Old Hippie’s Wife Comes Out Of the Garden

Call me Felicity.

In my teens, I knew lots of stoners who would swap stories of things that happened when they were high, and some who smoked to relax after work. I only tried weed twice. Once, sitting on the swings in a playground with my friend near dusk I had time dilation, felt like I was floating, every sense seemed extra sensitive. I did not see my friend when she walked right in front of me. The second time I choked and coughed and nearly threw up and nothing happened. Never tried it again. Like so many others, I thought weed (marijuana) was for losers who didn’t want to face life or addictive personalities who didn’t like alcoholic drinks. I did not want to be included in either group.

Flash forward to the present. I am a middle-class, law-abiding member of society. I work full-time, am a mother, grandmother and live in a legal medical cannabis state. I take doctor prescribed pharmacy medicines because for now, they work, and I have a great prescription plan through my job.

Old Hippie has wanted me to write here because of my different perspectives. Also, as his wife I have taken a deep interest in his well-being and activities. We have done many things together, including becoming cannabis patients. I have been lurking on Reddit/trees and Beyond Chronic and other sites for the last few years. Time to come out of the garden and speak my piece.

People confide in me because I am a good listener and I do not judge them. I often take on the role of adviser to those younger than myself. A chance discussion led me to research through Granny Storm Crow’s medical cannabis studies list. I was amazed that so many medical conditions can be treated with cannabis…even my own. I now know lots of law-abiding people with illnesses ranging serious to deadly who are legal cannabis patients.

OK, so as a mom, would I want my children to take cannabis? Maybe. If they actually had a medical problem that it could help, especially if we did the same rigorous testing that Old Hippie did when he first started as a medical cannabis patient. Would we try traditional Big Pharma medicines? Sure. Along with herbal teas, dietary and lifestyle changes — whatever we as parents and mature child deemed necessary and beneficial to alleviate the medical problem.

I do not see cannabis as a means to an end, or as the ultimate anything. I see it as a substance that should be added back into the Western medical pharmacopeia ASAP because it works safely on a wide variety of health problems.

What would you do as a parent?

6 comments

Hi!
I just want to say that as someone who has only recently started smoking about a year ago (I’m 21), I really appreciate seeing women older than myself who admit to using cannabis. We need more positive role models to break the lazy stoner dude stereotypes! 😀

Thanks for the compliment and for stopping by! I hope I can help others to think outside the box and realize that there are more positive ways to live using medical cannabis.

I agree fully with the idea that it can be such a beneficial tool. When I’m a parent, I’ll definitely treat it as a legitimate medication (it helps with my ADD, along with a good diet), but may I ask for you opinion on how to bring it up and when? Particularly, if it is illegal. Genuinely looking for opinions to help shape my own. Glad you poked your head from the garden. 🙂

This is a tough one. My short answer is that no child under the age of 12 is aware enough of real-life legal consequences to be able to keep quiet about cannabis use by a parent. One of the very real possibilities is Child Protective Services being called in to take away your child if your cannabis use becomes public knowledge. They won’t do this to drunks, but they will jump on it if “illegal drug” use is known. Even in California where medical cannabis use is legal, children have been taken from their parents.

Given the current state of our society, if I had to choose a time to tell a child, I would be sure he or she can understand the importance of keeping this a secret from his/her friends. You don’t want the whole school (or the administration or other parents) to know about your cannabis use. Especially if you live where medical cannabis is illegal. (see above)

Start by discussing your ADD, what medicines, foods or other techniques you have used to help you. Most importantly be sure to explain what the consequences are to you (and the family) if your ADD is uncontrolled. This can include periodic depression, the inability to concentrate or finish tasks or to hold a job. Demonstrate, talk, let the child know how this medical problem that you will not “outgrow” relates to him/her.

I believe that this should be done gradually over time while the child is in grade school and through many discussions of varying lengths. Try to not miss an opportunity to point out events in daily life that support your position. Do not mention the medical use of cannabis right away, but when you do, make sure you point out that even alcohol is used for medical reasons in moderate doses, and that the purpose of your cannabis use is not to get high but to control your symptoms so that you can have a normal life.

Our youngest was 16 when he first learned about Old Hippie using medical cannabis. He had been through the DARE program at school. He often expressed contempt for the stoner groups in high school, how they were barely passing their classes, had early sex, and were just plain stupid.

