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How Smoking Weed Helps Me As a Parent, According to 12 Dads

Some turn to smoking weed to escape. Others do it to tune in. Some do it to bond. But, whatever their reasons, all of these dads discussed how smoking weed helps them. 

The legalization of marijuana in America has transformed smoking weed from an under-the-bleachers or before-the-concert pastime to something akin to having a beer or scotch at the end of the day. Step into any of the dispensaries in one of the 33 states to have legalized marijuana in some form and you feel like you’re in a Crate & Barrel but for weed. It smells good. There’s a lot of fancy stuff to look at. The workers are happy to help. It’s a strange new world. 

Marijuana’s stress-reducing, anxiety-lessening, creativity-boosting benefits have been lauded for years but they’re particularly primed to assist modern moms and dads who are stretched thin. When speaking to parents who smoke weed about the reasons they toke, answers ranged from the expected (“It’s a nice treat at the end of a long day”) to the more nuanced (“It makes playtime better”; “It helps my anxiety so I can be there for my kids.”). The truth is that everyone uses it for their own reasons. Some turn to smoking weed  to escape. Others do it to tune in. Some do it to bond. But, whatever their reasons, all of these dads discussed why they smoke and how it helps them.  

It’s My Private Time

“I smoke after my kids have gone to bed. Those last few hours are so sacred, only because they’re just so different than the rest of my day. I don’t think it’s any different than a hobby, really. It’s a way to relax, unwind, and reset before I have to go do it all again tomorrow. And I don’t always have a chance to do it every day, which makes the time I’m able to enjoy it even more special. It’s a completely different, more refined appreciation I have now, as opposed to smoking when I was in college.” – John, 36, Colorado

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It’s My Reward

“Parenting is fucking hard. Some dads have a beer at the end of the day. Some have a burger. Some have a cupcake. I have a bowl. On those really challenging days, I feel like I deserve it. So, it’s half celebration for just surviving, and half pat on the back. My wife goes to the freezer for ice cream, I go to the back of the sock drawer. We’ve earned it.” – Xavier, 32, Michigan   

It Keeps Me On Schedule

“I smoke during the day, when my kids are at school. Usually, I’ll take a hit or two about an hour after they’ve left. It’s like my reset button. The mornings are so full of chaos, that it’s hard for me to wrap my brain around what I need to do during the day. Sitting down to smoke is a chance to clear my head, get that second start, and plan my to-do list. It doesn’t make me feel lazy. Quite the opposite, actually. The clarity and peace gets me psyched to enjoy the quiet, and get shit done.” – Peter, 37, Rhode Island 

It Makes My In-Laws Tolerable

“Specifically, my mother-in-law. She’s unreal. My father-in-law is a piece of work, too. When they’re over, it’s not uncommon for me to excuse myself to go back to our shed and smoke a quick one. My wife hates it. But only because she can’t get away with it. My mother-in-law barely pays attention to me unless she’s criticising me or giving me backhanded compliments. And my father-in-law hates me. So I can go under the radar pretty easily. But they’re always up in my wife’s face, which means she usually needs a trip to the shed after they leave.” – Brandon, 35, Pennsylvania 

It’s Our Special Time Together

“Our kids don’t know we smoke. It’s like having an affair without any infidelity. We keep it secret because our kids aren’t old enough to have a real discussion about it. Once they hit that age, I doubt we’ll flaunt it, but we might not have to be as secretive. But, for now, it actually adds some spice to our marriage. It’s almost like when we were dating, and would sneak off for quickies whenever and wherever we could. Except now, it’s smoking instead of sex. I wouldn’t advise keeping secrets from your spouse, but keeping secrets with your spouse is a lot of fun.” – Jason, 37, Illinois

It’s a Bonding Exercise

“My son is in college, and I’m not ashamed to say I’ve smoked with him before. Look, I had a drink or two with my dad when I was responsible enough to do it. How is this different? My dad and I enjoy beers together now — it’s one of my favorite things to do with him. It’s a way to bond. And I feel the same way about smoking with my son. I don’t shove it in his face, and he doesn’t flaunt the fact that we do it together. But, like me and my dad, I hope it’s something we can keep in common for the rest of my life.” – Jeffrey, 40, Maryland 

It Makes Me Patient

“I’m calm. I’m more attentive. I’m less irritable. As far as I’m concerned, marijuana is a parenting miracle. I don’t want to say how old my kids are, but they’re old enough to come home from school with a lot of energy, wanting to play, and yell, and make a mess. When I time it right, I can hit my stride as they’re getting off the bus, and I’m just such a better parent. That’s weird to say, but it’s true. I’m, like, enthralled with them and completely invested in them and their craziness, instead of just being annoyed.” – Will, 36, California  

It Helps My Anxiety

“I’ve had generalized anxiety disorder since I was in college. I used to smoke weed then to deal with it, and I still do it now. It works. Anxiety isn’t just being nervous about things. It’s this whole body reaction that, for me, is paralyzing. As a parent, that can’t happen while you’re trying to watch your kids. I’ve taken a ton of prescription anti-anxiety meds to try and help, and nothing works like weed. At the risk of sounding like a paid endorsement, it doesn’t just make me a better parent, it makes me a better husband, friend, son…a better person, really.” – Mike, Oregon, 34

It Encourages Discussion

“My wife and I believe in education. Not formal schooling, necessarily, but the notion that you should have all of the facts before making what you believe to be an educated decision. And we try to impress that philosophy upon our kids by talking openly with them about the fact that we smoke. We don’t celebrate it, but we don’t hide it. We talk about everything from the effects, to the legality, the culture, and the perception. So, when we believe they’re old enough to make their own decisions, we hope they do it from a place of education, rather than pressure.” – Christopher, 39, Florida  

It’s a Great Way to Bond With Other Parents

“If you think other parents don’t smoke weed, you’re kidding yourself. There are so many parent couples that we know who all admit to smoking at least semi-regularly. It’s just not taboo anymore. I think our parents’ generation was the one that would’ve whispered behind the backs of other parents who smoked. ‘OMG! Did you hear about so-and-so? I heard they smoke marijuana!’ But now, it’s par for the course, and another bond we have in addition to our kids.” – Matt, 38, California  

It Takes Playtime to a New Level

“You can only play kids’ games so many times before you get bored out of your skull, ya know? Playing with my son while I’m high makes everything ten times more fun. It also probably makes me sound completely irresponsible. But, it’s not like I’m tripping balls and the action figures are talking to me. It’s a state of relaxed inhibition that just really makes things more enjoyable. When I’m not high, I play with my kid as a parent. When I am, I play with him as a kid. It’s a good feeling, for sure.” – Gabe, 35, Minnesota 

It Gave Me Back My “Normal Time” With My Kids

“I was diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer, and I started chemotherapy almost immediately. I wasn’t prepared for how much it would wreck me. I was tired, nauseated, and just generally in bad shape almost all the time. It broke my heart knowing that my kids saw me like that. A friend of mine suggested weed to help with the nausea. My wife and I looked into it, and I gave it a try. It helped. It helped enough to where I wasn’t in pain or throwing up all the time. And it gave me back some ‘normal’ time to spend with my kids.” – AJ, 46, Florida