The Cannabis Closet: The Secret Gardener

A reader writes:

I am a high school teacher and married with two children in Massachusetts. I grow a small amount of marijuana (6 plants average). During harvest, the basement is a bustle with trimming. My four-year-old daughter, who loves gardening and always asks to help, is allowed to cut large leaves from the plants. She asks questions about trimming and the flowers, about the seeds, why we hang it upside down when we dry it, etc. The mantra in my head is, "I am not a criminal" (I've never even had a speeding ticket), so I answer honestly.

Essentially, in our home we are out of the closet and don't hide growing, harvesting, or "partaking" from our kids.

I have been easing my daughter into the "some people believe it is harmful, so they don't want me to have it" conversation, which she listens to without judgment. But we never name it. It's always "the plants" or "medicine." Any other terminology is like profanity for my kids; if they know the word, they may utter it in an inappropriate place.

It is with great satisfaction that I can come out of the closet on the Dish. My high school students, who are "from the hood", are completely out of the closet about it – a cultural phenomenon I believe contributes to the disparity between white and minority marijuana arrests. Despite the fact that I am outspoken about legalization – and that I too smoked some weed in college – they have no idea of my current relationship with the drug.

How I wish I could maintain a school marijuana garden to create the same interest, curiosity and patience in my troubled students that my daughter experiences in our year-round basement garden.