The Atlantic published an personal essay about the impact of her father’s marijuana addiction on herself and her siblings.
Then there’s my sister, the baby, the one who struggled harder than any of us. She tried so desperately to finish high school, a rare feat in my family. Then she tried community college. As we sat outside at a café this year, talking about my dad’s temper and his rambling mind, she told me how she herself has started to smoke.
“I’m so sorry,” she kept repeating. “But it’s really not that bad, is it? And it’s relaxing. It makes everything okay for a while. Don’t be angry, please don’t be angry.”
I can’t be angry. I understand the appeal of marijuana: its soothing properties, its potential to help chronic pain sufferers, its medical implications. I also believe it should be legalized. In a world where alcohol and nicotine can be purchased at most corner shops, the argument against bringing pot sales out into the open is a weak one.
Yet I can be sad. So very little is understood about how marijuana impacts families. I can’t help but thinking that the cool, carefree users of today will be the parents of tomorrow.
My dad will never stop smoking pot. Sometimes I wonder about the man he might have been, and the lives we all might have had, if he’d never started.