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New Study Claims Pothead Parents Are More Likely to Discipline Kids

New Study Claims Pothead Parents Are More Likely to Discipline Kids
PHOTO Martin Garrido


New Study Claims Pothead Parents Are More Likely to Discipline Kids

Academic research speculates parents don’t want children to “kill the buzz.”

Marijuana has gained a bit of a reputation throughout the decades for contributing to the chill of society, and this includes keeping parents cool enough to deal with their lunatic children when the going gets tough. And let’s face it, parenting those booger-picking, hellraisers is always tough. Still, many moms and dads have said, even recently, that a daily dose of the herb helps make them better parents all around. But is there a much darker side to the herb that no one wants to discuss?

Well, if the findings of a new study are anywhere close to accurate, youngsters with parents who smoke weed might be getting disciplined more than those from pot-free households.

No, we haven’t been hacked by the Russians, and we are not out of our minds. Not yet. There was actually a study released the other day showing that parents who use marijuana are more likely to punish their kids than the sober ones. Researchers at Ohio State University and the University of Kansas say that out of the more than 3,000 California parents that they used in this exploration into the American drug culture, the ones who used marijuana were less afraid to chastise their curtain climbers. The punishments entailed in these domestic dust-ups ranged from timeouts, suspended privileges and the queen mother of childhood disciplinary action — spankings.

Scientists want the children of the world to know that if their moms and pops are toking it up to deal with the nature of their rambunctiousness, they could be more at risk of getting punished. They are concerned that with the growing prevalence of marijuana consumption, as it becomes more legal, the nation could become a violent Thunderdome of sorts, one where no child makes it out alive. 

“The acceptability of marijuana is growing in the United States and with that, more parents feel free to use the drug, sometimes even in front of their children,” Bridget Freisthler, co-author of the study and professor of social work at The Ohio State University, told Medical Xpress. “Some parents claim it makes them a better, more relaxed parent, but that may not be the case.”

The study, which was published earlier this week in the Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, is not going to sit well in the gut of the average cannabis advocate.

Researchers claim that the majority of marijuana users (92%) are also boozehounds. They say while the notion is that cannabis and alcohol consumers are different people, the reality is it is all one group.

“We have this conception that alcohol users are different from marijuana users, but they’re not. It’s the same people,” Freisthler told INSIDER.

Although researchers admit they are not quite sure what is happening to make these moms and dads less tolerant to their children’s wild behaviors, they speculate that stoned parents “may be quicker than other parents to react to minor misbehavior,” because their kids are messing with their high.

“We can’t tell from this study, but it may be that parents who use marijuana or alcohol don’t want their children to spoil the buzz they have, or bother them when they have a hangover,” Freisthler said.

But some parents say the opposite is true. They believe marijuana helps them be more tolerant of the stress that comes with raising a snot-nosed child and also makes them “more present” parents.

“When I start getting frustrated or overwhelmed I smoke pot as a reset button,” a mother named Nicci said last year in an interview with the Colorado Pot Guide. “When I get upset and snappy, we both need a break. She does her thing while I step away and smoke.”

Meanwhile, lots of famous people from Maya Angelo to Susan Sarandon have had nothing but positive to say about parenting on pot.

But here’s the thing, the study was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. And trying to find the negative effects of marijuana is typical of federal agencies. Only now, Uncle Sam and his cronies have evidence showing that the legalization of marijuana nationwide could lead to an uprising in child abuse. You can bet the anti-drug groups are going to cite this one, just as long as the pot advocacy community did with the study showing that cannabis might be able to stop opioid abuse. Bet on it. 

But the latest federal research doesn’t actually show that marijuana use causes parents to punish children. Freisthler admits that because the study was based on survey data that it is possible that some of the respondents were not exactly truthful with their responses. More importantly, however, the study shows that it’s actually the parents who use more than one drug at a time (poly-substance abuse) who are more apt to dish out the discipline. This is especially true in the cases where parents were also using drugs like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. These folks were 1.45 times more likely to punish their kids than those who didn’t use drugs at all. So, this isn’t necessarily a problem brought on by marijuana. There are obviously deeper issues at play.

In the end, this study only shows that people who use intoxicating substances are parenting differently than those who do not. But more research on the subject is needed to provide additional clarity.

TELL US, are you a parent who uses cannabis?

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