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Virtual Bowl: Smoking marijuana in front of children is… | The NORML Stash Blog

I am the producer of The NORML Network, the host of the NORML SHOW LIVE and The NORML Stash Blog, and NORML's Outreach Coordinator. I'm married, live in Portland, Oregon, and I am a registered medical marijuana caregiver in this state. I've worked days as an IT geek and nights as a professional musician. Previously, I have been the host of my own political talk radio show on satellite radio. I've been the High Times "Freedom Fighter of the Month" and I travel across the country to educate people on marijuana reform. I've dedicated my life to bringing an end to adult marijuana prohibition and re-legalizing cannabis hemp, and I'm honored to be chosen by NORML to give voice to the Marijuana Nation and to speak for those who can't speak up.

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43 responses to “Virtual Bowl: Smoking marijuana in front of children is…”

  1. Aimie

    I honestly can’t believe how much “pot smokers”
    defend themselves and their “drug” of choice.
    You don’t hear other users saying their drug is their “medicine”
    and making excuses for themselves. Yes if you have cancer,
    then it is your medicine, I suppose. The rest of you just
    want to get high. And marijuana can be very addictive.
    I have seen people literally in tears when they can’t have it.
    Have some common sense. Your a parent- your kids
    should come first. Period. Not your next high. People keep

    it to having a glass of wine, well besides
    the fact that wine is legal, your not offering your
    babies sips! When u smoke, everyone around you has
    to inhale, whether given a choice or not! Your
    children should have a say in that and your polluting
    their little lungs and possible causing them to get high as
    well. That is not okay! Not to mention the legal risks.
    Although its not likely you could potentially get into
    legal trouble or even have your children taken away.
    If you love your children, why in the world would you
    take that risk? Just so you can get high? Someone
    gave a comment using the dictionary’s definition of
    “selfish” to defend themselves. If you smoke in front of
    your children, that is EXACTLY what you are!

  2. 805MOMMA

    My boyfriend of 10 years smokes marijuana daily and has since I’ve known him. He is always paranoid, has crazy mood swings, and is violent and abusive. Especially when he runs out and has trouble scoring. I thought marijuana was supposed to have the opposite effect on people. He uses a pipe to smoke his stuff and does it whenever and wherever (in our home) with no regard to our children or myself. I do my best to remove the kids from the area. He also leaves his stash and pipe out when he’s not using it instead of puting it away somewhere. We have three boys 8 and 7 and he has a son who is 12. I am left to answer all their questions about why their dad smokes “pot” and why he uses a pipe. They ask why their dad’s eyes are always red, why it smells nasty, I mean they see and notice everything. I’ve been honest with my step son, but I think the little ones shouldn’t even know any of these things. My stepson was arrested for burglury and vandalism and he was also suspended from school (almost expelled) for possesion of marijuana and furnishing drugs to another student. Hmmmm, I wonder where he got the dope from? I believe that children should not have to witness their parent or parents do any type of drug, even if it is “just weed”. Drugs are drugs legal or not. Drug use has been the cause of many problems in my family. I’m sure there are a lot of families who can function well on drugs (although it doesn’t seem realistic to me), but for me and mine I say keep drugs out the home, away from your children, and out your life. :dont:

  3. Corrina

    Here’s my opion on weed. If you have a condition that really requires you to have and smoke weed, then find so be it. But there are doctors out there that are more then willing to give you a medical card for weed. Even if you really dont need it. Thsts where the big problem is on it. If you want to smoke weed then go right ahead, but i dont think are children should have to be around it. Are children as it is see to much stuff in this world now. Why should we as parents smoke weed in front of them. It like telling are kids that it’s okay to smoke weed and do other drugs, because we smoke it.I read in here on one of the statements that a parents smokes weed then can get down on her childs level to spend time with them. Well why can’t you get down to thier level when your not half baked. Why do you need to smoke to get down with your child?

