August 9, 2011

Marijuana should be legal... but not for babies.

Last Saturday, I attended a Phish concert at The Gorge. It was so great to be back there - I haven't been in over 5 years, and I'd forgotten just how beautiful it is. If you're not familiar with Phish, think similar to The Grateful Dead - the crowd varies, but one thing you can absolutely count on is a whole lot of pot smoking.

It doesn't bother me. I've said here on multiple occasions that I absolutely think that marijuana should be legal. I don't think that pot is any more potent than alcohol, and people get shit-canned all the time. I also think that getting high tends to be more mellow - you've probably seen 'angry drunks,' but in my experience you're not very likely to see an angry weed smoker.

Between sets, I was talking to my cousin, Emmy, about how interesting the atmosphere is of that type of show. I would say that well over 70% of the people there were smoking pot throughout the show. In other words, it's rampant. And it's pretty out-in-the-open, they check bags and do some patdowns at the gates, but we managed to sneak a kitchen knife in to cut our fancy cheese with, so it's not that hardcore. I guess it would be nearly impossible to enforce the fact that illegal drug use is happening. What are they going to do, arrest everyone? She pointed out that the amount of revenue created from a weekend of concerts where people are very, very likely to attend both shows and to camp at the venue is substantial. When I thought about it, I also wonder if the crowds at this type of show tend to consume less alcohol, and whether that makes the trek after the show any safer.

We were seated on a blanket on the huge hillside that overlooks the amphitheater. Three blankets down, there was a couple, maybe late 20's or early 30's with a baby that looked to be 4-5 months old. There were a lot of children at the show, and I'm not sure I really have an opinion about that. I would not take my child there until they were a teen, and then only if they actually really enjoyed the music of their own volition. To me, it's a hassle to bring young children to that type of concert. Not only that, but it goes very late and depending on the age, you may need to do some explanation of the drug use. The parents who did take their kids were probably very different in their parenting styles than I am, and that's fine. I'm not judging. Well, except for in the case of the woman with the baby.

Do I care that she had her baby at this concert that was loud? Not really. I used to take Sam to movies with me when he was a newborn, up to about 7 or 8 months, and he did fine. He slept, and the noise didn't bother him, and that was that. Do I care that their baby was up late? Not really. We're a night-owl type family, and when they were babies my kids stayed up late. They also slept in late, which was probably key to Justin and my sanity.

But I did care when I watched her take several hits from a pipe full of marijuana then immediately sit down to breastfeed her baby. I was so mad - how irresponsible. I'm sure many people noticed, and didn't say anything. I didn't either, but it made me sad and a bit sick. I'm not sure what I even could have said that would have been productive in any way. I think there are many ways to smoke pot or drink responsibly, even when you have children. Having a couple of drinks in the evening when you have kids? People do it all the time, and I think it's fine. But turning around and then putting that alcohol into your infant? NO.

As I sat there, I wondered if she had taken a couple of shots then immediately sat down to breastfeed if anyone would have said anything. I wondered if she would see a difference in the two if I confronted her - would she argue that it's not the same thing? I wondered if the people there would have thought that breastfeeding after drinking was more harmful, when in reality I think either one is so completely harmful to your baby. I really hope that it's not a regular occurrence, but I don't know if that's realistic.

Have you ever seen another parent do something you felt put their child at risk? Did you speak up?

1 comment:

Siera said...

Oh The Gorge is so beautiful! I am contemplating going to see Toby Keith there next Saturday. I have seen a family put their child at risk and I did  say something. I was riding the Skytrain in Vancouver a few months back and I saw family with stroller on the platform and a 7 or 8 year old boy pushing his sibling. I noticed that he didn't put the break on so I said something to the mom in a a nice way. I've seen news clips of a stroller rolling in front of a train coming in a stroller rolling in front of it. I had visions of that happening and said soemthing becuase if something did happen and I didn't say anything I never wopuld've forgave myself. Pot smoking and breastdeeding are a no no in my eyes.