Posts Tagged ‘ marijuana ’

My Toddler’s Dependency on Drugs (And Why I’m His Enabler)

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

15 months.

I’m not comfortable with the fact my son is quite regularly under the influence of either Children’s Advil or Amoxicillin. But it’s not like I have a choice.

Being at daycare, he  is constantly exposed to germs which often cause him to get a fever, resulting in him being sent home for that day and the next.

Additionally, the fever tends to be the product of an ear infection or pneumonia or something of that nature which requires a prescription for Amoxicillin.

So I’m constantly praying each day while I’m at work that he doesn’t get a fever or I’m wondering if I should have given him fever reducer that morning to prevent him from being sent home.

I feel horrible about keeping my son drugged up on such a reoccurring basis.

Ultimately, I feel like a hypocrite because I’m so adamant on not feeding him foods in which I don’t know what the ingredients are, yet I don’t truly know the long-term effects all these drugs have on my toddler son.

In the ideal world, which is evidently America in the 1950′s, my wife could just stay home with our son all the time and I’d actually make enough money to support the three of us.

That way, we wouldn’t have to put our son in a position to be exposed to so many germs or have to be given fever reducer to avoid being sent home, causing either my wife or me to miss work.

But in reality, my wife actually makes more money than I do and has the more stable job. We both have to work and our son has to go to daycare.

Yet again, what option do I have to allow him to live a more natural, yet healthy, life? How can I possibly avoid this path for him, as his parent?

Should I just assume that going through two bottles of Children’s Advil per month is normal and justified?

Several times now I have written about my distrust of the FDA; how they approve red food dye made from crushed bugs and petroleum, which has shown side effects in children, such as myself in the Eighties.

And how I hate the fact that not even Snopes.com can confirm or deny that “natural” vanilla flavoring in ice cream and cookies is made from the anal glands of beavers.

With all that the FDA says is okay for us to eat, how can I know that these over-the-counter and prescription medicines are truly safe for my son?

I wish we could just say no to drugs, even over-the-counter ones.

Image Credit: Signe Wilkinson, Drug-Free America.

Add a Comment
Back To The Dadabase

Why This 30 Year-Old Dad Supports Ron Paul in 2012

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

13 months.

Except for in the state of Nevada, prostitution is illegal in our country. It is against the law for a person to be paid for sex… unless that action is filmed, therefore making it hardcore pornography, which is perfectly legal in America as long as the “entertainment film” features consenting adults.

Why is prostitution illegal while hardcore pornography is not? It’s a lot easier to tax porn. Yes, money is the difference between a “legal” or “illegal” status.

Plus, we as a Christianized nation can’t allow for legalized prostitution; it would be like giving our approval.

I, for one, morally oppose both pornography and prostitution, but I recognize the fact that it’s impossible to outlaw pornography; because after all, what exactly constitutes as pornography?

Does it have to be explicit nudity? How about Michelangelo’s famous statue, David? You can’t censor classic art.

What about a large number of Beyonce’s music videos, featuring gyrating females wearing little clothing in the name of feminism?

What about that? Where could the line on pornography ever be drawn?

It can’t. So we tax it. Does that make it right? (Or does that make it even worse?)

But what politician would ever be practical and honest enough to acknowledge such a double standard which is based on tax revenue? Ron Paul.

He doesn’t necessarily want to legalize prostitution, he wants to leave it up to each state to decide, as he believes that is how our American Constitution was written.

Ron Paul doesn’t care about modern-day social expectations of what a man running for President should be like. If anything, that’s his downfall- he’s a politician who’s not political, in the negative sense of the word.

Instead, he is a man who has voted consistently throughout the decades. He stands for what he believes; no matter what. He has been married to his wife since 1957, around the time my parents were born. He sticks to his guns; no secret mistresses to be discovered with this guy.

As for me, I am a 30 year-old dad who doesn’t care at all about the word “Republican” or “Democrat.” I would like to say I don’t care about politics, but that’s not true because I care about social justice, as well as running our nation’s economy like a legitimate business.

Last week when 29 year-old pop star Kelly Clarkson publicly endorsed Ron Paul on Twitter, her record sales spiked 442% during a 24 hour period. What does that say about “our generation?” We get Ron Paul. We value his stubborn and (un)reasonable approach to political issues.

