THE youngest of my three daughters was born around the same time I became a card-carrying medical cannabis patient. Even though I was only 44, I’d been suffering from occasional back pain. I also suffered bouts of stress, compounded by anxiety. The causes were unknown, but there seemed to be a correlation with work deadlines and flying coach with three children under the age of 5. Sometimes it got so bad I had trouble falling asleep at night, leaving me groggy and irritable.
So, in 2010, I resolved to seek medical help. I received a thorough physical examination from my CannaMed doctor, who checked not only my pulse but my blood pressure as well. Examining the results, he concluded that I would benefit enormously from a cannabis-based treatment regimen and recommended that I use a brownie-based form of the drug to avoid the lung irritation associated with other modes of dose administration.
Verdict? It did nothing for the back pain — but that’s OK, because (we are told) pot makes for better parenting!
I swear I am a more loving, attentive and patient father when I take my medication as prescribed. Perhaps this isn’t surprising. As anyone who inhaled during college can attest, cannabis enhances the ability to perceive beauty, complexity and novelty in otherwise mundane things (grout patterns in your bathroom floor, the Grateful Dead, Doritos), while simultaneously locking you into a prolonged state of rapt attention. You not only notice the subtle color variations in your cat’s fur, you stare at them in loving awe for 20 solid minutes.
I submit that this can be enormously salutary to the parent-toddler relationship. Beyond food, shelter and clothing, what do small children need most from their parents? Sustained, loving, participatory attention. Thank you, Doctor.
. . . .
But for me, at least, the benefits clearly outweigh the risks. I find the time I spend with my children to be qualitatively different and simply more fun when I take my medicine (always in private, never in front of them, never too much).
I’m glad he does it in private. That way, his children will never be able to find out. Unless . . . dude, before I ate this brownie, I had this weird feeling that somehow they might be able to find out.
But the feeling passed. Gimme another brownie, man.