Monday, July 31, 2023

OMG! Druggie moms are rampaging through Massachusetts!

Oh, wait, these are the GOOD kind of druggie moms. 

The cover story in the latest issue of Boston Magazine is a shocker!  It seems druggie moms are everywhere in parts of metropolitan Boston – including children’s play dates!  It was bad enough when mothers coped with the stress of raising kids with wine – (street name: “mommy juice”).  Now, this shocking expose reveals, drug use is rampant and –

Oh, wait.  I seem to have misunderstood.  The story isn’t an expose of these mothers – it’s a celebration!  

A writer whose past work includes an exploration of “mood boards” for your backyard cabana and a deep dive into the declining popularity of varsity jackets now introduces us to the “cannamoms” – mothers who use, and sometimes seem dependent on marijuana to cope with the stresses of raising their children.  

The story includes one testimonial after another from moms who say marijuana makes them better parents.  There’s a long section in which a medical expert says all this is just fine!  And, this being a publication that promises “must-have lifestyle tips,” there’s even “A Beginner's Guide to Weed.”  Gummies seem to be particularly popular. 

Not once does anyone quoted in the story worry that the Massachusetts family police agency, the Department of Children and Families, will be at the door.  The story includes no censorious quotes from DCF or from Massachusetts “Child Advocate” Maria Mossaides

That’s because this story unfolds in “the leafy suburbs west of Boston” -- you know, where the affluent white people are.  

And so we read this: 

Cannabis gummies have become as ubiquitous as Lululemon leggings and UppaBaby strollers, particularly among millennial mothers in their thirties and early forties. Moms are popping edibles as they’re folding laundry in the evening, before heading to back-to-school night, and during Friday-afternoon playdates. They’re setting up elaborate home bars decked out with cannabis-infused drinks and bowls of colorful gummies and hosting Cannabis & Crafts nights. 

And then there’s Kate, the mom who explains:

The first time she tried a gummy, “it was just wonderful,” she says. The self-dubbed “100 percent type A” mother found herself less wound-up and more relaxed with her two children. And she appreciates that she’s not drinking in front of her kids. At a Fourth of July gathering, Kate split a gummy with her close friend as the children ran around the yard. “I still have all my wits about me,” she says. “I can still tend to a boo-boo or take a kid to the bathroom.” Cannabis, she explains, is “the perfect balance…it doesn’t make me hung-over, and it doesn’t make me feel full and gross. ... 

And then, with no apparent sense of irony she adds: 

“It’s been a good fix for me.” 

And here’s what the medical expert from Massachusetts General Hospital has to say: 

As for women taking edibles, “Why make them feel bad…if it’s a natural plant-based medicine that helps them relax a little bit and connect with their kids and focus and let go of all the things that are burdening them? That’s a good thing."

Over and over again the story tells us how marijuana makes the cannamoms better parents because it helps them cope with the enormous stress of being parents.  But you can bet that stress is vastly higher in Roxbury than in Brookline.  Yet it’s the Roxbury mom who doesn’t dare use pot – or at least makes sure to hide that use -- because she knows that paints a target on her back and she could lose her children. 

Yes, marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, but that doesn’t necessarily matter.  When marijuana was
legalized in Colorado family police intervention in families where it was used actually increased.  And though the Massachusetts referendum legalizing marijuana included specific language stating marijuana use could not be the “primary or sole” reason for tearing apart a family, that provision was strongly opposed by DCF. 

Once caseworkers from an agency that has shown a deep puritan suspicion of marijuana start poking and prying into every aspect of a family’s life, they can always find some other excuse to tell a judge: “Well, your honor, it’s not just the marijuana.”  That’s why, as a family defender explained, in many Massachusetts counties workers and judges “continue to separate families and find parents guilty of child neglect based, at least in part, on their use of cannabis.” 

The Boston Magazine story is the journalistic equivalent of a public accommodation in the Jim Crow South.  It needs a great big sign explaining to readers that the joys of being a "cannamom" and telling anyone about it are strictly “Whites Only.”   

The story ends with the author deciding to try some pot herself.  At no point in the preceding 4,100 words is even one of those words about the race and class bias underlying it all.    

Hmmm.  Maybe marijuana does muddle your thinking. in Brookline.