lifes rich pageant (izzie) Wed 16 Mar 05 18:45
I'm a mom. I have been known to smoke a little weed. My son is 11, and has seen mom pretty damn happy from some fungal occurance, (he was in the fulltime care of a qualified nanny at the time), and he has seen his mom have a beer too many. He knows I drink, knows I rarely smoke pot, and knows I "have done other drugs." Will I ever tell him that his mom was a heroin junkie on the streets of DC? I very much doubt it. There are parts of my life, past, present and I'm sure future, that are My Business. Does he need to know with whom I sleep/have slept or how often? No. Then he doesn't need to know what drugs I have done, or will do, either. But - will I ever smoke pot in front of him? Probably not. Same thing with having sex in front of him. Being his mother doesn't mean I don't get to have my own private life. I remember being at an outdoor event where there was alot of pot being smoked, and some mangy kid taking a deep hit and turning to blow it right near the face of my then 7 year old son. That the mangy kid survived the experience is testament only to the fact that there'd have been witnesses. but I bet he never does that shit again! I took my son aside for a walk, and I figured this was a good time to talk about pot. "Oh yeah, mom. That's the stuff that So-And-So smells like, isn't it?" (or words to that effect.) He knows and loves adults who smoke alot more pot than me, and I think he'd already decided that it was okay. I was so surprised to learn what my 7-yr old already know about pot smoking!! But I still won't have those dear friends of mine smoking pot around my kid. So far, everyone's okay with that. My son has asked me to compare cigarettes (a recent ex-smoker here), alcohol and pot. He knows cigarettes pose the greatest health risk, and that I rank pot and alcohol at about the same. And he knows which one is currenly illegal, and what happened when They tried to make alcohol illegal. My concern though, and maybe this is just me because I got so strung out before, is about the "gateway drug" aspect of pot. It is culturally more a "drug" than alcohol, and I think the very illicitness of it makes it more appealing to a certain type of kid (like the type I was!), and I gotta admit that I see it as a gateway drug for kids. Would I freak if my son, as an older teenager, either drank or smoked responsibly? No. But, would I freak if he opted to try smack or something equally stupid? You bet. I don't know how to balance that fear of the gateway with my really being basically okay with pot/alcohol. and I'm sorry for such a long post!
Public persona (jmcarlin) Wed 16 Mar 05 20:43
FWIW, my background was disappearing into a smoke haze for a few years in college with side-effects of mental fog and dropping out of a PhD program. Two points: I believe that the medical issues should be evaluated from a medical perspective. All drugs have uses and it would be beneficial to have clinical knowledge of where THC was useful and to be able to prescribe it for those uses. I also believe that the current war on drugs is stupid. Throwing people into jail for small amounts is criminal in itself. Prohibition showed that making something illegal has very little effect on its use. I stopped because someone showed me that some of the side-effects I was experiencing was due to the drug (lethargy, irritability, inability to concentrate, inability to speak clearly etc). Along with that, the person offered a positive alternative. It bugs the crap out of me if someone is smoking close enough to smell. I went through enough changes to quit and I do not want to be tempted ever again. And having young kids use it could be even a bigger problem because their brains are not fully developed. That said, removing the hysteria from the whole issue is long overdue.
Gary Greenberg (gberg) Thu 17 Mar 05 04:06
I believe that the medical issues should be evaluated from a medical perspective. All drugs have uses and it would be beneficial to have clinical knowledge of where THC was useful and to be able to prescribe it for those uses. DEspite the US government's best efforts to make this research impossible, there have been bona fide clinical trials in England with cannabis extract for treatment of pain and spasticity in MS.The results are mildly positive--more impressive than, say, Prozac for depression, but less so than penicillin for syphillis, enough, however, to gain approval if all other things were equal, which they are not.. Incidentally, this research shows prety conslusviely that THC is not the only medicinal constituent of pot. There's also something called cannabidiol.
