Coming Out of the Pot Closet, Part II: A Family Affair

Mom shows up with the usual bag of groceries – coffee creamer, toilet paper and packaged lunch meat. What every single woman lives on.  I lead her into the kitchen where I set the bag down.  We settle into my small but adorable living room, sip flavored coffee and catch up on the latest family gossip. My cousin is unwed and knocked up, she says, with a gleen in her eye, thankful it isn’t one of her kids.

Eventually she asks how my “event planning” job is progressing. Will they offer me a full-time job so I can get health insurance? She says women my age need breast exams and colonoscopies, and I agree. But they won’t be offering any health care because I don’t work for the event planning company. Never did.

There was no easy way to say it, so I blurted it out, “Mom, I’ve been growing pot for a while, and I’m really happy. Cannabis saves lives, and I only work with the best dispensaries. I really don’t think you should have a problem with it. And I’m really, really happy.” Her eyes pop and she starts shaking her head, “No you don’t, don’t be silly. It’s illegal. You could go to jail.”

Denial, then Worry. This is mom’s standard MO.

I gently try to remind her that her own mother grew a few plants between rows of corn for her son, my uncle, mom’s baby brother. He’s a hippie from the old days and the first person to offer me a joint when I was 13, which I fearfully turned down. Uncle Fred still comes over every few months to help me with the physically demanding parts of my grow room – hauling organic soil, transplanting plants, and then later in the season to harvest, and even lend a hand at the tedious work of trimming our pretty buds. These days, I’m the one offering the joints. It’s in our blood, mom.

I guide mom down the stairs and through the visqueen barrier into Eve’s Garden. It’s just too overwhelming for her — all the bright lights and wavy sea of green, fans blowing, scent wafting. She shakes her head and whispers, “We should get out of here,” like the walls are bugged.  I try to reassure her by showing her the patient recommendations on my wall, and the advanced security system I had installed last week.  I then passionately explain how cannabis alleviates pain and suffering, and has cured hundreds-if-not-thousands of people of their cancer tumors. Not realizing my own fervor pitch, I end up nearly screaming:  “CANNABIS SAVES LIVES, mom!”  I pause and watch for her reaction. She has clearly heard me this time, and this makes me feel better. I take a breath and start to relax a bit. At last she says, “Well, at least you’re paying your bills,” like that’s the only thing that matters. That I can take care of myself.

I assume that’s what every parent wants – to know that their kid won’t end up back on their doorstep once they’ve retired to Arizona and life is finally getting good. Still, she can’t get out of the grow room fast enough, demanding that I never mention this to my affable aunt, who will unwittingly leak it to my mom’s husband, who will surely divorce her, jeopardizing the retired future she’s worked so hard to obtain. OMG what would all her republican friends think?

Sorry mom, I can’t guarantee that people won’t find out. In fact, I would love to scream it to the world that I love weed!  But I’ve just left the pot closet, and it’s baby steps into this wild wild world of weed, as the Empress of Hempress.