As a GenXer raised on the fading wisps of the Reagan-era “war on drugs,” being anti-pot was as natural a part of my middle-class American childhood as apple pie, awkward first kisses, and 80’s big hair. I even divorced a husband because I attributed our marital issues to his marijuana usage. 

My anti-pot stance further solidified when I became a mom — that was, until my kids became tweens and teens — and everything changed. I morphed from being an anti-pot parent to #ThePotMom. I became an inadvertent activist — a poster child for the wild uptick in the approval rating of cannabis culture in America today.  

My book, The ABC’s of CBD: The Essential Guide for Parents (And regular folks too) is the culmination of what I’ve come to learn, understand, and now, share with others who may be confused, fearful of, or curious about, cannabis.

 Here’s why.  

When my kids were younger, the issues they dealt with in their social strata, the challenges we faced as a family, and the exposure my kids had to things I had never heard of — much less experimented with when I was their age — shook me to my core.

I came to realize, and accept, two unavoidable facts:

  • First — as much as I hated to admit it, kids today are (at least in their minds) more knowledgeable and experienced about things far beyond their years, or at least beyond what their physiology is naturally designed to handle.
  • Secondly — I was in over my head. As a single parent, I wholeheartedly embraced Dorothy’s bewilderment.  “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”  

Marijuana was the least of it. A gateway drug?  Sure, I used to think so too. We all did.  

And we were wrong.  

In fact, the more I looked at what “pot” was, why it was being used, and how it was being classified, these things became clear:

  • Kids these days are drawn to self-medicating in general, because of the stresses of the world around them, exacerbated by the prevalence and overuse of social media.
  • Contributing factors to the overwhelm our kids feel about the “system” — the politics and pressures of our largely outdated paradigms (educational, medical, cultural) — are actually part of the problem.  Fear not pot as a “drug”…but our lack of understanding, education, and dissemination of what is largely misinformation about the cannabis species. 
  • “Because I said so” is a no-go. Getting into the muck and mire, learning something, and being able to articulate what that “something” is in a conversation with our kids, is our best chance to help them become happy, healthy, and productive citizens of the world.
  • Pot is not what we were taught! In fact, CBD, a primary “cannabinoid” in cannabis (the “mojo” of medical marijuana) could actually BENEFIT our kids — all of our kids — whether or not they have a physical affliction, mental health challenge, or social / emotional issue.

The more I learned about marijuana the more I realized how little I had actually known, and how largely “accepted” this ignorance was. Even worse, I was one of an entire generation, not to mention earlier generations, who had been fed intentionally incorrect, inflammatory, and heavily-biased information.

Plus, let’s get real.  

Marijuana in NO way is the same as heroin, yet it’s classified as such, and that’s not even the worst part.  

The prohibition against pot is actually a form of institutional racism.  Thank you William Randolph Hearst, whose blatant self-interest in promoting the timbre industry was achieved by slamming hemp and cannabis in general.  Hearst ensured that anyone, or anything associated with the natural plant, whether industry or recreationally related, was going down!  Talk about “fake news!” His was the spark that set ablaze the hot mess and malicious “stigma” mindset that has plagued our nation for 80+ years!

Now that I discovered the real truth about cannabis, CBD, and the legalization movement, I had a problem.  Not only had my attitude and perceptions around pot been naïvely incorrect, I actually had to admit to my kids (gulp) that I’d been wrong! 

I couldn’t be the quintessential anti-pot parent anymore. 

I also knew I needed to model for my kids what being authentic, honest, and in alignment with my highest and best self really looked like. This was the flat-palming my forehead in a I-could-have-had-a-V8 moment right before jumping down the rabbit hole from which I have yet to emerge.

I used all the gifts I have… intellectual curiosity, an open-mind, and heart, and switched everything about who I’d been, and how I’d lived my life. 

 I delved further into the subject of medical marijuana, CBD, cannabis culture, the history, legality, industry, applications, and societal paradigms, like nobody’s business. I even expanded my spiritual care practice into a health and wellness company, Shira Synergy, which focuses on CBD (advocacy, education, and products).

After a couple of years of this new trajectory, I finally responded to the urging of friends and fans who wanted to learn more about what I now knew, evangelized, and, yes, ingested daily.  

That’s when I wrote The ABC’s of CBD — the definitive guide to all things CBD, cannabinoids, and cannabis culture, focused on helping other parents (or anyone who is canna-curious) get real, concise, and judgment-free information so they can decide for themselves what they choose to believe… without all the misinformation and fear-mongering.

I did all of this because sharing the truth with others is essential. Being able to tell your kids “I was wrong. I learned, and I changed” — even more so. The most important gift I can give my kids is to practice what I preach, and to preach only that which is authentic, accurate, and honest — not what I’ve been told because it’s what my mom had been told.

Pot is not what we were taught. For everything from Autism to Alzheimer’s, cannabis is an antidote for a huge array of issues, challenges, and ailments that boggle the mind and break the heart.  It’s not a gateway drug, but a potential exit strategy from the hell fires of addiction.  

Pot is not a gateway drug.  It’s an exit strategy from the hell fires of addiction.

I can’t save my kids from everything harmful that may come their way. And at least now my kids know the difference between what is really dangerous, and what is not (alcohol, opioids, tobacco — all LEGAL — and so much more deadly). 

My kids know how to educate themselves. After all, despite our best efforts as parents, education is the best form of prevention. Teaching our kids to investigate, consider, and decide things for themselves is the best gift we can give them to ensure their future.  

CBD will help keep them healthy while they learn, grow, mature, and hopefully… become their own best advocates.  

So learn, partake, and educate.  You won’t be disappointed, and I’ll be here to help you on this new journey.  It’s a doozy, I know… and yet so worthwhile.   

(If you want to know more about The ABC’s of CBD: The Essential Guide for Parents (And regular folks too) check out this “Author Chat” interview, and information on my author page.)