  4. michelle

    I strongly believe that you should not do it at all. I dont care if you have a green card, or you can get away with it, or it even makes you feel good about yourself. Never smoke around kids and and never let them see it or touch it. when they are older and ask about it, you tell them the truth and not lie to them. I think people who do things like that should not be around kids. Did you ever think what it could do to a baby, or toddler, or even older child????? all you people who leave commets about your poor childhood and your parents did it so its ok, or you have kids and they stress you out that bad where you need to smoke, then maybe you shound’t be parents. Maybe you shouldnt be around any kids. I have kids and I refuse to let anybody smoke around them or in the places they my go. I cannot control what other people do, but when it comes to my family and my kids, I have every right to say what goes on. It makes me sick to hear about or even see people smoke weed in front of or around their kids. Grow up and be an adult and do the responsible thing. If you think you have to smoke and have kids, wait till they go to bed, and then go outside where they cant smell it or wake up and see it. I have no problem with people smoking weed, but do it on your own time and respect the people around you. set a good example for your kids, dont do cause you grew up around it, or you think you like it. I dont care the reason really. ( i dont think there is a good reason to do any drugs)
    You read these comments and see that people say I want to share that with my kids when they are older and smoke with them. that is really wrong, you people should not have kids then. do the right thing and teach them better. LET THEM CHOOSE TO HAVE A NORMAL LIFE AND BE DRUG-FREE. you cant really stop anybody from doing drugs, they will always find a way, but talk to them as they get older, tell them the truth about it…….NEVER SMOKE AROUND KIDS, NO MATTER THE AGE. ITS WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Cee dub

    I have a four month old daughter who we don’t really smoke around. By that, I mean that she may be across the living room in her bouncy seat while my boyfriend and I take turns in our doorway. Or, one of us will have her in her room and the other will smoke a bit in another room. But she’s never actually in the presence of smoke. All of our friends smoke outside as well, or they will if anyone has their kids around.

    Now, my mom was, and still is, heavy on the pills. My dad was crazy on every sort of drug you can think of at some point or another throughout my whole life. They did these awful drugs on a daily basis, but weed was a rarity. I think that my childhood would have had the best result had they been stoners, not heavy drug users OR totally sober. Before I had my daughter, I was definitely on a search for my own “vice”. I was heavily into alcohol, had a bottle of liquor in my room at all times, and no one really cared. I smoked weed on occasion, but it seemed worse because it was illegal. I never messed around with any of the hardcore stuff because of what I’ve witnessed from my own parents. I guess the mimicking thing sort of worked (I was an alcoholic!), but not totally (wasn’t shootin’ up!).

    I soon realized that what was legal didn’t matter. Green made me feel good and peaceful. There are no awful morning-afters when you wake up and have no idea what you did the night before. It makes me forget about any anxiety and I interact with my daughter freely and happily. I don’t experience mood swings or anxiety attacks nearly as much as I did in high school. Will I ever smoke around my daughter? Most likely if we invest in a vaporizer and she’s a bit older. I plan to educate her on the pros and cons of marijuana, and if she chooses to smoke at an appropriate age, I’ll support her decision. I’d choose a stoner for a kid over an alcoholic, baser, huffer, or pill popper any day. And if she ends up on the straight and narrow? I’ll be just as thrilled, if not more so.

  6. Mama Cass

    People can be great parents and smoke in front of their children. Just like parents can have a glass of wine at dinner or a beer or two and still be great parents. I am not ashamed of my cannabis use. In fact I’m proud that I use cannabis instead of more poisonous vices like alcohol or cigarettes.(and I’ve told him this many, many, many times) I am totally honest with my son. We’ve talked about sex, drug use, homelessness, fire, anger, abuse, and death. I don’t censor what we watch on television, and its because I pause the show and discuss these topics with him. He is a year and a half old and most of the time hes very mature for his age.

