I used to think that stoners were total losers...
And nothing could convince me otherwise. I was raised in a small military town in the 90's, a time when the D.A.R.E. Program was fully implemented across the country's schools. Without being told exactly why, I was taught to be fearful of cannabis in the same way that one might when hearing about synthetic cathinones (or "bath salts") today. I reacted in a way that is common for many who experience extreme fear and a lack of understanding - I became disgusted, judgemental, and closed off to all new information. Taking in the one-dimensional "stoners" portrayed in the media only served to reinforce my staunch belief that unless you were medically prescribed cannabis for palliative care, you were, quite simply, a loser.
How exactly does someone with their nose turned so far up into the air become a voice for parents and adults who consume cannabis? How does someone so firm in their judgement of others become a 365 day a year cannabis user? A big, fat serving of humble pie.
In 2014, I experienced a high risk twin pregnancy that left me on hospital bed rest for three months, ended in an emergency cesarean at 32 weeks gestation, and left my children in the NICU for the first three months of their premature little lives. With all of the chaos becoming our new normal, it was easy for myself and everyone else to overlook the postpartum depression and PTSD that I was suffering from... For a while.
Cut to a night so emotionally overwhelming that I experienced a bout of dissociation and found myself laying in a snowbank, contemplating the worth of my life. It was here that I realised how low I had sunk, and how little the traditional therapies and medications were helping me cope. I made the decision in this moment to give one last thing a try, the thing I had always been against, despite hearing about so many positive research findings in recent years. I decided to try cannabis medicine.
Within weeks of beginning my treatment with cannabis, my mental health and my overall life experience improved. I had finally discovered the tool I needed to begin the reconstruction project that is my healing, and I wanted to know everything about it that I could learn. It was as if I had awoke from a long sleep of ignorance, and I was starving for the information that I had previously refused to acknowledge. Days of lectures, weeks of combing through medical journals, months of inter-community education, and years of legal experimentation became the basis for what is now the network of responsible cannabis consumption medias that I create and/or participate in.
And so, High, Mom! was born of a desire to connect with like-minded consumers and sceptical individuals alike. The podcast, the blog, the social media - it all exists to serve this purpose. To provide me with an outlet, and a connection to a community I didn't know I needed. To be a stepping stone to change for those who feel as I once did. To challenge the stigma and reimagine what a "stoner" really looks like. To be a platform on which I can stand and say "I was wrong, and I admit it."
Here's to hoping it works.