How do you come out as a medical marijuana patient? Do you come out? This gets very complicated, especially when you have kids. When I got my OMMA card I decided to tell, well, basically everybody.
Not everyone may be so comfortable with the loud & proud approach, but here’s a rundown on how — and to whom — I “Came Out” about my marijuana usage.
1. My Children
If you have children or know anything about children, you know one thing: Those little creatures are sneaky! I really didn’t come out to my oldest son so much as he caught me smoking a joint on my patio. With children, I think education is key. Be honest about the pros and the cons. Mommy uses MJ so she doesn’t lose her shit when she has to tell you to do the same thing 500 times! And also because she gets headaches (wink, wink).
2. Parents of Other Children
Parents have a right to know what their children will be around at another parent’s house. Smoking. Drinking. Fox News. I have told a few parents. Like me, my kids don’t like too many people, so that’s a plus. But the few they do like I want to be honest with. Here’s how that conversation went:
Me: “Hey, Tina wants Louise to come over and spend the night. Before she comes over, I wanted to let you know I use marijuana to help with some of my ailments.”
Other mom: “Ok cool — when should I bring her over?”
3. My Parents
Why does it always feel like you’re about 13 years old, when you have to tell your parents something they may not approve of? I’m 38, damn it, and I can do whatever I want! First, I started with facts. Then I got questions…and more questions. Finally, I said, “Mom, Billy Graham would give me pot!” That pretty much ended the conversation and began the education. Soon, me and mom might be hanging out on the porch smokin’ a J together, who knows!
4. My Boss
While not everyone can or should come out to their boss, I am fortunate to be able to. You can’t use quips or jokes to break the tension on this one. I was honest — and open to questions. The response I got: “Good for you. I hope it helps all your medical issues.” Lucky for me and others like me, some protections are being put into place for non-safety-sensitive positions, and some employers are being proactive themselves. Read more about what’s going on in Oklahoma City here.
5. My Doctors
I think I have eight different doctors. I make sure my usage is on all my charts. I find slipping in my MJ usage is easiest when the nurse asks the “do you drink/smoke” question. I answer, “No to both, but I smoke marijuana.” They note it and sometimes the nurses — and the doctors — have great responses, such as: “Girl, good for you. You need something!” (laughing nurse), and “Keep doing what you are doing” (smiling, winking doctor).
No matter to whom you are coming out, I think the best bet is to first be educated, and then be be open, honest and informative. The more middle-aged soccer moms, t-ball dads, doctors, and past presidents that come out of the marijuana closet, the more the stigma will be erased.
I’ve been overwhelmed and surprised by the support I’ve received from those around me, and I wish the same for you.