Having a Teenager in the House Convinced Me to Buy Legal Marijuana

Having a Teenager in the House Convinced Me to Buy Legal Marijuana

Image credit: Adam Melnyk/Shutterstock, Inc

Why buying pot didn’t go exactly as planned

Let me paint the picture for you: I’m a single mom raising my 17-year-old daughter all by my little lonesome. She’s a tough cookie, as most teenaged girls are: overly dramatic and incredibly sensitive, with a big dash of anxiety thrown in for good measure. Add to that her added stress from filling out college applications, the recent discovery that her friends had a secret group text without her, and the whopper of them all—her boyfriend of eight months dumping her ass for no apparent reason. Needless to say, our house is a giant stress ball, and although I feel sorry for her, I seem to be the toilet where she purges hatred whenever the urge hits.

I’ve been spinning for months trying to figure out a way to deal. It’s way beyond traditional measures such as counting to 10 or morning meditation. Because we have a finite amount of time together before she leaves for college (six months, 21 days, four hours, and two minutes according to my desktop countdown calendar), I need a temporary fix. Wine, while the obvious solution, isn’t the answer. I’ve gone from having one glass to two, so I nixed that habit for fear of going down a slippery slope. I could certainly go to Doctor Feelgood, a favorite of some of my friends, for a prescription of Xanax or Lexapro or some other mommy’s little helper du jour, but I fear that slippery slope, too. So what’s a wannabe druggie to do? Lucky for me, I live in California, a state that just legalized recreational marijuana, so I figured it’s my next logical choice.

But, before we go down that road, I need to paint you yet another picture. My parents smoked pot every day when I was a kid. I hated the smell and their pasty mouths and the stupidity that would follow. In fact, there’s probably no better way to turn your kids straight than to partake in a behavior that you want them to rebel against. I’ve smoked pot twice in my life, and I hated it each time. I lose control and have a sort of out-of-body experience. All of a sudden I’m in the kitchen. I don’t remember going into the kitchen nor what I’m doing there, and it freaks me out. Then I get paranoid, and no good comes from that. But with all the hoopla about the new law, I’ve learned there’s a big difference between medical-grade marijuana and the stuff my cousin got from some dude he knew that was probably laced with God knows what.

There are more pot dispensaries than Starbucks in my neighborhood so finding one wasn’t difficult. I thought I could just go in and grab some things from the aisles, like a groovy Whole Foods, but no. Seems that won’t be the case for another year.

For now, I need to see a “doctor” for a medical marijuana card. I’m directed to a strip mall down the block and sneak in the front door that’s painted with a big cartoon pot leaf, making sure no one I know sees me. I meet with the young, hip doctor who has more tattoos than I have age spots. We chat for a bit about why I’m there, and $40 in cash later, I leave with my card.

So back to a dispensary I go, but this time my card gets me in. The music is new-agey, the lighting surreal, and there is a group of mellow-looking people mingling together on cozy sofas. I feel as if I’m back at a high school party, but this time I’m invited to join the cool kids in the back bedroom. I walk to the counter where a gorgeous receptionist checks me in and then calls over a handsome hunk of a bodyguard to walk me through the massive security doors that lead to the hidden room. I imagine this is how Charlie and the other golden-ticket holders felt as they walked into the elusive chocolate factory.

Two glass display cases flank the room, one has actual pot, the other, edibles. A guy that could be my kid’s camp counselor asks if he can help me, and I explain how I’m new to this and a bit scared, recanting my kitchen freakout scene of decades past. He tells me to relax and gives me the lowdown on medical-grade pot. The way I understand it, there are two basic chemicals extracted from the leaves, one calms you, and the other gives you the high. They work together, but you can buy whatever level you want in order to pack the kind of punch you desire. We decide on a low-punch gummy bear, perfect for a newbie. He hands me a small packet of four and suggests I start off slow, eating only half the first time.

With my kid at home, I sneak my stash past her and hide it in a shoebox in the top shelf of my closet (and quickly give instructions to a nearby friend that, if I should die, to haul ass over and get rid of that box ASAP!). With my kid going to her friend’s that night at 7:00, I decide to eat half at 6:30, carefully timing it so I would feel the effects when she’s gone, but when 7:00 comes, my kid is still home. 7:05. 7:10. I’m panicked but try to act cool. “Hey, aren’t you supposed to be at Hannah’s?” “No. She totally flaked on me. Guess I’m in for the night.”

Holy ass! What am I going to do? What if I freak out and think my skin is falling off my head or I don’t recognize my feet!? Calm down, I tell myself. Breathe. Just breathe. I open the fridge and stuff anything I can into my mouth hoping that, like alcohol, the effects would be lessened if I have a full stomach. I can’t go anywhere in my condition, so I sit in the living room with her, watching Stranger Things for the third time, telling myself over and over again not to utter one single word. Just sit in my chair absolutely still. My heart is pounding. Now it’s 7:30. Then 8:00. I don’t feel anything yet. By 8:30 I’m calming down, realizing that, after two hours, I’m not going to suffer any horrible effects from that dosage—except, of course, my shortened life span due to the trauma of the evening.

Two days later, I gather my courage and try again. This time my daughter has to go to work, a much more reliable five-hour window of time. A half hour before she leaves, I eat three-quarters of the bear, leaving only the stubby little feet. My kid leaves, thank God, and I hunker down on the sofa and watch It’s Complicated, a movie I always find to be soothing. This time, just as Meryl Streep smokes a doobie with Steve Martin, I start to feel something. It’s a calmness mixed with a dash of lightheadedness, as if I’ve mixed a glass of wine with half a muscle relaxer. During my two-hour “trip” I polish off half a pint of cookie dough ice cream and three pieces of toast with butter. By the time my kid comes home, I feel totally normal, yet incredibly full.

So there is it. I’ve found my perfect dope dosage, my Goldilocks of Stonerville. But I realize there’s a basic flaw in my theory of using pot to help deal with my teenager. The only time I feel safe to get high is when she’s out of the house, but when she’s out of the house, I don’t need to get high. She’s not bugging me or needing anything or sucking me dry in any way. So after all my exhaustive research and extra calorie intake, I’m back at square one. I guess the best way to survive these next six months is with a change of attitude. I need to appreciate the time I have left with her because I know these months will fly by and then she’ll be gone for a hell of a lot longer than a five-hour work shift. She won’t be there anymore to bug me or need me, and I’ll be all alone. That’s when I’ll really need help to deal with my situation.

Guess it’s a good thing I have my stash after all!

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