    I don’t think you should let that one bad parent color your opinion of parents who smoke in front of their kids. Anyone can be a crappy or amazing parent regardless of their vices. I know probably over a hundred people who smoke in front of their kids. Most of them are awesome parents with awesome and smart kids. I have also hung out with people who intentionally hide in another part of the house, and the kids always know whats up, and its way more uncomfortable for me, having to lie to someones kid for them.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think if you want to wait till the kids are asleep to wind down from a long day with a quiet bong toke, more power to ya, but don’t tell me smoking in front of my son is selfish.The definition of selfish according to dictionary.com is “devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others. ” I notice when I smoke I am more likely to get down on his level and have more fun playing and reading with him, and spend more time doing activities he likes to do. I consider that to be “the best from me.” That doesn’t sound like the actions of a selfish person.

    I grew up in Grateful Dead parking lots, and saw a lot of weed smoking and drug deals, and people high on drugs. I also saw a lot of people caring for each other, feeding the hungry, clothing the cold, being friendly, loving, and amazing people. My mom didn’t hide me away from the controversial parts of the world, she was honest with me about life, and I’m a more cultured and socially mature person for it. I think its better to be honest with those we love, so they know they can be honest with us and others later down the line.

  7. Amber

    how could someone be so selfish? these poor kids are at our mercy they depend on us and have no choice we make their reality. I smoke and love it but i can wait until my kids are busy and be to myself with my selfish drug. i have a neighbor who smokes around her kids a 8 yr old and a 2 yr old. u can tell they arent totally right. the 8 year old cant focus and struggles at school and carries a lackluster attitude about everything. the 2 year old cant even take himself down the stairs without falling. small changes in the “adults” smoking like leaving the area can make a big difference. i would be so ashamed if i had to explain to my son why i do this. get your mind right “parents” these babies dont deserve this they deserve the best of you.

  8. The Bluzguy

    I believe a responsible user has a responsibility to protect his kids. If secondhand smoke theories are true, they apply to cannabis smoke as well. Not that I believe there is any danger, but we certainly don’t have any studies to suggest cannabis smoke is harmless to children, do we? Vaping may be a better answer, as exhaled vapor probably dissipates more quickly than exhaled smoke, and without a joint or pipe, there’s no constant release of smoke into the immediate area.

    I wouldn’t risk exposing my kid to cannabis smoke, any more than I would offer him a hit.

  9. AcidPancake

    I only smoke once a week or so, (usually infront of my boy, since we are attached at the moby wrap…lol) and cannabis makes me waaaay more in tune with my baby boy. Makes me feel like i know what hes thinking and feeling. I think it also brings me more into the “right now” instead of worrying about yesterday or tomorrow, I can relax and just enjoy his company more. I’m pretty sure babies are also in this state of “right now” so i feel like we are more in tune in that way too. <3 One Love

  10. Tin

    The only reason I would not smoke around a child would be the fear of getting the poor thing clam baked. Of course I’m not allowed to smoke in front of my roommate’s daughter, but everyone in the house smokes cigarettes around her, and every holiday is filled with drunk relatives.

    So I don’t oppose it from a moral standpoint, as she would prolly think it was just a cigarette.
    However watching her stumble around and then stuff a barrel of cheese its down her throat would be bad. :p

  11. ray

    Cannabis is less harmful than alcohol…what kind of message does it send to drink alcohol of smoke cigs in front of children….people send those very harmful messages to children all the time…The truth is that cannabis is by far less harmful….but in saying that, I do believe that children should lead a sheltered and childlike life as long as possible….most herb people are very respectful of children…and most herb people are decent people too.

  12. imamomma

    Even after reading this im still conflicted. I’ve just recently started smoking again after a 5 yr break while i was having my kids, they are now 3 &4. I enjoy it as a way to relax in place of alcohol. I’ve been hiding in the bathroom or waiting til they go to bed but i know they will remember the smell & start asking questions. I am struggling with this only b/c its illegal. I feel very strongly & always have that there’s nothing wrong with smoking pot & that its better for you than alcohol or cigarettes. My husband does not smoke but we both have drank in front of them & I think what’s the difference. The legal issue. I would be mortified if my kids told a teacher or anybody that doesn’t share the same views. I think hiding it from them sends a bad message in many ways. But im scared to let them know i smoke b/c of the legal issue & all the problems that it could bring. I’m starting to think the only thing to do is quit again til they are grown. Which sucks b/c the older i get the easier it is to get a hangover! :-(

  13. winder

    My folks didn’t smoke anything. My dad hid his drinking, but you’d see him sneaking a drink in the yard from his bottle under the seat of his truck. He still does that, what, 30 years after I first saw him take a shot straight from a vodka bottle? Always vodka. I think maybe it smells less on your person, or that’s what he thought.