Coleman K. Ridge (ckridge) Thu 17 Mar 05 08:26
<scribbled by ckridge Thu 17 Mar 05 09:24>
Authentic Frontier Gibberish (gerry) Thu 17 Mar 05 08:53
I think I can see something of a "gateway" aspect, related to the illegality. By having to deal in the "informal" economic sector, one is likely to come into contact with different kinds of drug users/dealers. Maybe. It's probably a weak link, though. More likely, I think, there is confusion because of what my generation experienced. A lot of "Reefer Madness" type propaganda was used to instill fear in us about a variety of substances, as if all of the substances posed equal hazards. When we discovered that what we were told about pot was all bullshit, many of us then made the mistake of assuming that everything else they told us was also bullshit.
Coleman K. Ridge (ckridge) Thu 17 Mar 05 09:34
In a frenzy of irritation at a malformed sentence, I scribbled, edited, and re-posted <29> below. That puts <gerry>'s reply out of sequence. Sorry, but that sentence had to be put out of its misery. <izzie>, very nice distinction between one's private life and what one is obliged to divulge to one's children. I cannot make any sense of this "gateway drug" business. It looks to me like a clumsy lie. Either there is a causal connection between marijuana use and use of other drugs or there is not. If there is a causal connection, it is demonstrable. If there is not, whether or not users of other drugs used marijuana first is irrelevant. Every single mass murderer started that day by going out the door of his home; it does not follow that leaving one's home is a gateway to mass murder. I cleaned up around the time I was twenty, because that's when my father got the word to me that the family career of drug abuse was not obligatory after all. In thirty-odd years of living sober around drug users, I have noticed that getting high makes people stupid as well as happy, and that people who spend a lot of time stupid get good at it. Also, everyone I know who gets high has done something they regretted later while high. So, I am in a pretty good position from which to discourage marijuana use. But you know? It probably won't work. He has got to learn to practice prudence on his own, and that will entail experimentation. He will likely try marijuana and alcohol, have sex with unsuitable people, drive too fast, climb rotten granite cliffs, walk through bad neighborhoods late, and run the red light at 42nd Street on his bicycle. (brief interlude to lie down and shake with horror) The only thing I know to do is to teach him degrees of safety. Marijuana and alcohol are relatively safe drugs. Protected sex with unsuitable people is infinitely better than unprotected sex with such people. Car crashes with seat belts on are usually less bad. And so on.
Public persona (jmcarlin) Thu 17 Mar 05 12:51
This bears repeating and would make a good button: > people who spend a lot of time stupid get good at it.
Ron Dolce (rondolce) Thu 17 Mar 05 15:01
It is a clumsy lie, ck,. It just appears superficially true due to the fact that pot's illegal, as are the drugs that it's a purported gateway to. It doesn't stand up to any scrutiny at all, but the anti maryjane contingent out there relies on the fact that most people aren't willing or able to scrutinize the drug situation very much. People have grown up with this fixed view of "drugs" as what's illegal and therefore dangerous and can't see that legality vs illegality and safe vs dangerous (relatively) are unconnected issues. I've always found it embarrassing to argue with anti's; I've cited stats and info from the LaGuardia report, the President's report (that was Nixon , by the way) and the Consumer's Union report but no amount of information seems to ever sink through. This sort of Anti-drug mindset seems impervious to any contradictory info.
Ron Dolce (rondolce) Thu 17 Mar 05 15:05
As to discussing anything with my children I've always adhered to the idea ; when in doubt tell the truth. I can easily frame most of my past drug experiences as boring or negative experiences compared with those I've has while straight and they seem to respect what I say.
