If you’ve been hitting the blunt lately, you are in good company. According to the 2020 report released by the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime, cannabis is now the most popular psychotropic in the world.
In the United States, cannabis use is up 30% since 2009. As the wave of legalization, increased acceptance, and social justice campaigns gains traction, stigma remains one of the greatest societal barriers to usage.
Usage of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes may be legal and/or decriminalized in several states, however, hurdles surrounding usage, especially in family settings, remain entrenched. If you are one of the 11.8 million young adults that likes to partake in the devil’s lettuce, there is a good chance you’re lighting up in secret.
Brand owner and fetish trainer Jet Setting Jasmine has embraced cannabis positivity in both professional and personal arenas. In addition to utilizing its many benefits for herself and her clients, she has consciously used communication and respect within her family to normalize cannabis usage.
Jasmine and her eldest daughter Mani Lynn sat down with Honeysuckle to talk about being a cannabis-friendly family and how their openness has led to safer, healthier use.
How and when did your journey with cannabis begin?
Jet Setting Jasmine: My journey began in college with friends; the first time I ever smoked was at age 19. Prior to that, I was socialized to have negative preconceptions about “weed, refer, and marijuana” and the people that used it. However, as I entered adulthood, I began to understand those stereotypes more accurately in context of the vastness of usage and the diversity of the flower itself.
Mani, what has been your experience with cannabis and growing up in a cannabis-friendly family?
Mani Lynn: I have incorporated cannabis into my daily routine as a way to enhance my peace. We were aware of our parents’ cannabis use early on. This allowed me to make smarter decisions, as a result, my usage is safer.
A lot of my friends hide their cannabis consumption and do not thoroughly check the sourcing of their products. We should be able to talk to our parents (more experienced smokers) and learn from them and their experiences.
I understand that your family disclosed their support of your cannabis use in an interesting way! Care to share that story with our readers?
JSJ: When Mani was 10 years old, we were on a trip with my girlfriends from college. She sent me a text message that said “Mom, can I ask you a question?” She proceeded to ask me if there was a fire upstairs or if we were smoking. In that moment, I only had one choice – tell the truth. I responded with “Yes, we were. Do you have any other questions?” She said, “no”.
Looking back there was even more of an opportunity to have a discussion with her, but I could only muster up the courage to be honest, give her space to ask any questions, and do a freakout dance with my friends! In that moment, I realized that I still had shame and fear I needed to work through.
ML: It’s really funny because it has been more unspoken support until our state went into a lockdown. My parents knew I smoked when I was out and about. When I started to meditate through the lockdown my mom would leave me “gifts”, a.k.a a pre-roll.
This taught me all the realms of cannabis. Now, I live on my own. I’ve learned that I prefer tinctures over smoking, and I make killer brownies! I still text my mom ‘Oh look what I got’ or ‘You should try this’.
JSJ: The pandemic made us feel like we probably needed to have a more forward approach, while acknowledging the stressors on our collective mental health. We chatted with Mani about being careful and safe.
King (my husband) is definitely a huge open advocate for Cannabis Culture. I am more conservative about following the laws. We have been providing education and guidance without directly admitting usage or being subject to grilling and accusing conversations.
What differences have you noticed about the dynamics within the families with more closed attitudes towards cannabis in comparison to your own family?
ML: I think there is a certain stigma that comes with cannabis or any drug. This doesn’t allow open conversation or room to learn about cannabis, which I feel is detrimental when (cannabis) can be used to help with anxieties, eating habits, and even cramps. Use of over-the-counter painkillers is so normalized when I personally feel cannabis is a safer alternative.
JSJ: My friends definitely ask me questions about everything that I do, from sex work to advocating for cannabis. Families are very curious and nervous about how to be more authentic with their children and families. Most are afraid that they have been hypocrites – preaching the opposite of how they actually live or being judged by their family.
I agree with Mani, that your family probably already knows, and you have more of a chance of strengthening the relationships with taking things that are done in the dark into the light. This does not mean you have to expose your family to your personal/ adult activities. However, honestly discussing your lifestyle with your family can be really affirming for familial bonds.
How has your health, mental and physical, been affected by cannabis?
ML: Positively. I have yet to be affected negatively by my cannabis use. Mentally, I am more creative, expressive, and open. Physically, I have been able to manage my cramps and headaches better.
JSJ: Cannabis has always helped me reduce anxiety and wind down. I am always pleased with how it helps me access my own creativity without the interference of all of life’s pressures.
What advice do you have for a person who would like to disclose their cannabis use to their family but is struggling with what to say?
ML: The best advice I have is to be open! The probably already know. Take the opportunity to tell them first.
JSJ: Try “I want to share something about myself that I don’t want to hide from the people I love the most!” It is a way of letting your family know you want to be open, honest, respectful.
Sharing does not mean you are asking for permission or input. You can thank them for their input and perhaps think of ways to draw boundaries that respect everyone, like not smoking in the house or respecting the laws of your state. These are reasonable things that families can actually craft with each other even if they don’t inherently agree on usage.