Dear Mom: 12 Things I Wish You Would Understand About Weed Already

by Lauren Martin

Mom, it’s just a joint. It’s not like it’s alcohol…

This is what I’ve been telling my mother since she first found out I listen to Bob Marley. Yes, Mother, I am a herb enthusiast and no, I don’t see myself moving over to heroin anytime soon.

Jesus, you'd think my bowl was a crack pipe and those green leaves were something Walter White is mixing up. (I should never have let her watch “Breaking Bad.”)

Now that we’ve seen widespread legalization of God’s most natural gift to man, we also see the long-held stigmas attached to its stem for far too long. Because the sweet smell of victory just isn’t the same when you have to constantly defend it.

I’m tired of defending a habit that’s as natural and healthy as drinking those juice cleanses that are probably going to kill you from a vitamin overdose. (Yes, that’s a real thing. Unlike a marijuana overdose, which is impossible.)

Because as much as you want to believe it’s the Devil's Lettuce, the thing that killed all those musicians, or the precursor to your kid becoming either brain dead or the next Courtney Love, it’s just not like that.

I know that your 1960s Catholic Health Ed. Class told you that just one puff would destroy your life, but sometimes teachers are wrong, and things change.

Weed isn’t the reason this country's in despair, but it's the one thing that could bring us out of it. The ganja may be the one thing to save this flailing country from itself, along with the reason I love your cooking and will willingly go on the family outing to see "The Butler."

It’s why I don’t go out on Friday night and why I don't drive home drunk. It’s why I’m not vomiting in the morning and making those mistakes I can’t remember.

If it’s so bad, why did our president do it? Why do so many musicians, artists and philosophers condone it? If it’s so bad, why are doctors supporting its cause?

It's time to take a cold, hard look at the facts and decide if weed really deserves all the haze.

I'm not going to throw up in your bed because of it.

Unlike alcohol, I’m not going to go over to Sarah’s house, spend three hours chugging weed then come home to throw up in your favorite vase. If anything, I’ll smoke some weed to stop from throwing up.

It’s impossible to overdose on.

Unlike alcohol and prescription drugs, marijuana is impossible to overdose on. That’s right, there’s no getting so high in our parents' basement with needles and pill boxes. Just good, old-fashioned, family-friendly bowls and papers.

It’s better than Xanax.

Judging by your own stress levels, Mom, maybe you should take a look into the medical wonders of the herb, yourself.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University published a study that proved marijuana has a positive effect on stress levels and also decreases anxiety levels.

According to researchers, THC interacts with anandamide, a messenger molecule that plays a role in pain, depression, appetite and memory, creating a calm and happy feeling.... if only for short-term effects.

…And less addictive.

Rather than creating an addiction, marijuana is known to curb other ones. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that in states allowing access to medical marijuana, deaths from prescription painkiller overdoses decreased by 25 percent.

It makes your food better.

Aren’t you finally happy to have a kid who wants to eat brussels sprouts and your baked ziti? One hit of weed and you're better than Julia Child. (Yes, weed smokers have a cultured palate.)

I can watch "NCIS" with you now.

It’s not me growing up that makes me like your lame cop shows, it’s the weed, Mom. It’s the weed.

I won’t sound like raspy Aunt Barb in 20 years.

It's pretty hypocritical to condemn weed when everyone and their brother still smoke cigarettes. And unlike cigarettes, weed is actually good for my lungs. A study published in Journal of American Medical Association states that weed doesn't impair lung function and can even increase lung capacity.

It taught me how to look for deals.

You taught me to clip coupons; I'm teaching myself to clip stems. If an eighth is $60 and a ounce is $200, which is the better deal? Hate to break it to you, but it wasn't that Home Ec. Class in sixth grade that taught me so much about grams and scales. And Costco isn't the only company that knows the value of buying in bulk.

It makes Dad funnier.

Come on, you know what kind of jokes he makes. At least now someone's laughing.

It puts me to sleep.

Rather than getting addicted to something like Nyquil or sleeping pills, marijuana seems like the natural way to knock myself out.

It’s good for the economy.

According to Denver Business Journal, since the legalization of recreational marijuana in June, Colorado collected over $25 million in pot taxes. Officials projected the state would collect $60 to $70 million by the end of the fiscal year (June 2015).

I could get a job doing it.

What's the difference between selling stocks and stocking seeds? Now that weed is legal, what's the difference between taking an opportunity trading herb over the green?

Just look at the four 20-somethings who are capitalizing on the recent pot legalization in Washington. The entrepreneurs (and weed enthusiasts) are building Amerifarms LLC, a multi-million dollar business venture, and it seems like something their parents should be proud of.

Bonus: It's not a gateway drug!

We all know the biggest and strongest argument all mothers make: "Yes, but it's the first drug. Then come the rest." Unfortunately, mother, your argument is no longer valid.

In May, researchers at Emory University published a paper proving that weed does not lead to harder drug use. While the number of people reported smoking weed rose after the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, the number of those abusing hard alcohol, cocaine and heroin did not.