This column comes out during the week of Mother's Day. For many of you, the only connection between cannabis and that holiday will be reading this column and 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 zonked on Valium and boxed wine to care. You would come home reeking of skunk and proceed to eat 4,800 calories while watching MTV for hours. Your mom isn't stupid.)
For others, it may bring up some divisions between mother and offspring on differing viewpoints regarding the plant, made all the more intense by your belief that it would do your mom a universe of good if she would just get high, and maybe stop asking if you knew that your cousin Claire had been accepted into medical school—and a good one, too.
You've probably even seen the videos and blog posts by alt weekly writers along the lines of, "We Smoked Weed With Our Moms!", which have been better received than my story proposal, "We Took MDMA With Our Grandmothers!"
My own relationship with my mom and cannabis differs from most, so I didn't opt to see if she wanted to get high. She's been doing so for nearly 60 years.
My mom, who 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."
It 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 at had a huge front room that the tenants had converted into a drying room, with kolas nearly as tall as I was hanging from a spider's web of clothesline strung from the ceiling.
Even with the double dose of liberalism that came from living in Hawaii while 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. In high school, she was far more concerned about my drinking alcohol than smoking a joint.
I recently sat down and 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 Columbian 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," she concluded. "Of course, now, with the Trumpster and Sessions, we may think of those as the 'good old days.'"
My 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 by more of those by anytime," she exclaimed. "And you can leave what you did bring with me."
But no matter 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 one with a broader viewpoint of the "pot weed," call or visit your Mom this Mother's Day. And 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!