4/20: Let's Use Some Common Sense

As a cannabis small business owner, I’m used to all the 4/20 hype.  However this post by Common Sense Media took me by surprise.  

An alarmed Caroline Knorr, Common Sense’s “parenting editor,” observed that many mainstream brands were marketing 4/20 in a way that appealed to children and teens.  She blamed the foul substance, Marijuana, for tempting kids into addiction and ruin.

Stills from  Reefer Madness , 1936

Stills from Reefer Madness, 1936

Lady, I have news for you, it has been over 80 years since Reefer Madness came out. That brand of cannabis-related hysteria is outdated, and it is dangerous.  

There are more pressing concerns to focus on when it comes to your children and their access to intoxicating or unhealthy substances. For example, how easily can they access medication and alcohol in your house?  How about sugar, caffeine and fried snacks?

Nobody in the cannabis industry wants to market to kids.  Period. If the culture at large celebrates 4/20 and your child/teen witnesses it, that’s the issue with the culture, not with the plant.

Parents must stop blaming substances and start taking accountability for conversations and education in their own households.  Demonizing cannabis only further mystifies it, and even glorifies it. Education is the answer. Not misinformation.

In the comments section of the article, there was an argument over whether cannabis was toxic or not, or if one could overdose.  A couple of ER physicians piped in, claiming they saw cannabis cause “psychosis” everyday. This is more fear mongering. Any drug can cause an adverse reaction, even aspirin.

It’s not the substance to blame, but the misinformation surrounding it.  I tell my son that cannabis can damage his developing brain. I tell him once he’s over 26 he can try it if he wants.  But it’s more like medicine than something to be treated lightly- no matter what form it takes.

As an edibles company owner, I educate my clients by explaining how to start low and go slow.  I explain how, even though you can’t technically die from too much cannabis, it impairs your judgment and can lead to extreme mental discomfort if not dosed properly.  

Bad Mommy Edibles (and yes, the name is irreverent!) is a microdosed brand, dedicated to providing edibles and education on how microdosing is a healthy way to decompress and treat a wide array of conditions.

So please, Common Sense Media, deploy your common sense and educate children about the marketing messages they’re pummeled with everyday, not just for controlled substances but also candy, plastic toys and sneakers.  My son only wants Nike or Adidas shoes - it drives me crazy. But do I blame the brands? No, I blame the culture that prizes the brands and gives them such gravitas. I educate him that quality and fit are what’s important when it comes to athletic shoes, not the name on the innersole.

Parents must use common sense when setting boundaries for their children.  And children must learn common sense from their parents.