We could be the first generation to vote in a President who finally ends the expensive and ridiculous federal “War on Drugs,” where a man who is caught with possession of marijuana can be sent to prison for a decade while a child molester serves a shorter term.

Bless Ron Paul for calling our government out on so many of its asinine policies. No matter how he runs, whether as the official Republican candidate, or as an independent, I’m voting for Ron Paul. Even if I have to “write in” his vote.

Image credit for top photo: Gage Skidmore.

Thanks to Wikipedia, I am able to point out some of the major ideas that Ron Paul supports:

Paul supports constitutional rights, such as the right to keep and bear arms, and habeas corpus for political detainees.

He opposes the Patriot Act, federal use of torturepresidential autonomy, a national ID carddomestic surveillance, and the draft.

Citing the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, Paul advocates states’ rights to decide how to regulate social matters not directly found in the Constitution.

Paul calls himself “strongly pro-life”,[183] ”an unshakable foe of abortion”,[184] and believes regulation or ban[185] on medical decisions about maternal or fetal health is “best handled at the state level”.[186][187] He says his years as an obstetrician led him to believe life begins at conception;[188] his abortion-related legislation, like the Sanctity of Life Act, is intended to negate Roe v. Wade and to get “the federal government completely out of the business of regulating state matters.”[189]

Paul also believes that the notion of the separation of church and state is currently misused by the court system: “In case after case, the Supreme Court has used the infamous ‘separation of church and state’ metaphor to uphold court decisions that allow the federal government to intrude upon and deprive citizens of their religious liberty.”[190]

He opposes federal regulation of the death penalty[186] (although he opposes capital punishment),[191] of education,[192] and of marriage, and supports revising the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to focus on disruptive sexual behavior (whether heterosexual or homosexual).[193] 

As a free-market environmentalist, he asserts private property rights in relation to environmental protection and pollution prevention. He also opposes the federal War on Drugs,[194] and thinks the states should decide whether to regulate or deregulate drugs such as medical marijuana.[195]

Paul pushes to eliminate federal involvement in and management of health care, which he argues would allow prices to drop due to the fundamental dynamics of a free market.[196]

He is an outspoken proponent for increased ballot access for 3rd party candidates and numerous election law reforms which he believes would allow more voter control.[197] Referring to the federal government, Ron Paul has also stated that “The government shouldn’t be in the medical business.” He is also opposed to federal government flu inoculation programs.[198]  

Add a Comment
Back To The Dadabase

Parenting and Legalized Marijuana: A Glimpse into the Future

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

One year.

If/when marijuana becomes legalized, how will that affect parenting in our nation? Will America go to pot? Or are the overworked, stressed-out, anxiety-ridden parents better off filling the void with prescription anti-depressants?

I consider myself an evangelical Christian, a self-admitted health nut, and a law-abiding citizen. Here’s the twist: I am a proud cannabis activist. In other words, I openly support the full legalization of marijuana. Yet I’ve never in my life actually consumed the stuff.

If you’ve simply been reading the story headlines on MSN.com within the past couple of years, you may have noticed the growing number of articles talking about the further legalization of marijuana; especially as more and more states having been approving its use for medical reasons- like for cancer sufferers, for example.

The issue of legitimate marijuana use is a slippery slope, thanks to the fact that the plant happens to have plenty of undeniable medical purposes.

Having grown in up the Eighties during the prime time of “Just Say No” and the D.A.R.E. program, I believed that marijuana was a dangerous drug that wrecked peoples’ lives.

But after struggling with the knowledge that marijuana has been used by human civilization for over 5000 years and there has never been one documented overdose, yet thousands die every year in America from prescription drugs, even aspirin, I figured something might be fishy about the stigma of pot.

Another thing that bothered me is that we all can easily think of 5 people we personally know who have a DUI for alcohol, but none of us can name just one person who has a DUI for marijuana alone.

So I spent a couple of months researching to find out why marijuana is actually illegal. I posted my findings on my personal blog, NickShell.com, which also hosts  ”Dad from Day One,” the blog that spun off to become The Dadabase.

In October 2009, I published a 10 part series called “The Cannabis Conspiracy.” Its most popular segment, The Funny Thing About Marinol, has received over 17,000 hits; it is currently the 3rd most popular blog post of my 550+ posts on NickShell.com.