    I was the one who smoked weed around them…not without a lot of grumbling, but we lived in the country, and there wasn’t a lot else to do. A friend’s dad made wine from wild grapes which of course we’d steal by the gallon.

    At ten years of age, I started with cigarettes, then beer and wine, then weed. Weed is all I need. It is the real deal: a terminal drug. No lasting side-effects and no hangover. Gateway, no— great way! 8-)

    We should all (who are able to) invest in vaporizers so we can show our children we consume cannabis responsibly. Save the joints for the great outdoors, bong-hits for private parties with famous swimmers, et al.

    I’ll tell my kids when they’re teens to treat smoking weed and driving like eating and swimming:
    wait an hour. That’s always worked for me, and I haven’t had a traffic ticket in 17 years.

  14. Freddy Joe

    Kids may model behavior, but if you do it in private, they are eventually going to find out, and possibly mimick it. But just be blunt with them and say that its for adults and that it is dangerous for children to use it. There are some people who smoke just to escape the world, and often do so by smoking so much that they are just gone, probably what it is with Alex Hugh’s story. I’ve known some quite sad people like this, but it is their fault, not cannabis’s!

  15. PUAAN

    The example Alex Hughes cites is clearly ABuse, and it isn’t clear whether the cannabis or the alcohol is the worse influence on that person’s inability to function.

  16. PUAAN

    Yes, it is the DYSfunctional pattern of use, also called ABuse, which is the problem. Modeling responsible USE is fine, modeling ABuse is a problem and warrants good treatment (not punishment or incarceration) involving the whole family. Unfortunately most “treatment” models seem more punitive than compassionate, and no treatment modality has been shown to be all that effective, so far. I’d love to see good studies done on treating more serious addictions with cannabis, rather like the methadone maintenance programs.

  17. Jess

    This is absolutely ridiculous. I just found out my mother smokes in front of my three younger sisters and I’m very ashamed of her. I smoke every once in awhile and I don’t think it’s a bad thing if you do it on your own time, but in front of your kids is irresponsible. Kids mimic their parents a lot. It doesn’t matter if it was legal or not – I grew up with my mother being a terrible alcoholic and it’s affected my life a lot. Either way, it’s a terrible message to send to your kids. When they’re older and understand and can make their own choices, then I don’t see a problem with it. :-|

  18. Alex Hughes

    I have a friend who smokes everyday in front of her daughter (now 14). Her daughter has told her that when mum is stoned, mum is not present. She sobs when she sees the cigarette advertisements on tv…so what message is being sent to the daughter when mum still chooses to be stoned & not present with her daughter. How can one have an open line of communication with a teenage daughter when they are stoned on the couch, having a few beers before a takeaway or frozen dinner! Hardly a surprise that the child struggles academically & is now an emo! Alcohol & cigs are legal but still lethal in large doses, same as pot. I believe over consumption of any of these drugs is not healthy for you or the family. Lack of motivation is a big factor in drug abuse! I smoke pot at night, once the children are fed, washed & asleep. They are my priority! Our children will be exposed in time to drugs. Teach them as they are discovering, do not encourage or influence them. Do not choose your vices over your children, do not pollute their lungs as passive smokers.

  19. Evil Dick

    I think this would be a good idea only if it were completely legal to use cannabis, and the law permitted its use in the presence of minors. Then, you could demonstrate responsible use, and educate your children about the various benefits and potential problems of cannabis use.

    You don’t have to be a hypocrite. As a parent, naturally you should discuss your views about drugs and try to educate your children so that, if they choose to use drugs, they will do so responsibly, aware of the potential problems and benefits. You can watch informative movies and read, or recommend good books on the subject. These can stimulate conversations about drugs and their use. They can also lead to discussions about oppression, propaganda, and the proper role of government.