He had also seen his father go through years of depression and angry outbursts, along with the inability to hold a job, or even get things done around the house. There was a gradual change in Old Hippie and our son noticed it. The first few weeks, Old Hippie hid his use of medical cannabis from our son by smoking in the bathroom. Talk about role reversal 🙂 We talked it over, and based on his maturity we decided to tell our son.

To make a long (2 hour) discussion short, we went over the previous years of problems, that ADD is hereditary and what it does in the brain chemistry. We reviewed Old Hippie’s use of a wide array of antidepressants, plus Adderall and Ritalin and counseling to treat his problems. None of these had worked long term, and some had had serious side effects (like sleeping for 20 hours at a time). Then from a biological viewpoint we discussed the cannabinoid system in our bodies and finally segued into Old Hippie’s becoming a legal patient and all the legal and medical ramifications. Our son, being as intelligent as we are 🙂 had already guessed where this discussion was going before we got there. He knew his father was hiding something, and was waiting for us to tell him.

He is OK with this, because he lived through the medical pre-cannabis parent and has seen the spectacular results of medical cannabis in said parent. Needless to say, he tells no one.

I hope my long-winded reply helps you, Sarah. Thanks for asking!

First of all, I think its cool you decided to post along with Old Hippie.
But I wanted to comment on the parent note at the end. My mother keeps trees and the internet separate in her life, but I don’t so I speak for her in this. My parents have smoked since way back in their day, the 70s, and they’ve taken an interesting approach to the normal issue of “what to do with the kids smoking weed.” Well, my mother is a firm believer in not being a hypocrite, and in response to her kids smoking, she joined them. We all get along better now, its almost a tradition for a bowl before dinner as a family or on a family hike in the woods. While my dad just turns the blind eye and tokes on his own (he’s a poop), I think that trees has helped keep my family together for the last few years.
Hell, we all flew to California on a 10 day trip ending in a reunion with family, and we couldn’t take sharing the small rental car and each other’s high-energy 24 hours a day, and we couldn’t help trying the local trees while we were there. After wards, we rarely fought and actually had a fun time. Who knew!
Anyway, maybe my family is weird for toking together and sharing the wealth, but I think it was a good way to handle the issue, and is much better than everyone secretly toking on their own and sneaking around.

I must say, I have just started reading Old Hippies posts and have learned so much already. Thank him for me. However yours is the only one I’ve felt intrigued to respond to because it is such an interesting question. One I have dealt with head on and taken a lot of judgement from other parents regarding. My eldest daughter, 19, is a honors student at a well known university. She is an NCAA athlete, an absolutely overachiever and above all, the most beautiful young lady I’ve ever laid eyes on. She is not a rebel, she is studying politics because she wants to run the country someday. That’s said, she is also a medical marajuana user at age 20. Something I encouraged her to do. At age 16 she began to have severe panic attacks with long periods of insomnia. Being an overachiever the need to be perfect was literally consuming her. She could not rest or breath for that matter unless she felt everything was exactly as it should be. She would study for a test with a bucket next to her because of a constant need to vomit. This was caused by an inner anxiety so deep I couldn’t wrap my brain around it. I would say dumb things to her like ” you don’t have to get straight A’s honey” to her I might as well have said ” you don’t have to breathe sweetie”. Finally we knew she needed some intervention. Finals week her junior way she was withering away. She wasn’t sleeping or eating and she was actually failing tests because of it. I took her to see the dr and they did of course what I knew they would. Prescribed Xanax. It broke my heart to see my baby girl at age 16 popping anti anxiety meds like it was candy. What’s worse is they didn’t help. Being a long time medical mj user myself ( severe fibromyalgia) I knew what would help my daughter but I knew also that I would be harshly judged if others knew I was encouraging my daughter to use cannibis. After watching her suffer though I just didn’t care. I won’t go into the ins and outs of the discussion we had but I will tell you that her life was changes. Anxiety dealt with and of course weight loss and sleep were no longer an issue. Now that she is a NCAA athlete she will not run the risk of a random drug screen so she is back to anti anxiety drugs. And she is back to levels of stress that cause her physical anguish and she suffers through it alone. It breaks my heart. I find myself increasingly angry that society so easily will give my baby a pill but wont allow her to make the choice of something natural instead. It’s my prayer one day that won’t be so. Thanks for giving me a forum to share Felicity. Maybe others will change their heart when they find that cannibis is the answer to their children’s suffering. One can only hope. —have peace.

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