It’s Mother’s Day! For many of you, the only connection between cannabis and this particular holiday will be recalling the numerous times you got stoned in high school and were 100 percent certain your sweet mom had no idea because you hid it so well. (Spoiler: She did know, dummy, she was just too tired to give a fuck. You would come home reeking of skunk, proceed to eat 4,800 calories, and watch MTV for hours. Your mom isn’t stupid.)
For others, it may bring up the divisions between you and your mother’s viewpoints regarding cannabis, made all the more intense by your belief that it would do your mom a universe of good if she would just chill out and get high. Maybe she’d stop asking if you knew that your cousin Claire had been accepted into medical school, and a good one, too, not that Grenada nonsense.
You’ve probably even seen the videos and blog posts by alt-weekly writers along the lines of “We Smoked Weed with Our Moms!” To be fair, this is a better story idea than my proposal: “We Took MDMA with Our Grandmothers!”
My own relationship with my mom and cannabis differs from most, so I never had to ask to see if she wanted to get high for a column—she’s been doing so for more than half a century.
My mom, whom we will call Mom, turned 79 last month. I’ve always associated cannabis with her, as she’s been a near-daily consumer since 1960. “I never quit,” she told me recently, “but there were a few times I ran out.”
Cannabis was always present when she was with my father in San Francisco—not a big surprise, as he was dealing it to members of the City Council and the SFPD. When we moved to Hawaii, the first house we stayed in had a huge front room the tenants had converted into a drying room, with colas nearly my height that hung from a spider’s web of clothesline strung from the ceiling.
Even with the double dose of liberalism that came from living in Hawaii and attending a Waldorf school, I was repeatedly coached about why I was never to speak about cannabis or its role in our lives. “There are some people who think that this is a bad plant, and want anyone who grows or smokes it to go to jail,” Mom would patiently explain. When I got to high school, she was far more concerned about my drinking alcohol than smoking a joint.
I recently asked Mom about her earliest memories regarding cannabis. “My first experience smoking weed was in San Francisco in 1960,” she began. “The only thing available was Colombian brought up from Mexico. It was sold in a sandwich baggie, not weighed, and called a ‘lid.’ It cost $10. Of course,” she continued, “half of that was seeds, so we sifted it through a flour sifter to remove the good stuff.
“These were the days when the police beat the shit out of you if you were caught holding or smoking any,” Mom said. “Now, with the Trumpster and Sessions, we may think of those as the ‘good old days.’”
Mom still smokes every day, and eats about 500 milligrams of edible cannabis each night to conquer a decades-long insomnia issue that no prescribed pharmaceuticals could ever fix. Last year I introduced her to rosin dabs, to great acclaim. “Feel free to bring more of those by anytime,” she exclaimed. “And you can leave what you did bring with me.”
So whether you have a mother who chain-smokes Pall Malls while shouting at you over Fox and Friends that “The rap hop artists and their pot weed are destroying our youth,” or you have one with a broader viewpoint, call or visit your mom this Mother’s Day. If she’s of the Pall Mall puffing variety, remember to pack some low-dose edibles—maybe enough for you both to try.
Or just a double dose for you. Happy Mother’s Day!