Marijuana possession may land you a life sentence in prison, whereas murder or rape often does not; yet the mysterious cannabis plant is quite intriguing to us, especially on the Internet where people can read about it privately.

We laughed at the pot brownies scene in Transformers 2, yet condemned Michael Phelps when he celebrated his Olympic victory with a bong hit. Americans have a weird relationship with marijuana. We know in our hearts it’s just a medicinal plant, but we continue to allow good (non-famous) people to be arrested over it; and force cancer sufferers to live without it, in many of our states.

That just doesn’t sound very Christian to me.

Based on how much actual knowledge we know about marijuana now, as compared to even 20 years ago, I am convinced it’s only a matter of time (maybe 10 years?) before it’s legal again. (It was legal from the beginning of time… until 1937.)

A lot of it comes down to a changing public perception, especially within recent years as the taboo of it has tremendously faded. Obviously, I don’t fear writing about my pro-marijuana stance here on Parents.com. It’s not something I felt the need to clear by my editors first. But a decade ago, it might have been different.

Honestly, is this even a controversial topic or am I simply preaching to the choir? I don’t know; but I do at least want to initiate the conversation.

So let’s imagine a world where anyone 21 or older can go to the store and buy a box of joints or just grow the stuff in their backyard.

Does that mean parents start abusing or abandoning their kids? Does the entire country become violent and/or unmotivated? Or is it scarier to think about the fact that an estimated 2 million Americans smoke marijuana every day? Obviously a good number of them are parents.

As a parent, I refuse to be involved in illegal activity. After all, marijuana is dangerous… because it’s illegal to obtain. But if it wasn’t illegal, then it’d be… a safe, natural relaxer that has been never proven to give anyone cancer; much less kill them or even cause someone to get a DUI.

Pour yourself a glass of wine and think about that one.

Image (top): Medical marijuana via Shutterstock.

Image (bottom): Cannabis background via Shutterstock.

Add a Comment
Back To The Dadabase

Come Hell or High Water (or Both)

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Ten months.

Exactly five years ago this very moment, on October 5th, 2006, I met my wife. And that’s exactly what I intended to write about today. I was going to explore how differently our lives would be today if that fateful night at a taping of a CMT show never brought us together and ultimately, how Jack would not be here today as the star of The Dadabase.

But instead, I’m psychologically processing the fact that this is a picture of our recently water damaged living room in our townhouse which we are supposed to be moving back into this weekend. God bless this mess:

And this is actually one of the tamest pictures. The rest are saved on a friend’s digital camera to send to our insurance company, State Farm. But I don’t have the right cord to upload them to my laptop tonight.

Truly, I am the kind of person who avoids drama at all costs. Some people are wired for it, like the people on Facebook who seem to constantly attract romantic partners who are destined to cheat on them. But not me. I duck out every chance I get when it comes to the mindset “why does it always rain on me?”.

Is it “the blogger’s curse” that I am experiencing?

In a cosmic effort to make sure I always have something interesting and relevant to say, must I feel compelled to move back to my hometown in Alabama only to move back so that I can learn to manage my finances better, then literally on the move back to Nashville have one of our cars break down so that we have to buy a new car, only to find that a few days after our renters moved out of our townhouse, that there was a loose washer on the upstairs toilet, causing my thousands of dollars worth of water damage?

Thank God our insurance policy was written up right before this happened and that our deductible is only $500. That goes well with the unexpected $250 I had to pay for two new tires on my car last week because I evidently ran over two nails in the road and the day of work missed last week when my wife was sick.

I get it that that trying times like these only mold us into more mature versions of ourselves. And I totally I am obsessed now with budgeting and saving as much money as I possibly can in every way. So really, I’m over this whole “life lessons” thing for a while. I would love a mental break.

We (jokingly?) said to each other if only pot were legal, tonight would be the night to try it. But then again, we’ve said that inside joke to each other more times than we can remember, throughout all the other challenges we have faced during these past few months.

In this moment, I am not seeking life lessons of self improvement and maturity. I’ll settle for mediocre and immature. Maybe I should start watching reruns of Two and a Half Men.