    Your kids will trust you more if you don’t lie to them. Dare to tell your children the truth about drugs. But, actually using illegal drugs in their presence is more than necessary. And doing so could put your role as parent at risk.


  20. AcidPancake

    Sounds great, I am very interested in the effects of cannabis and pregnancy/breastfeeding. I stopped smoking,(even though my asthsmas back in full force now) cause I want to give the kid a chance to make its own decisions about cannabis when its gets older, but I’ve done ALOT of research about THC in breastmilk helping baby sleep better, and gain weight. I cant wait to hear more on this subject:)

  21. BigDoug

    If it were legal I dont see a problem, I mean people drink in front or around there children all the time, I dont think you should be blowing it in there face thats just wrong, Just as I wouldnt pour a beer down a kids throat.

    I guess my point is as long as you arnt harming them in the process whats the big deal?

  22. Dakota Gold

    For me, no. We hear Dr. Earlywine talk about how children under age 18 are still physically growing and the use of marijuana could possibly stunt that growth. Need to let the brain cells develop a little more! In the same sense I think we need to let our children grow psychologically as well. Lets let them be kids without getting them all wrapped up into what our views of cannabis are or are not. And even though I know thats its criminal to follow bad laws (prohibition), our kids are too young to differentiate between good laws and bad laws. They may grow to think that its OK to break any law because Daddy smokes a little reefer.

    That said, I do smoke with my kids. At least 2 of the 3. They are aged 24, 22 and 20 now. My middle child is married and just had her own child. We see them about once every 2 – 3 months and we usually partake. Which by the way is the only time I partake because of the whole drug test thing (another post)!

    Enough said. Next!

  23. Urb Age

    I have a 11 month old little girl and we dont smoke around her. Its just a because thing to me, why when you dont need to. No need to be stuborn and demand my smoke with my little one.

    But I think the main reason is it is illegal. Right now she cant talk and know, but she will here soon. Since its illegal and there is DHS (is that the mean workers who take the kids)? Lots of those people are very uneducated to our causes and needs. Cant trust people and cant trust the man.

    So the basement works just fine and when you have good friends who allow, no smoking zones, it helps too.

  24. Brian Kerr

    Smoke in front of young children, NO. If they see smoking it might be a gateway to cigarette smoking.

    It can be a real bitch if they told a teacher at school that Mommy or daddy smoke funny cigarettes at home.

    Too bad you have to be afraid of your children.
    Be on the safe side until they are adults.

  25. Teehee

    Parents imitate their parents in nearly everything. It’s just animal nature to repeat what your parents have modeled for you.

    I don’t have anything else other than anecdotal evidence and a strong bit of logic to say kids who grow up seeing their parents smoking weed will, on average, start smoking earlier, and smoke more frequently at a younger age. I’d say these kids grow up into a lot of the [10-14% of people likely to become dependent].

    There is a growing body of evidence to support the health risks of adolescents using marijuana.

    I do not think parents should toke in front of their kids. Not because smoking itself is bad, but because it should be a choice kids make on their own when they are matured, not something they are unconsciously drawn to due to imprinting.

  26. chai wallah Nicol

    As a 59 year old father who has smoked cannabis occasionally for around 38 years, I have never smoked in front of my two grown daughters and grown son except for one occasion when my youngest daughter and her friend shared a joint with me (she is the only one of my children that tokes). Although they all know that my partner and I toke occasionally in the privacy of our bedroom at night, I would feel strange smoking in front of them unless they really wanted to smoke with me. I don’t want to expose them to 2nd hand cannabis smoke. I’m thinking of using a vaporizer in the future, I would have less concerns without the smoke. It is a tricky issue because all families are different and each child has a different perspective. :pot:

  27. bemky

    the only reason weed smoking in front of kids is bad is because its been illegal for almost a century. thats why u dont see people judging parents for drinking in front of them. it could be said that alcohol is physical self abuse. thats never good

  28. bemky

    haha next thing to god? did you have kids so you could have them worship you?

