On Your Side: Parents turn to cannabis as attitudes change
Rory Dowd is a father, a hard worker and he's also a daily pot smoker. After working a full day at the office, Dowd said marijuana relaxes him.
"I enjoy smoking a bowl or eating an edible when I come home from work," he said.
He's the father of 11-year-old Rikku. Dowd does not use marijuana in front of his daughter, though she knows he uses it.
"Even if I did know where it was, I wouldn't touch it. I know it's just like alcohol - it's not meant for kids," she said.
Dowd said he's been an open advocate for legalizing marijuana for more than a decade.
"When it became legal we had a big party," he said.
Dowd reminds the people who don't agree with pot-smoking parents that it's legal in Nevada, and that cannabis no longer has the stigma it once did.
"The taboo and stigma I think has definitely lessened very much in the last 20 years. And for anybody who's still on the other side of the taboo and stigma, keep up," he said.
Christine and Andre Gamez are even more open about cannabis with their 7-year-old son, Gabriel. They are daily users as well.
"I don't hide anything from him, but I also feel like it's responsible parenting to not be sitting on the couch smoking a joint with him right here," Christine said.
She added: "When I get home and I have a smoke session, it'd be like someone picking up a bottle of wine and having their drink, or having a beer after work at a bar."
They leave their marijuana paraphernalia out in the open, just steps away from their child. But they put their product away, out-of-sight.
"I know I'm not allowed to use it because I'm not old enough," Gabriel said.
Christine works at Blum Dispensary so she is able to try all kinds of product.
"Anything from smoking a joint, to smoking out of a bong, to using concentrates and dabbing, to topical lotions and bath salts," Christine said.
The couple is also legally growing several plants in the bathroom.
"I feel like we're not pressuring [our son] to know exactly what we're doing or what it is," Andre said.
Christine has seen the power of pot. She had brain surgery a few years ago and found medical relief in THC, the chemical compound found in cannabis. Just two days after the surgery, she dumped the morphine and all other prescribed drugs.
"It resolved my problem in mock speed. It gives me goose bumps just talking about it... faster than my doctors can explain," Christine said.
Both Dowd and the Gamez family say some people may never be on board with recreational marijuana use, but they say it can be used safely, it can be managed and it is legal.