We are strong and we will soldier on. We may be lost and holding hands, but we’ll find out way out of this mess. It helps that Tom Petty’s song “I Won’t Back Down” has been playing on repeat in my head all day. (“You can stand me up at the gates of Hell but I won’t back down.”) My wife is taking this so much better than she should and I think she’s dealing with it slightly better than me. I am so blessed to have her and our son.

Our house will be repaired with enough (insurance) money; hopefully. But my wife and son are beyond priceless. Thank God for them.

*Editor’s note: I am letting my wife sleep instead of making her correct today’s Dadabase post; considering the circumstances. So do me a favor, leave me a comment for any typos or punctuation errors that you find and I’ll take care of them. Thanks!

Add a Comment
Back To The Dadabase

If the Dadabase were a Movie

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Nine months.

I consider myself a “good movie connoisseur.” Because I know the criteria for what makes for a good movie, I have cleverly avoided dozens of lame movies during my lifetime.  If I’m going to invest 90 minutes or more of my life to a movie, it better be worth it.

When I watch a movie, it’s not simply a passive event.  For me, it’s a deeply involved event where I am eager to mentally bookmark subtle symbolism, look for nostalgic familiarity, and decide what deep message about life the movie is trying to convey.  A few prime examples of flawless movies that fit this criteria are Garden State, (500) Days of Summer, Away We Go and Sideways.

Combine my passion for good movies with my love for writing and that means it’s only natural for me to see different stages of my life as their own movie in which I am the narrator.  Never has my life been more of its own movie since I found out I was going to be a dad.  Since April 2009, my life really has been documented on a nearly daily basis, as it pertains to parenthood.

I view this Dadabase of my life as a movie and I imagine how that movie would play out.

As far as who would play me, I have to think back to all the actors that people have told me I remind them of. Coincidentally, my doppledangers all happen to be Jewish and right around the same frame and height (5′ 9″) as me: Paul Rudd, David Arquette, Don Adams/Inspector Gadget, Bronson Pinchot (played Balki on “Perfect Strangers,”) Shia LaBeouf, and brothers Fred and Ben Savage.  But I would ultimately cast the role to Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the best overall and most relevant fit.

Whereas I evidently resemble a plethora of 5’9″ Jewish actors, I can’t say that my wife has an obvious look-alike. But in the likeness of how Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, as well as, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, have co-starred in multiple movies, I would cast Zooey Deschanel as my wife; reuniting the main characters of (500) Days of Summer. (Pictured below.)

Think of how every recent comic book-turned-movie starts out; as the opening credits are super-imposed over pages of the actual comic book.  For The Dadabase movie, “Sheep Go to Heaven” by Cake would play as the opening song, as you would see just my hands typing on a MacBook; overshadowed by actual shots of older blogs I have written.

This opening scene would span from April 2009 (when I first decided that I officially wanted to “become a writer”) until a year later (when we found out we were going to have a baby).  It was during that time that I was trying to find my niche, as a writer.  I tried specializing in health blogs (I found the cure for eczema, being healed of my own); writing a series on manhood and marriage, recaps of The Bachelor,  and even a series which questioned why marijuana is an illegal drug, from the perspective of a guy who has never himself used it, but believes it should be legalized.

But it wasn’t until I decided to become the first guy in history to regularly and publicly document my thoughts as a dad, starting from the moment my wife and I went public with the pregnancy, that my writings gained a broad and consistent following.

That idea itself would be the whole “point” of the movie: that I found my purpose and my niche, simply by becoming a dad.

All the hundreds of blog posts I had written (nearly 500) before fatherhood had simply prepared me to find my voice as a writer and as a dude.

The Dadabase movie would include several subplots, like the move to Alabama, but ultimately, it would sort of be like The Social Network meets Marley and Me meets Mr. Belvedere.

Oh, and here’s one of my favorite parts about planning this imaginary movie: the movie poster. A story I never shared before on The Dadabase is that when my son Jack was a newborn and my wife and I were unemployed, at the house all day with him, when my wife was asleep I often found myself in the predicament of a full bladder but little time or opportunity to relieve myself because my arms were literally full as I held my son.

So I learned that I was able to carefully hold him in one arm while taking care of business with the other.  Therefore, the movie poster would simply show Joseph Gordon-Levitt from the back, in front of a toilet, holding a baby who is watching the water splash down below.

The Dadabase.  The movie.  Coming Fall 2012.

(Or easily, never.)

Add a Comment
Back To The Dadabase