I Smoked Pot With My Parents

My parents’ relationship flashed before me: two hippies with big hair blasting Hendrix and smoking a jay; two older hippies, one pregnant, blasting The Clash and smoking a jay; and two graying hippies with thin hair, kids asleep in the back of a mini van, silently smoking a jay. This was just the next step. There was no way out. I took a hit.

At first I felt stressed out, like I didn’t want them to know I was high even though we all obviously were. I stayed pretty quiet, feeling metaphysical about the whole thing. I was seeing my parents as people and myself as an adult. I didn’t know if it was the pot or the situation but I felt like I was making a cameo in their movie, years later. Before I knew it we were all sitting in a cool movie theater wearing giant 3D glasses and shoving popcorn in our faces as Avatar started on the IMAX screen.

I don’t really remember the movie but I remember laughing and saying “woah!”…a lot. Afterwards we stumbled out and went and ate Ethiopian food until our jaws hurt. It was actually pretty wonderful to see my parents having fun and acting like kids (well, almost kids… my dad had to lie down in the aisle at one point when the 3D made him dizzy). I realized that my relationship with my parents was changing in a way I’d never expected when I was 13 and holding that VHS tape hostage.

I thought that parents always stayed the same and you, as the child, were the one to grow up and have a life. It never occurred to me that your parents keep growing and your relationship with them does, too. No, I do not want to smoke weed with my parents every time I see them and I think there are many ways to get closer to your parents that don’t involve drugs or drinking or anything illegal. But for our relationship, which was already pretty open, smoking weed together gave us permission to act as friends in the moment.

Now that I’m able to fend for myself as an adult, I can relate to my parent’s experiences without pointlessly glorifying them. I can also see the downside of their experiences, too.  So yeah, you can’t just go out and pick peyote in a field anymore, but you can Google how to eat it correctly and save yourself the 24 hours of puking to get right to the talking dog.

I also know that there are many experiences I will have, in my own generation, with many stories that I will one day be able to tell to my kids while legally smoking marijuana. It might even be this story.

Or maybe the one about grandma, smoking weed out of a toilet paper roll.

To reach this post’s author, Kate Messinger, follow her on Twitter.


Share This Post:
    • 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