Does smoking pot make you a bad parent?

Does smoking pot make you a bad parent?

#LetParentsSmoke
#PotIsNotForParents
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More states are legalizing it, but cannabis use is still stigmatized, especially if you have kids. Some, however, argue pot makes them better parents. A group that's dubbed themselves the "marijuana moms" told "The Today Show" that smoking a joint should be as acceptable for parents as having a glass of wine. Others say cannabis is very different from alcohol, and that parents who use it are irresponsible and could actually be endangering their children. Can good parents smoke pot? 👪🌳🚬

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#LetParentsSmoke
#PotIsNotForParents

Critics say it's irresponsible to use drugs around children, but pro-pot parents say it's no different than a glass of wine or a beer or an antianxiety pill. If cannabis is a "drug," then so is caffeine.

Most of us wouldn’t bat an eye if a friend confessed to downing a glass of Chardonnay (or two) while the kids were around. It’s common to see posts about #wineoclock and “wine mom” memes on fellow parents’ social media feeds. Is using marijuana really so different?

But others, like the group Parents Opposed to Pot, say marijuana is a drug that no one should use, and that it's especially disgraceful when parents who are responsible for kids use it. There can also be legal risks, as well as social repercussions, if you're known as a parent who smokes pot.

Using it recreationally can cause serious legal issues when it comes to your kids, especially if you’re going through a divorce and negotiating custody. “If you’ve been caught [using marijuana], it will adversely affect your character in court,” says Sabina Haqqani, a family lawyer in Toronto. “It could call into question your ability to parent.”

Others say it actually makes them better parents. They argue that using cannabis responsibly reduces stress, helps them sleep, combats postpartum depression, allows them to cut down on drinking, and reduces their need for pain medication. Parents who are better rested, less stressed, less depressed, and not in pain result in good outcomes for kids.

Others argue cannabis use affects your short-term memory, your reflexes, and your judgment. They say parents who smoke pot are putting their own enjoyment over their children's well-being.

Critics pointed out that the marijuana moms celebrated on "The Today Show" were all white, and the stigma of using cannabis carries far greater risks for parents of color than it does for white folks.

Going on TV to talk about your pot habit is “something that’s OK for white people” only, as one reaction published in the Miami Herald put it.
And smoking weed without any hassle from authorities is a thing for white people, even in the marijuana legalization era. Arrest rates for black and Latino people still far outpace arrests for whites everywhere police and cannabis are found, regardless of whether the drug is legal or not. 
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