Watch CBS News

When These Moms Use Pot, It's Not Always In The Kitchen

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Aspirin for a headache? Tylenol for a migraine?

Some moms go the more traditional route when it comes to alleviating their pain.

But others are using something decidedly different.

They're using medical marijuana.

And as CBS2 anchor Pat Harvey reports, many of the women think pot makes them better moms.

January Thomas from Koreatown is mom to 16-month-old Zeena.  The fact she uses pot is not unique, she maintains. "Moms that utilize cannabis hold jobs, office jobs, you know do the PTA."

She medicates three to four times a day with marijuana also known medically as cannabis. Says Thomas, "I have early onset arthritis and I'm going to have to have wrist surgery soon."

Thomas doesn't like traditional painkillers. "For me, I'm a medical cannabis patient. I prefer cannabis over Vicodin or Percocet or Tylenol 3. I feel it's a natural pain reliever and I feel better using it. I feel it's safer on my body."

Thomas and her fiance are marijuana activists. And they both believe education starts in the home. She even reads to her daughter about the pluses of pot.

"We talk about the plant cannabis. We have a book. It's called, 'It's Just A Plant' and it teaches her how it's medicine."

Thomas also makes it clear, she doesn't smoke when her child is near. "I don't smoke around my daughter or indoors because second hand smoke is bad."

Rather than being a big smoker, Thomas gets her pot from marijuana-infused foods. She showed Pat Harvey a mac and cheese made with cannabis oil.


And Thomas is not alone.

Harvey met up with a group of moms who meet over marijuana.

Said a mom named Cheryl Shuman, "People call me the Martha Stewart of marijuana because I was one of the founders of the National Cannabis Industry Association."

Shuman has been a medical marijuana advocate since it first became legal in California 16 years ago.

She's used marijuana to fight her asthma, chronic pain and cancer. "I started using it and literally I went from being prescribed 27 different pharmaceuticals to one little plant."

Shuman is involved in the $1.7 billion cannabis industry and educates other patients on the laws and different products available. These products include a vaporizer called Canna-Cigs. (The company provides them to Shuman free-of-charge in exchange for her promotion.)

Shuman says the product is easy to use, as well. "You've got your atomizer here, the medication is in here, and you just screw it in and're ready."

One 30-second inhale from a Canna-Cig is the equivalent of smoking a joint -- and there is no second hand smoke or residual odor.

On this particular night, the group of moms met up for a gourmet meal prepared by Chef Fred. The menu? Seared scallops, pasta, chicken and strawberry shortcake for dessert. All infused with cannabis oils.

Shuman explains, "Anything that you can make with oil or butter, mashed potatoes ... that can include chocolates, cakes, cookies, barbecue on the grill."

Of course, all this smoking, vaporizing, cooking? How do you know when too much is too much?

Thomas explains, "My doctor regulates it. I know what a typical dosage is for me. So it's a very controlled thing and I feel fine as a mom."

Not everyone thinks what these moms are doing is a good idea.

Dr. Charles Sophy, medical director at the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, is not a fan. "The problem is that it's not FDA approved."

Adds Sophy, "When it's a part of your day and your day depends on it to get through your day or you're eating it or baking it or doing something to maintain your day, that's where it becomes an issue. Does it cross over that line of use or abuse or recreational use? Are you entering into a place where it's a risk for your family or child?"

Most of these medical marijuana moms just don't want to be judged.  Says Shuman, "My hope is that other people can look at me and say 'Maybe I can relate to that woman and give it a second look...and certainly she's not one of those druggie people in the alley.'"

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.