I grew up hating cannabis, but I’m voting yes in the referendum


"I hated how terrified I was that police would come and my family would be torn apart." (File photo)

UNSPLASH

“I hated how terrified I was that police would come and my family would be torn apart.” (File photo)

OPINION: I was raised in a home where cannabis was grown, and used openly and frequently.

I hated it, I hated the smell, I hated the stigma that friend’s parents placed on me as a child of a cannabis user, and I hated how terrified I was that police would come and my family would be torn apart.

Eventually in high school I tried cannabis once or twice and a few times more at university.

When I talked to friends I heard many stories about parents who drank (mine almost never did) and I couldn’t help but be struck by the stark contrast between our upbringings.

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Friends with respectable, but deeply alcoholic parents, spoke about the trauma of their upbringing and the awful physical and social effects their parents’ drinking had.

Reflecting on my childhood, I came to the conclusion that the worst thing that happened to me was that all the yummy baking my mum made seemed to be eaten in the night by her and her friends.

Well, no, that’s not true. The worst thing that happened was the completely legitimate fear of police, and terror that my mum would be taken from me.

I’m a mother myself now. I dabble responsibly in cannabis. I might have a little bit at a BBQ or if I have a night out, a small amount occasionally at night when my children are in bed. I don’t drink but I’ve always thought it was no different than friends who had a wine.

"I'm voting yes so that my children never have to live with the fear I grew up with."

Stuff

“I’m voting yes so that my children never have to live with the fear I grew up with.”

My partner responsibly enjoys a drink or two once a week, and is able to do this openly. My children saw me smoking at a neighbour’s once and I didn’t correct them when they assumed it was tobacco and started lecturing me.

I’m voting yes so that my children never have to live with the fear I grew up with and can maintain their trust that our laws and law enforcement are just.

I’m voting yes for the anxious and terrified little girl inside me who didn’t deserve those feelings.

I’m voting yes because I changed my mind and I don’t think cannabis is all that harmful after all – but I assure you that prohibition sure is.

 



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