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It seemed like the perfect place to go see the autumn leaves and wildlife on the move. One of our favorite spots, the Rocky Mountain National Park, located just outside Estes Park, CO, has it all. But things go a bit crazy for a few weeks in the autumn months of September and October.
We arrived at 6:00 am, before the park even officially opened. The sun touched the mountain tops and the sounds of the season were just outside our window. Here’s what we heard: Among the tall grasses we caught a glimpse of the bugling elk bull. He gingerly took a bath in a nearby pond and made his way up the mountain. He was as disappointed as we were, he did not have a single female in sight.
We drove through the park and didn’t see another elk anywhere. We made our way back to town and on our way there we noticed a little elk activity in a residential neighborhood. The Subaru made a hard right and then another right…and that’s when it happened! We found ourselves smack dab in the middle of a seasonal power struggle among the bulls. I was both terrified and amazed at the same time. By this time, the challenge between the bulls ensued around our Subaru. While one bull showered the residential landscaping with urine, another used antlers to destroy the red maples so carefully planted by the homeowner. Yes, we witnessed a real pissing contest!
The rest of the elk herd followed submissively as the largest bull encouraged the route. In the meantime, the other bulls were not about to give up. We sat dumbfounded in the Subaru unable to take our eyes off the bulls that surrounded us and afraid to make any sudden movements that may be mistaken as a threat. Eventually, the dominate bull lead the majority of females his way into the woods. Never giving up, the remaining bulls continued the confrontation to earn the attention of the females that lingered behind. As the herd dispersed, our freedom to drive was now an option.
Needless to say, the entertainment factor of Colorado wildlife is without a doubt, an exhilarating experience. We highly recommend it! The Humbleweeds. E and L
Hey parents, when was the last time you sat down and read your child a story about the benefits of medical cannabis? Chances are, never. Parents and educators hesitate on the inclusion of “benefits” of medical cannabis in their discussions, however, they highlight risks and abuse of marijuana instead. We continue to confuse children with mixed messages on the topic of medical cannabis so parents are left to their own creativity to teach their kids compassion and respect for those who suffer and use cannabis as treatment.
According to a Denver Post article, there are over 350 children in the Colorado school system receiving medical cannabis treatments. It is important for students, classmates, and teachers to understand the difference between drug abuse and prescribed medication when talking about cannabis. Whether it be the child or the parent, the discussion about medical cannabis is critical. Ignorance is not an option!
The stigma of cannabis is slowly fading away. In a recent Yahoo survey, 52% of Americans have tried marijuana in their lifetime, while 22% of that group said they still use on a daily basis. Of that same group, 54% are parents! As public opinion continues to change, children are more exposed to the idea of cannabis as medicine. Parents must help their children be compassionate to those who benefit from cannabis medications.
What’s a parent to do? There is barely any information or resources for parents to help kids understand the reality of medical cannabis. And then it happened, I stumbled on a book at a thrift store called: “It’s Just A Plant,” a children’s story about marijuana by Ricardo Cortes. It’s an illustrated children’s book about a parent explanation of marijuana to her child with a trip through the neighborhood. Be sure to check out other titles by Cortes like, “Go the Fuck to Sleep.”
After a search online, I found other books to help parents explain marijuana. “If a Peacock Finds a Pot Leaf” by author Morgan Carman, is an exciting tale about Peter the Peacock who suffers from depression. He stumbles upon a pot leaf one day and shows his friends. Along the way other animals reveal their personal use of the cannabis plant. The animals talk about their ailments, such as pain, cancer and insomnia and how the leaf helps. Then, there is “Stinky Steve Explains Medical Marijuana” written by Maggie Volpo, a story about a skunk who informs children on cannabis and everything they need to know about cannabis safety. The book is aimed at educating children of all ages, focusing on medical cannabis for young patients and their siblings. Stinky Steve answers all of the questions that children may have about marijuana. Another book by the same author, “Stinky Steve Explains Daddy’s Dabs” takes a look at the dabbing culture of medical marijuana and how to explain it to your kids. A book many parents may relate to, “Mommy’s Funny Medicine” by authors Russell Barth and Christine Lowe, a sweet story told from a young girls perspective as she watches her mother battle an illness and uses medical marijuana successfully to cope with the disease.
A book can be a powerful tool for kids and an excellent way for families to connect. With a topic as controversial as cannabis, parents now have access to creative resources the kids will enjoy and comprehend. Medical cannabis should not be scary to children, but explained with tolerance in mind. Besides, it’s just a plant!
Photo credit: Amazon.com
When was the last time you sat down with your parents and had a serious conversation about cannabis? Maybe never? Do you wish they were more informed on the topic? Well, here’s your chance. You’re an adult now, it is time to have the conversation about cannabis and its effects with your parents. With 60% of Americans in favor of legalization, the highest approval in 47 years, there is no time like the present to express, educate, and evaluate how your parents may be feeling about marijuana. Here are a few tips to get started:
Find out what they already know. Start with an open-ended question like, “With 28 states legalizing medical marijuana, what are your thoughts on the plant as medicine?” Or keep it simple with, “What do you think about cannabis these days?” The question will require them to elaborate on their response. Be prepared with a few statistics to back up your statements and offer them recommend websites for additional information, like this one: DrugPolicy.org
Show a little professionalism. Avoid words associated with the social stigma like: pot, weed, dope, or even marijuana. Instead, use terms like cannabis, hemp, and cannabidiol (CBD). Take the botanist approach and broaden your vocabulary with labels like: terpenes, cannabinoids, and trichomes and learn how each contribute to the medicinal components. Offer your parents details and definitions like: Leafly’s Cannabis Anatomy, as a resource for understanding the plant as a whole and its uses.
Be prepared for surprises. As parents, it’s our job to protect our children from harm and raise them to know right from wrong. For decades, your parents were led to believe marijuana was a deadly drug, right up there with cocaine and heroine. But good news, parents grow too. You may discover mom and dad partake and are already part of the majority of Americans wanting it legalized; wouldn’t that be awesome? And don’t rule out your grandparents. According to the Washington Post, since 2002, regular cannabis use climbed to 50 percent among those 45 to 54 years old; and for those 55 to 64, it jumps to an impressive 455 percent, but the big surprise was the 333 percent increase among senior citizens over the age of 65. Chances are, if your parents don’t smoke, your grandparents might. Make it a multi-generational conversation and learn where your family stands on cannabis, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Find common ground. Regardless of how parents feel about cannabis, show them the positives of CBD, the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis that heals the body passively without getting the patient high. As new research continues, CBD is quickly becoming a superstar in the industry. The CBD method is a great introduction to the herb, even for the most curious or skeptical family members. Bring along a few industry magazines to share with family, like the Denver-based Sensi or THC Magazine, both free publications you can find around Boulder.
The first conversation may turn out to be just an ice-breaker, but if you want your parents to be better informed about cannabis, start the conversation and introduction for them. Remember, rely on your personal experience and reach out to your family on a level they will respect and respond to with questions or concerns. Cannabis can become the connector, the solidifier, and the joy in your family home…get the conversation started today and see what blooms! Have you already had the conversation with your parents? How did it go?
As always, consume responsibly.
Peace, Love, and the Power of Cannabis!
*Cannabis products are designed specifically for adults over 21.
Photo Credit: pixabay.com
You know the old adage, the grass is always greener on the other side? Well, it’s true in the US. Like thousands of others before us, we made the move to Colorado one year ago from the East coast. Colorado is synonymous for things like 14’ers, alpine skiing, craft beer, and cannabis. With the world at our feet, we decided to apply for jobs in the most controversial industry in America right now, cannabis. (more…)