrating the schools at the time… My children were put in foster care, I was tested by the court and tested positive for THC. the judge told me it was illegal substance (like i didnt know that) I explained why I consumed it and what it had done for me. She told me I wasn’t a doctor… (No actually she asked me “Who died and gave me a medical license), then she sent my kids 100 miles away from me just to make it more difficult for us to visit and required me test “clean” for 14 months, and take parenting classes before she would allow my children to come home…. My children have never been the same since… mentally or educationally. That started in 2007, My state became “Medically” Legal in 2008 4 months after my children were returned home. I have been “Licensed” by my state for over a year now, although I still have to be careful and discreet. I DONT have to worry about the same problems with the law. I am moving from this state in the next few years, but have already decided that it will ONLY be to another Medical friendly state. PERIOD!! Do you follow your state, are they even close to considering it? Otherwise, I would say, if it’s AT ALL POSSIBLE, move to a medical friendly state and get legal, it just removes a little more stress…

      Sorry this was so long….

    10. A says:

      Happy Mother’s Day!