Coming Out of the Green Closet is a series of articles regarding being honest about your relationship with cannabis. These following articles are designed to offer simple talking points towards having these important conversations with those in your life and communities, if you choose to. Part two, Coming Out of the Green Closet: Talking to a Child about Cannabis, is for those who are considering explaining their relationship with cannabis to their children but they don’t know where to start.
As a parent, it is important to my husband and I that our children learn about cannabis from us first. We decided to teach our children that cannabis is a medicinal herb that can be used in many different ways. When this plant is used responsibly it can be used as medicine to heal the body, mind, and soul. In our household, cannabis is one of Mommy’s medications. My children are 10 and 8 and they can read and spell. Sometimes I keep edibles in my freezer in a Ziploc bag. My children know if it says “Medical Cannabis”, it is off limits to them because it is “Mommy’s Cannabis Medication.” I want my children to view the cannabis plant as something that must always be respected, used consensually, and with intention.
Learning about cannabis as a family is always a good thing in my opinion, and if that is something your family is ready for, then Callie Cannabis is a great option. Callie Cannabis is an educational series designed to teach you and your children about cannabis and hemp. Callie discusses the benefits and challenges she experiences, including her interactions with some people who do not like or understand her. I think many of us can relate to Callie’s struggles! Callie Cannabis is an amazing resource to introduce your child to a world of history, science, and the many uses of cannabis.
If your child has questions you can’t answer or don’t feel comfortable answering like, “Mommy what is that funny smell coming from the garage?” It’s Just A Plant will answer that question and many more! This book is about a little girl named Jackie who walks in on her parent’s smoking a joint in their bedroom late at night. The next day Jackie’s mother plans a day designed to teach her all about the cannabis plant. The open dialogues between Jackie, her mother, and members of their community are eye-opening and refreshing. If you are going to use cannabis, it is important for your children to see you using cannabis in a responsible and intentional manner. This book does an amazing job of reframing the stigma of being a parent who responsibly consumes cannabis.
How will you handle the topic of cannabis in your home? Do you think parents should be honest and open with their children in regards to consuming cannabis? Or do you feel like cannabis should be kept a secret from children? This conversation will obviously be different for every family. I encourage you to figure out what the conversation will be and how you will set boundaries around cannabis consumption in your household before your children become curious about it.
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Here are ten resources for parents concerned about how their cannabis usage may affect their parental rights. Stay informed.
Ashley Asatu Barnes is a healer, truth teller, seed planter, collaborator, and creator of brave spaces. Ashley specializes in cannabis education, cannabis wellness, and cannabis therapy plans in the San Francisco Bay Area.