I Smoked Pot With My Parents

This might sound like my parents were off in a crack den somewhere while I raised myself on corn nuts (if you’ve been raised like this I’m really sorry; corn nuts, though delicious, have little nutritional value) but my parents had their shit together. They owned a house, had started their own businesses, got along pretty well and had both me and my twin brother’s college fund pretty much worked out. But it was no doubt that they had partied, much more than I probably ever would. The older I’ve gotten the more they have opened up about their past drug experiences: finding peyote in a field and talking to a dog for three days, taking acid while decorating a mall on Christmas Eve, smoking a joint in a tour bus with Neil Young. But those experiences seemed to be in the past; smoking weed was the only thing they had kept up over the years. It’s not like they were getting high and letting babies drown in pools like those anti-weed PSAs that played between episodes of Saved By The Bell. They just liked to get stoned and watch TV and laugh together, just like I was doing with my friends.

By my teens, I knew they still smoked and I didn’t really care, and they knew I did too occasionally, but I was a little less forthcoming about my drug experimentation. One night soon after getting my license, I had driven to a house party with my friends. I was the sober driver but my friend Jamie (who I realize now was really not a friend but a bully) convinced me that smoking weed didn’t count as “under the influence”.  I figured it would wear off by the time everyone wanted to go home and, if worse came to worse, we were all close enough to walk. But the party had gotten busted early, forcing us all to hide in the basement, and once the cops had left, Jamie pressured me into driving her home even though I still felt a little high. I was so paranoid about getting caught driving under the influence that I accidently put the car in reverse instead of drive and gunned it into a neighbors rickety fence. She got another ride and I drove home much later, crying and cursing myself for being so stupid.

When I got home, I hysterically confessed to my Dad. He assured me that we would go to the house in the morning to fix the damage however possible. When I calmed down he hugged me and casually gave me some advice I still use today: ”Kate, you shouldn’t drive while you’re high. But it’s still way worse to drink and drive.”

In the morning, I sheepishly knocked on the door of the house whose fence I toppled and apologized profusely before the owner–a hippy about my dad’s age–stopped me. “Actually we really hated that fence, ” he said and gave my Dad, who was watching from the car, a knowing glance. “It’s good you hit it ‘cus we would have had to pay someone to come rip it out!”

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    • Kristina

      This is amazing! This reminds me of right before I started going to NYU, (a pretty notoriously stoner-friendly school for anyone unfamiliar), and my parents pulled out a pipe and said they wanted me to smoke with them before going away to school so I wouldn’t look lame when I got to NYU and someone offered. It was an awesome night filled with stupid TV shows, ice cream cake (best thing ever), and laughing at ridiculous things with my parents. It’s still the best time I’ve ever had while smoking. And it definitely instilled in me the type of parent I’d like to be.

    • Nancy

      I want your parents to adopt me!

    • Aviva

      Kate, this is hilarious! I love you.

    • Tate

      This brings a tear to my eye. Long live stoner parents!

    • Lorraine

      Wonderful, colorful stuff. You are lucky to have such great parents!

    • jennifer k

      Great piece. Knowing your parents as well as I do, I can see the charm of this. But it doesn’t always work, and here’s why: neither of your parents are addicts, and this is an incredibly important distinction. Both of my parents are. I was the same age you were when I did drugs with my mother–cocaine and pot, to be exact. The rationalization was that it was better for me to experiment around “experts” than by myself or with my dorky, dangerous friends. Instead of it having hippie charm, in retrospect it had an icky John Phillips/Mackenzie Phillips vibe. My mom did drugs A LOT and still does. As a mother now, I reflect back on this and no longer think it is cool. These experiences merely diminish the respect I have for my parents because–as addicts–they were playing with fire by not drawing a bright line between me and them. I am fairly straight edge (with the occasional exception–most recently smoking pot with your mother, ironically).

      • Kate Messinger

        You’re very right Jennifer. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Sophie

      Funny story, but so many spelling and grammar mistakes. If you’re going to publish something on the internet, please get it proof read.

      • Josh

        Proofread is one word. lolz

      • Bean

        Grammar Nazis are always the saddest people in the comment thread. Without fail.

    • Jamal

      Why are parent’s so excited to toke weed with there kids and there kids friends. My gfs mom was so excited and wuz like forcing it on me when all i wanted wuz one toke and she wuz like no have more!

    • Quin

      My parents asked me if I wanted to smoke pot with them and my sisters, and I was like “Aw hell no.” That shit weird me out. Not pot, family bonding.

    • nell

      so good…a real trip down Marin memory lane. Could really go for a hot tub right about now.

    • gauge

      This Shit is stupid gay