Marijuana, Parenting and Toking in Public
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Marijuana, Parenting and Toking in Public
Posted by CN Staff on July 30, 2014 at 08:12:05 PT
By Jonathan Martin
Source: Seattle Times 
Seattle -- When voters ended marijuana prohibition in Washington, we didn’t end the civic duty to not be a public jerk. That message hasn’t gotten through. Nearly every parent I know — myself included — has a story similar to one posted on Facebook by my friend Natalie Singer-Velush.She took three kids — two 8-year-olds and a 7-year-old — for a quick mid-afternoon trip to Golden Gardens on Sunday. Pails, shovels and ice cream in hand, they set up camp… and were enveloped in a cloud of marijuana smoke from three adults sitting upwind just a few feet away.
Natalie, editor of Parent Map magazine, said she didn’t ask them to put out their joint because they planned to stay for just a few minutes. But she stewed about it, and posted this yesterday (emphasis is mine):As a society we need to have the expectation that adults will carry themselves responsibly — new rights mean new responsibilities. Or maybe it’s a reminder of old responsibilities — expectations that really haven’t changed for 100 years: Setting examples for young people; holding as our collective societal responsibility the mandate to keep young people safe and healthy even when they aren’t our own children; behaving with common courtesy in public.I voted to approve legal pot, in order to relieve our legal system from its ridiculous burden to criminalize marijuana use (and am half kicking myself now, because what’s best for the state might not turn out to be best for my own family). Legal pot doesn’t mean that on a summer afternoon I want my 7-year-old to get a contact high because some supposed adults cannot contemplate that puffing pot her way might violate an unwritten social code of decency.Couldn’t have said it better myself. Last winter, my son’s middle-school ultimate frisbee match at Cal Anderson Park came to a sudden halt when the kids turned their noses to the marijuana smoke wafting from the nearby skateboard park. I yelled at the tokers to put it out, and was ignored. I support Initiative 502 for the same reasons as Natalie, but left the park wondering what we’d actually done.I’m not a prude. I’ve been known to discretely pour a beer into a cup in a public park, and would like to see Washington move further away from its puritanical alcohol laws. The issue of marijuana smoke is the nuisance. As with cigarettes, a person’s vice shouldn’t be foisted onto others, be it on a sidewalk or in a park. It’s all about discretion, and being a good citizen.We’re also in a new era of legal marijuana, and the public is still coming to grips with its consequences. Blowing pot smoke toward a bunch of elementary-age kids at the beach is an excellent way to chip away at public support. (Check out last week’s Seattle Times guest column: “Legalization did not give people the right to smoke marijuana in public.”)One response to public pot smoking is for stiffer enforcement. Seattle Police wrote just 82 tickets for public marijuana consumption in the first six months of 2014, which tells me they’re very sporadically enforcing the new law. I’m fine with that low number, because the law is still being levied more heavily against blacks. Enforcement isn’t the simplest answer to those who light up next to families.Civic responsibility is. If you’re the one smoking, find a nice quiet corner by yourself to exercise your new legal right. Hot box your car. Slip into the woods. Whatever. Just not right in the middle of the kids.When I asked Natalie why she didn’t confront the smokers at the beach, she said she didn’t want to come off as a “raging prude,” seeming to protect “precious snowflake children.” She said she’d expect to find marijuana smoking at Golden Gardens at dusk. But the experience at the beach changed her reticence, and next time, she said, she’d probably confront them.I feel the same. I don’t want to be the fun fuzz, but parenting in the age of legal marijuana is tricky. (The University of Washington has a web page to help.) If you force parents to choose between their political views of drug law reform and preserving their kids’ innocence (for a few more years), it’s a no-brainer.How about making it a little easier, Seattle. Don’t be a jerk.Source: Seattle Times (WA)Author:  Jonathan MartinPublished: July 30, 2014Copyright: 2014 The Seattle Times CompanyContact: opinion seatimes.comWebsite:   -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #9 posted by Oleg the Tumor on July 31, 2014 at 09:17:58 PT
boballen131313 -You Have It Right!
As far as I'm concerned, this struggle does not end until I can grow my own.The prohibition of cannabis was a fraud that helped many well-heeled investors wear fancy shoes while others were danced off to jail.That this fraud is coming unglued all these years later should surprise no one. Nobody fools all of the people all of the time.Polite people don't blow smoke in your face. Don't be rude.
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Comment #8 posted by boballen131313 on July 30, 2014 at 17:43:23 PT:
It occurs to me that legal weed must include home cultivation. Without the basic freedom to grow your own, you are left with Gweedy sellers, Gweedy tax collectors and a vibrant black market. Home cultivation without harassment would be the bed rock to build upon. 