Gerald Feeney (gerry) Thu 17 Mar 05 20:00
<scribbled by gerry Thu 17 Mar 05 20:01>
Authentic Frontier Gibberish (gerry) Thu 17 Mar 05 20:01
This is from my 9th grade science book: "Reasons for Addiction - Some addicts started to use drugs to relieve physical pain, or to escape facing their problems. Many younger addicts got their start because of curiosity, or a desire to make an impression upon someone. Most of them followed the same pattern of behavior. First they tried alcohol, then marijuana (mair-uh-WAH-nuh), and, finally, heroin." _Science: A Key to the Future_ J. Darrell Barnard, Celia Stendler, Benjamin Spock, MD, Lon Edwards The Macmillan Company, New York, 1962
Coleman K. Ridge (ckridge) Fri 18 Mar 05 06:06
Funny how alcohol doesn't count as a gateway drug. A problem with having this discussion in a public forum is that people who smoke moderate amounts of marijuana and find it beneficial are not likely to talk about it here. One thing that I like about this picture book is that it takes the morally unambiguous case of a farmer who grows marijuana for himself and a few friends. Growing marijuana for one's private use is perfectly possible, and it does not put one in contact with sellers of other drugs, or involve giving money to professional criminals. Insofar as it is a gateway, it is a gateway to gardening. I do want to know, though, how that little girl and her mother bicycled from the Lower East Side strip park to a farm.
Gary Greenberg (gberg) Fri 18 Mar 05 08:03
FYI-From the author Hi Gary, I've enjoyed the dialogue so far; thanks for your prompts. As I mentioned to David before this process began, I have to go to Miami this morning for a wedding (where I will likely not have internet access). If I can post I will, but otherwise I will be back on Monday with some questions of my own. have a wonderful weekend Ricardo
virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Fri 18 Mar 05 12:30
And this reminder: those on the Net not members of the Well are welcome to send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll post 'em for you. I'll note, given the remark coleman made in <inkwell.vue.37>, above, that we ordinarily attribute those by name -- but if you'd rather we not use your name say so. Same offer for folks on the Well who would like to contribute to the discussion without outing their behavior to all the world.
Stewart Cauley (stewartc) Fri 18 Mar 05 15:35
>I do want to know, though, how that little girl and her mother bicycled from the Lower East Side strip park to a farm. I saw pot growing in Thompkins Sq. Park a few years ago. Perhaps TSP just looks bigger and more rural in childrens' books about pot.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 18 Mar 05 16:54
Back in the early '70s I worked for a light aircraft rental company on Maui. We had a nice twin-engine something-or-other (Piper Seneca pops into my mind, maybe that's the correct name) that we rented out to some burly bearded guys who flew off to Molokai for about two weeks. Among my jobs was cleaning the planes when renters brought them back. When I cleaned the plane after these guys brought it back I found the cutest little marijuana seedlings sprouting out of the carpeting in front of the rearmost seat.
No hablo Greenspaņol (sd) Sun 20 Mar 05 07:21
I liked the book. What beautiful artwork. Might have to get a couple of copies for the local library.
David Crosby (croz) Mon 21 Mar 05 05:40
I do really wish that I had known about this book ... and had given a copy to my 9 year old son long before I got busted in NYC .....CNN is not the best way for your kid to find out ...it was very hard on him and on my wife who had to explain it ......fortunately I have a genuine medical use for it and the paperwork to match ....it gave her a place to start but ......the book would have been better by far....thank you for writing it
Ricardo Cortes (ricardocortes) Mon 21 Mar 05 17:49
Hey, I'm back. First of all, I want to remind Well users that you can see the entire story at a special URL I've set up during this dialogue. Although the computer screen hardly does the illustrations justice, you can read "It's Just a Plant" here: http://www.justaplant.com/inkwell If you would like to purchase the book itself, I have it on my website (www.justaplant.com) and it's just been picked up by Urban Outfitters. Otherwise, I'm very happy to hear from parents with their stories. That's been the best part of the process... keep 'em coming. Oh.. re:the ride from TSP to the farm. Actually, that first bike ride is a visual reference split between a view of the Brooklyn Bridge and a ride on a small road up the coast of Mallorca, Spain (where I made a pilgrimage to one of my own favorite artists, Mati Klarwein). The 'farm' is based on a view I saw in Guanajuato, Mexico. The entire book is a collage of different sights and photo references. Finally, with all the 'gateway' conversations we've have about marijuana leading to 'harder drugs', I though you might appreciate something I heard lately (forgive me if I forget the source): "The only hard thing that marijuana leads to is graduate school." Again, I never make to make light of the fact that marijuana is a powerful drug, but there's always a matter of fair perspective.
