I wish “It’s Just A Plant – a children’s story of marijauna” was around when I was ten years old.
I didn’t rat my parents out. Lucky for them.
So I’m ten and, like a typical ten year old kid, I go into our pantry to find something to eat. While examining my choices I come across a small medicine bottle on a shelf. The bottle contains within it a hard, brown block of something. I’m intrigued, hmmm is this some sort of new spice the folks are experimenting with?
Better smell it.
I open the bottle and smell something very unfoodlike. Nope, not a spice. Then is hits me. My mind connects some dots and the memory of a recent drug education class surfaces: tales of horrifying car accidents; men with non-stop mucous and blood flowing from their eyes, nose and ears; constant blackouts while driving.
My god. My parents could be doing drugs!
Not certain that my discovery is drugs, I take my curiousity to the public library (I grew up in Kitchener and was lucky to have a KPL branch two blocks from my house on the same side of the street, no major streets to cross, no major stress for mom). Too embarrassed to ask a librarian for help, I go straight to the children’s section and look for the drugs shelf. Within minutes my worst fears are confirmed. My parents have hashish in our house and I’m surely the future victim of some aforementioned drug-related tragedy.
Later that night my sister and I are watching TV – the Monkees reunion tour. Depressed enough that my true love Micky Dolenz looks old and horrifying (Simon Le Bon will now have pillow duty 100%…), I know I have to confront the folks.
Crying, tears streaming down my face and unable to put a coherent sentence together, I burst into the kitchen where both my mom and dad are chatting.
“I know you have hashish in there.”
Alarmed, but also amused (totally disturbing to me), both my parents look at me, obviously not knowing what to say.
My dad breaks the ice, “did you call the police?”
My mom waits for my response, a small hellfire brewing in her eyes. I shake my head.
Smiling and calm, my dad asks me to come over and sit down. Thus begins my introduction to a different perspective on recreational drugs.
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Here’s a quote from the FAQ section of the web site for It’s Just A Plant: “We believe there is a way to safely educate children about drugs by satisfying their curiosity but without piquing their curiosity to try them.”
I agree with that. I believe that because my parents were open and honest about responsible recreational use, I didn’t feel a draw to seek out drugs and when faced with the option, I could make an educated decision to partake or not.
Obviously I’m not advocating that children do drugs. I just think it’s really interesting that someone has actively taken a step towards helping parents properly open a dialogue about drugs with their children. Kids find out about it one way or another.