“Parents must be ok with child pretending to smoke marijuana.”
This was the information I received from the casting director regarding Sam’s upcoming TV appearance. Hmmm.. Was I ok with this?
Well, I grew up in suburban Detroit in the 70s. This was an area that was generally “ok” with the concept of smoking marijuana.
I attended college at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI. Again, a town that was really “ok” with the marijuana smoking people. The craziest parties at our school involved drunk people lighting cars and couches on fire after we lost a football game. The marijuana parties involved lots of funny movies and potato chips.
I spent 15 years defending people who were caught with small amounts of marihuana for personal use. My fellow defense attorneys, in order to do our jobs correctly, had to be “ok” with the people we were defending. I had a much easier time defending those people than the drunk drivers who crashed into things..and people. My marijuana DUIs were usually pulled over for going too slow.
I have always been ok with it. But I have never been more ok with it than when I saw my friend Audrey start dying a slow, painful death from cancer. She lost her voice, her appetite and her smile. The one thing that brought it all back was marijuana. Medical marijuana made Audrey feel happy again. For brief moments in her day, she smiled and felt good enough to eat. She had energy to spend time with her daughter and with her friends.
The show that Sam was on, The League, has a hilarious character named Taco who is always stoned. He’s sweet, lovable, creative and nonviolent. He’s the easiest of the characters on the show to love.
In Sam’s episode, “Flowers For Taco”. Taco accidentally eats brownies without weed in them. So, for the first time in many years, he is sober. Like Charlie in Flowers for Algernon, he becomes very very smart. He becomes a threat to the other guys who rely on his stupidity to do well in their fantasy football league. The guys decide to turn him back into a stoner so he can be fun and dumb again.
There was a flashback to the first time the guys got Taco stoned as pre-teens. It was a fantastic piece of comedy and you can watch it here. In the end of the show, Taco goes back to smoking pot and goes back to being funny and lovable…and dumb.
To prep Sam for the scene, on the flight from Phoenix to LA, we watched clips from Cheech and Chong and That 70s Show to show him how people hold joints and how they act when they are stoned. We watched Dazed and Confused and Fast Times At Ridgemont High. He was fully prepared to act out the scene.
So, to answer the original question: yes, I was ok with all of it. Exposure to questionable material does not force a child into something they are not interested in doing. Hiding its existence will only make it more mysterious and exciting.
I’m proud of the episode and hope there are more flashbacks to come (or my idea I pitched to them on set: a spinoff show called The Junior League. Like the Wonder Years but waaaay funnier and cooler. ) I know, right? It would be hilarious!
It was all ok to me. Except for the part where I let Lauren and Aidan watch it too. If your kids are in kindergarten with Aidan, I apologize in advance. They may be coming home with some new words this week.