Gary Greenberg (gberg) Tue 22 Mar 05 03:27
Ricardo, tell us a little more about yourself. What's a shemale skateboard, for instance?
Ricardo Cortes (ricardocortes) Tue 22 Mar 05 12:27
About myself? Well, I'm a 31 year old artist working out of Brooklyn, NY. After finishing college in '95 I spent several years teaching in NY, NJ and CT public schools, all the while working on forming a creative consultancy that would incorporate my artistic skills with some of my political interests. In 1999 I formed the Magic Propaganda Mill (http://www.magicpropagandamill.com), which has become the springboard for most of my creative efforts since. The Mill was originally a collective of artists; it has since become a business as well. We went from designing t-shirts ("I Love Iraq", in the style of Milton Glaser's I Heart NY, was a popular favorite of ours) to making skateboards (Shemale Skateboards was my attempt to bring something new to the skate scene. I've been skating since I was in Junior High and I know there hardly needs to be another skateboard company. Thus, naming my company Shemale, with its decidely non-skateboard/non-hip-hop approach to sexuality and gender made for an interesting compromise) to political projects (Peace With Police was my last project before "It's Just a Plant," through which I met many police officers who were working to end the drug war and hence I found allies in a colaition that many assumed to be 'the enemy'. As I've stated before, I think this Drug War has no enemies except for the War itself.) To sum up, the latest project taken on by the Magic Propaganda Mill was the publication of "It's Just a Plant." I approached over a dozen publishers to do the project.. no one would touch it. I eventually decided to put in all my savings and publish the book myself. The first 3000 copies were released at the beginning of this year. No publicist, no distributor.. everything done right here. Somehow, word has begun to spread and I've almost finished the first edition. Next step is to decide how I want to do the second (to do it again myself or to see if I can get a publisher to pick up the responsibilities). After that.. I have a couple more books waiting to go once I find the funds to get them off the ground. If you thought "It's Just a Plant" got people talking.. wait 'til you see what the third book will be!
David Gans (tnf) Wed 23 Mar 05 08:12
This is from a correspondent who would like to remain anonymous: > I'm going to tell my daughter that in her teen years the mind is working > out what "normal" will be, and that's an important process that she needs > to be present for. I'll encourage her to read and work and have as many > social experiences as possible, but I'm going to ask her to wait until- > she's 18-19 to experiment with pot, AS I DID. I plan to abstain during her > junior high and high school years as well, to model integrity. > I believe, from my own experience, that the best way to enjoy marijuana in > moderation is to wait until adulthood to try it. By establishing > "substancefree" patterns of work, sleep and social life, we will notice > when substances are disrupting those patterns, and take corrective steps. > But healthy habits are not just about living a regimented life; it's also > emotional awareness, listening to the substance, and being able to say > "I've had enough."
David Gans (tnf) Wed 23 Mar 05 08:13
My comment on that comment: > in her teen years the mind is working out what "normal" will be, and that's > an important process that she needs to be present for. That is just a great way of stating this.
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Wed 23 Mar 05 10:00
Yes, absolutely. I'm going to snag it for later use.
Gail Williams (gail) Wed 23 Mar 05 20:53
That reminds me of what a friend told me about talking to his daughter about sex. He said she was very independent and bold, and in middle school she told him "you can't stop me from having sex, you know." He said he was proud of himself for not flinching at all, though his mind was racing. He told her that sexual relationships make people vulnerable to one another physically and mostly emotionally, and that she would find sex more worthwhile if she waited until she was an adult. He told her it was not so much about being married or committed, but more basically about knowing how not to create situations where she would be used and be hurt by that. He says it might not work for all young girls, but it struck a chord with her, and gave her a context for making up her mind about how adult she and her pals were. He says she waited until she was out of high school. She's certainly a strong, grounded young woman now that she's out of college.
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