  29. bemky

    Well i hope you smoke around your kids now.

  30. RW

    I don’t smoke around kids. My feeling is that smoking around your kids is like handing them the joint.
    My kids grew up knowing that I smoke, and when one comes in my office while I’m rolling one I finish rolling it. I just don’t light it up. When the time came to tell them about drugs I was able to educate them with the truth of experience and example. My kids are now 24 and 18, one has aquired a taste for beer, neither of them smoke.

  31. AcidPancake

    I grew up around it, I traveled with the Grateful Dead, and grew up handing the bong to people saying “hit! Hit!”by the time i was 3. i felt really comfortable around it, and even grew it myself as a kid. I never wanted to try it until after my mom died and i was moved into foster care when i was 12. they were really straight laced people and i ventured out to find “family” in liberal Santa Cruz. :420: I became a ‘stoner’ at 13 and have been a dedicated smoker until i discovered i was pregnant just five months ago.I got my medical card at 18.(aided my asthma, wrist/back pain, and insomnia) I still feel stoney, its a big part of my culture and i feel most comfortable around other stoners. anyway… I think i would smoke Ganja around my kid,(after im done breastfeeding anyway) but probably not smoke indoors. What about vaporizing :pot: ? I would probably vaporize indoors. It is like drinking, i wouldn’t want my kid to see me overusing it (like an alcoholic) so i probably wouldn’t smoke in front of them everyday. :bongin:

  32. bemky

    absolutely norml. However you just run the risk of your child accidentally ratting you out with their innocent ignorance.

  33. MrSpof

    Even when I try to tell them I’m not. I should enjoy it while it lasts ;-)

  34. Dr. Luny

    I don’t think there’s anything intrinsically wrong with letting your children see you smoking, it really isn’t any different from drinking a glass of wine in front of them. You probably shouldn’t get too stoned, just like you wouldn’t want to get too drunk in front of your kids though.

  35. DocMedPot

    It all comes down to being a RESPONSIBLE user and to teach your children the truth when they can fully understand the concepts. :pot:

  36. MrSpof

    They do see me as the next best thing to God. They tell me so all the time.

  37. Carpe Cannabis

    Eh, my step-dad smoked and sold around me. It didn’t really bother me, even though I knew it was illegal. I think it’s something they could do when the child is older, say 17 or 18, because they can understand the situation a lot better than a younger child. Younger than that and it should be kept away as much as possible. Thats my opinion.

  38. fallibilist

    I think smoking weed in front of kids is a bad idea.

    I also think that drinking al-kee-hol in front of the kids isn’t great.

    Kids should see their parents as next-thing-to-God.

  39. MrSpof

    Tough one. I have two kids. I stopped smoking weed in front of them when they were three as I figured they wouldn’t remember it when they were older. I appear to been right on that one. I don’t want to appear to be more of a hypocrite than I already am to them.

    I smoke cigarettes and I have emphatically and pleadingly asked them to never smoke cigs as it’s my biggest regret and it will kill you.

    I don’t want to smoke weed in front of them and say it’s ok to make that choice when you’re an adult and have them mix that up with what I say on cigs (never do it). I’d rather leave mixed messages to the government and have my kids listen to me and trust (hopefully) what I say.

    I come from a ‘broken’ home. Left home at 13, didn’t see family for another 20 or so years. Have spoken with them since and even got high with my mom a couple of times. THAT felt odd. And good, as she’s in her early 60s.

    I’d like to have that kind of relationship with my kids when they’re adults. I can already see it: to the youngest: “Oh thank God you finally turned 18 and are out of high school. Open that drawer there and hand me the container and those rolling papers.” Or not. It’ll be odd if they never try weed or don’t like it. :shrug: To each their own. I’ll kick their asses if they start smoking cigs tho …

  40. Adam

    My parents smoked in front of me all my life…I always knew it was illegal.(well almost,longer story)For my family it was about the proper enviroment for smoking. My folks would go to the garage,out back, or to a bed room. Some times I was welcome, sometimes not!

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