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Study: Family TV Time Often Involves Marijuana

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PHOTO Anna Maria Liljestrand


Study: Family TV Time Often Involves Marijuana

Eight out of 10 parents said they stepped out to use cannabis before settling into television time with their small children.

As the lazy old saw goes, in every stereotype, there is a nugget of truth. Whether or not this is universally true — and it almost certainly is not — there is at least one stoner stereotypes we are not embarrassed to embrace, because it is true: Some television content is only tolerable when high. Particularly, the television your kids like.

According to a new study, 8 out of 10 parents who use cannabis said they “regularly” partake prior to sitting down to watch TV with their brood. And contradicting the premise of the above paragraph, parents aren’t using marijuana to check out: ducking out for some vape time before a “Spongebob Squarepants” session makes them more “engaged, present and mindful,” as Adweek reported.

As readers are surely aware, marijuana and parenting is a bit of a third rail. For years, pot-smoking parents zealously hid their habits and stashes away, for justifiable fears of a visit from Child Protective Services and ensuing loss of custody of a child. In Colorado, where other efforts to sound a social alarm around marijuana legalization have failed, anti-drug zealots are finding traction in statistics that show pregnant mothers are being advised to use cannabis to stave off nausea.

Despite these risks, acceptance of the notion that one can use cannabis and still be a good parent is growing — with more and more parents emboldened to publicly declare their affinity towards the plant and promote its value-add while raising children and the cannabis industry is pivoting to market products accordingly.

But back to TV time. According to the survey released by Miner and Co. Studio, a consulting firm based in New York City, 80 percent of parents who use cannabis said that consumption prior to watching TV with their children “makes [the] shows more enjoyable, leading to more time watching the shows and subsequent discussions with their kids.”

The parents who reported using cannabis are also adamant that they are good parents — and anything but the lazy negative stereotype of a basement-dwelling bong-ripper.

Nine out of 10 respondents self-identified as “professional, active, open-minded, passionate, mindful, present, engaged, and relaxed” rather than forgetful, bumbling, or lazy.

“The stoner stereotype is so prevalent and persistent in TV and media that it continues to stigmatize those for whom cannabis is part of their active and healthful lifestyle,” Robert Miner, president of Miner & Co. Studio, said in a statement to Adweek.

Does anyone remember times from their childhood when a parent just didn’t — or couldn’t — care? Forget your Freudian analyst and transfer positivity onto the next generation. Cannabis plays a “positive role” with parents, who are “better able to put aside the impatience that is such an entrenched part of today’s adult experience and take the time to relax and bond with their kids,” Miner said.

This is good for parental bonding, but it’s also good for brands. As per Miner’s survey, parents who are stoned watch more TV, are more likely to fork over a few dollars to Amazon Prime for premium content, and are also more likely to watch commercials rather than skipping through the break.

And as befits such an enlightened set, cannabis-using parents also said they’d prefer to see more people on-screen using cannabis, and that it should be no different that a TV character using alcohol. “Mad Men” would have been a wee different.

But there is bad news: There was no information as to whether using cannabis — or anything else — would help parents, or anyone else, decipher “Westworld.”

TELL US, are you a parent?

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