Real dads talk cannabis and fatherhood
Cara Wietstock, GreenState.com
More parents are opening up to their kids about pot as legalization breaks down generations-long stigmas set in place by the Reefer Madness-era. Society was heavily propagated with misinformation about the plant. But as the stigma is lifted, more parents are engaging with their kids about these nuances. Now, cannabis is bringing dads closer to their children at every age.
When writer Bailey Ethier gets together with her dad, they always smoke a joint or a bowl, and she often saves her best nugs for him–it wasn’t always that way, though. Ethier recalls being nervous when her father first found her stash in the center console of her car, but he just offered the sage advice that it should always be in the trunk and moved on without punishing her.
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“We both find endless joy, peace, and healing in cannabis,” Ethier told GreenState. “Smoking weed with my dad has brought us even closer. Our shared love of cannabis is intertwined with our shared love of nature, art, music, and laughter.“
Father’s Day can be a celebration for some, a moment of reverence for others, and complicated for many. As we ponder on the complexities of the day, along with stories like Ethier’s, we wanted to highlight how cannabis can bring adult children and their dads together.
There are the parents of curious children having complex conversations about the illegality of an herb next to those raising teens who are interested in experimenting with the plant. Then we have the adults engaging with their Senior parents about a topic that may have once taboo between them.
We reached out to dads from all walks of life to understand how cannabis plays a role in their journey as a parent.
Fatherhood and the cannabis plant
Sean Rotramel, the founder of Your Highness LA, had an experience with his father similar to Ethier’s. His dad spoke of his love for cannabis often as Rotramel and his brother grew up, letting them slide when they smelled like weed. After he set up operations in California’s medical program in 2006, they went into business together.
“My father and I have bonded and shared a passion for growing ever since. Having something like a family business to tie the family together is amazing,” Rotramel gushed. “Now that I am a father of three boys, I hope to pass the torch along in the cannabis industry.”
Humboldt cannabis cultivator Craig Nejedly, CEO of High Grade Distribution, grew up hiding his consumption from his family. He now speaks openly about the plant with his teenage daughter, who grew up understanding that one parent’s evening joint is another parent’s beer after work.
“Legalization has brought normalization for cannabis parents. Some parents definitely hid it more than others from their kids, but I have always been open and exposed my daughter to it because I have always believed that cannabis is great for well-being and recreational use,” Nejedly said.
Being a dad who consumes cannabis
Normalization makes it easier for parents to be open about working in the cannabis industry at their children’s schools or with their peers’ parents. Being able to live out loud means a lot to fathers who consume as well, as many shared that cannabis helps them be more calm, well-rested parents.
“I found out quickly that being a parent required patience and understanding, in which the plant provided an opportunity to stay calm and have compassion for everything around me,” shared David Tran, co-founder of Farechild. “With two more young children, I continue to use the plant for the same purpose, but now being an older parent, it allows me to recover from keeping up with my kids’ energy, as well as staying in the moment with patience and love.”
Jon Spadafora, President of Veritas Fine Cannabis, agreed with Tran.
“Being a parent is exhausting, difficult, and ever-changing. Having the ability to reset, relax and focus is critical to being there for the people that need me,” Spadafora said via email.
Smoking a joint or sipping on a cannabis drink after putting the kids to bed is a sensible way for many to relax after a long day. Especially when that long day may have included reasoning with a toddler or navigating the emotions of an angsty teen.
As more states legalize, more parents explore how cannabis products could help them unwind. It can also be a tool to help co-parents connect. That’s how Mark R. Waller, co-founder and managing partner of Morem & Waller CPAs, prefers to utilize the plant.
“Consuming a super relaxing indica strain edible and turning on a nature documentary is one beautiful way my wife and I can unwind together and reflect on our busy, busy days as parents,” Mark said.
Parenting is hard, and cannabis seems to help dads manage stress, practice patience, and connect with their partners. After 21 years of it, the plant could help them connect with their kiddos, just like Bailey and her dad.
Smoking with your kids one day
Spadafora smokes a joint with his kids a couple of times a week. He cherishes those moments together filled with updates on their lives and stories about their days.
Tran also has a child who’s old enough to partake. They share joints and dabs alongside his son-in-law, and Tran considers the experience much like sharing a beer with your parent.
Tony Grasso, the founder of The Snail Nail Company, added a great point. Once your kids are old enough to consume cannabis they’ll be tapped into a brand new culture.
“When they are adults and if they are into it, I would, for sure, enjoy some of my favorite rituals with them and see if they like it as well,” he exclaimed. “This is like 20 years in the future, and I imagine my rituals may need a sweet update from any of my three daughters.”
Cannabis can be a valuable tool to all kinds of fathers, and some are now sharing its possibilities with their kids. Like all things, cannabis consumption and parenting always come full circle. Many of us were teens getting caught smoking weed or with a bag by our parents, only for the roles to reverse years later. As the stigma lifts off the plant, this cycle is breaking, just like it is for these dads. Parents are opting to teach their kids about cannabis rather than punish their children for being interested in it, creating another pillar in normalizing consumption.