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Parents Are Swapping Booze for Weed Because of the Pandemic

Parents have turned to weed over drinking in scores during the most stressful years of our lives.

Have you been reaching for a joint rather than a beer at the end of the workday? Well, you’re not alone, according to new survey results.

According to the Harris Poll, conducted on behalf of Curaleaf, which surveyed 2,000 adults aged 21 and up, people, and especially parents, have started to stop drinking booze, and smoke way more weed, amid the pandemic. 

The poll asked the participants about their consumption habits in general since the beginning of the pandemic. For those who were already weed smokers, 42% of respondents said that they had taken to smoking more during the pandemic, and almost half — 45% — said that they had replaced drinking, or reduced their drinking, with using cannabis. 

People are smoking more weed for the fairly obvious reasons: over half said they were reducing their stress and anxiety, 50% said that it helped them relax, and 48% said it helped them sleep. About a third of the respondents said that they prefer weed over alcohol.

But perhaps the most surprising anecdote in the study is that parents are using more cannabis than people who responded to the survey who don’t have kids. And, people who had never tried weed are now total smokers — more than half of the respondents who said they’d never used cannabis before the pandemic have begun to imbibe since March of 2020, while only 33 percent of childless adults did so. Almost 60 percent of respondents who were parents had used marijuana to replace alcohol consumption — which is not all that surprising, if you think about it. 

Weed consumption — and increasing it — is not a total, unabashed good (it’s still a drug!) But drinking less is also good. Some parents might find that the after-effects are not as pronounced as downing a bottle of wine every night. Hangovers from marijuana, really, might not be as intense.

And, alcohol has calories — some parents might be turning to the calorie-free imbibing option to unwind. Add that to how many states have legalized weed in the past few months, and the substance has become increasingly normalized for recreational consumption. But either way, the reality is clear: people, and especially parents, are drinking less, and smoking more, to help deal with the stress of the continued pandemic, for better or for worse.