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Comment #7 posted by Vincent on July 30, 2014 at 16:25:18 PT:
Actually, the writer DOES have a point. Now, nobody is more Pro-Pot than me...but, there is a decorum that can, and should, be followed. When the writer says that public consumption done in an inconsiderate way will cause "chipping away" at Legalization's support, he is being correct. Don't give the enemy (prohibitionist lowlifes) any ammunition to use against us.
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Comment #6 posted by swazi-x on July 30, 2014 at 15:01:51 PT
There are jerks in the world - whether they ding your car in the parking lot, steal your barbecue or cut you off in traffic it's pretty much the same. Legalizing cannabis doesn't automatically get rid of them, and some of them actually smoke it.That said, parents should realize the smell of cannabis smoke in the air from a distance is extremely unlikely to have any effect at all on anyone - even kids. It's unpleasant to some, possibly irritating to others but your children have little risk of any effect from the mere smell - which, at any more than a few feet is all you'd get from someone smoking.To put a finer point on it - the incense parents sometimes burn at home, the candles you might light indoors and even counter top cleaning products all contain real dangers to the respiratory system of your kids. These air borne pollutants contain irritants and often cancerous chemicals and have been shown to cause lung problems and even COPD in more extreme cases. Do your homework if you're truly concerned about the health of your kids - eliminate refined sugar, stop feeding them Burger King, refuse pharmaceutical solutions to behavior problems, and research what's *really* good and bad for your kids. Cannabis is not the danger you might think it is - the real dangers are embedded in your every day normal life, masquerading as food, chemicals sold as medicine and other everyday things you might not suspect.
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Comment #5 posted by Oleg the Tumor on July 30, 2014 at 11:14:41 PT
What's best? Priorities, priorities…
" I voted to approve legal pot, in order to relieve our legal system from its ridiculous burden to criminalize marijuana use (and am half kicking myself now, because what’s best for the state might not turn out to be best for my own family). "Would this woman rather see people go to jail than allow her kids a whiff of reality?This idea that marijuana is BAD – period - is an uninformed judgment arrived at through an avalanche of lies. Cannabis is not illegal because someone proved the presence of "a clear and present danger" to health. It is illegal because moneyed interests prevailed upon their federal legislators to make it so. This is a fact of life. Why else would a non-toxic substance of natural origin still be listed on Schedule 1, after all these years? The question ultimately does revolve around the children. As the parent does, so does the child. They don't do as you say, they do as you do. If you make your living as an ass-kissing hypocrite, then that's the direction your kid will take. If you seek the truth to share with others, then that is what your child will tend to do.We live in an age where people can combine rationales to support a divided house. Witness what happens when you put the word "children" next to "secondhand smoke" in any context. Guaranteed to start a fire (and change the subject) every time.There are many people who work in banking, government and other offices where the public good is invested, who know something that they should share with law enforcement (or someone) but do not because they are afraid of the repercussions that would affect their whole family, thus the child's welfare is "held hostage" against the truth.This era shall be called "The Whistleblower Age" for those who did stand up for their own personal integrity.To those who know something, but have been cowed into silence: if you wait too long, you will not be able to open your mouth without revealing your own culpability. This will make you silent permanently!
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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on July 30, 2014 at 11:00:32 PT
According to Tim Leary,Children Are Naturally High
So, it's not really about getting high. Unless the children are over-stressed by terror paranoia or deficient in cannabinoids due to too much junk food, they are already high.Parents, teach your children that they don't have to imitate other people's toking habits, just as you do with cigarettes or alcohol.
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on July 30, 2014 at 10:02:01 PT
hypocrisy on full display
So, the laws change but the hypocrisy continues.It's OK for me to take drugs in public (alcohol), but not you! How about teaching your kids tolerance? Guess what kids, they're some bad smells out there in the world!  Deal with it. Otherwise you'll end up a whining complainer like your parents.
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Comment #2 posted by afterburner on July 30, 2014 at 09:34:17 PT
The So-called Adults Exercising Their New Rights..
Were inconsiderate & in violation of Washington state law. Their actions were aggressive, taking away the rights of children and non-toking adults to enjoy public spaces. Don't be obnoxious jerks. Use a little discretion.Save your rebellion for more important battles. Vaporize. Find a private space.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on July 30, 2014 at 08:18:15 PT
Cited Article in Seattle Times 
Guest: Legalization Did Not Give People the Right To Smoke Marijuana in PublicURL:
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