When MJ, Cap'n J, and Sunny D hit record for their podcast, they also light up a few joints.
"If you got 'em, smoke 'em, as always," the second host chimes in.
These college friends from Hialeah have long since traded dime bags for medical marijuana cards and textbooks for jobs and families. But even though they're using marijuana legally these days, they're still catching heat for doing it while raising children. Rather than hiding their habit, they decided to launch a podcast called Pot Smoking Moms.
"We decided we should get together to chat about parenting and trying to destigmatize cannabis use while parenting," Sunny D says.
The show is mostly composed of banter among the three women, who frequently slip into Spanish while discussing holiday preparations, stories of motherhood, and why they say cannabis has helped them become better parents. Occasionally, they also interview guest parents who talk about their own smoking. This year, the three plan to attend more events, including CannaFest SRQ in Sarasota April 4.
On a recent Saturday, the hosts were waiting to record their first episode for Season 2, which includes a weed-smoking mother from Naples who said finding a likeminded community of parents on her side of the state had been difficult.
"It's such a conservative, tight-knit community there," Cap'n J tells New Times. "We're hoping to find some people for her through this podcast."
The three women record in their homes, and Sunny D, who has a background in video production, edits the footage. Since the podcast's launch last year, they've released 13 episodes, which garner 50 to 100 listens per episode. But already their following is growing.
"We have Canadian listeners; we have people who follow us in California, Colorado, Arizona, Australia," MJ says. "Just recently, we had a listener in the Netherlands show up. We're surprised how it's reaching people."
Medical marijuana is legal in Florida, but employers are still allowed to maintain drug-free workplaces under state law. And although these women don't blaze up at work, they also wouldn't pass drug tests, which is why they use nicknames on the show.
MJ uses medical marijuana to deal with her glaucoma. Smoking regulates her eye pressure and doesn't cause some of the nasty side effects she experienced while taking pills. She believes the drug is in a transition phase, becoming less of the demon her Baby Boomer parents believed it to be, and more of the safe and natural alternative she has come to know.
"The more people get educated on marijuana, the more they realize, Oh, OK, it wasn't so bad after all," she says. "It's a huge generational gap. I think once it crosses and we're the older parents, it's going to be different."
Sunny D says as Latinas, they've faced an additional stigma for smoking marijuana.
"Having Cuban parents and Latin parents, especially being women, that's just not something they wanted us partaking in," she says.
"It's not very ladylike," Cap'n J adds.
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In their most recent episode, the women talked about their plans for New Year's Eve. These days, rather than going out, they're more content to have a pajama party with their kids or participate in the Spanish tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight. And in either case, they're less inclined to drink.
"You know, I can never get schwasted anymore and feel great the next day," Sunny D says of imbibing too much alcohol.
"That's why I smoke, man — you don't get hangovers," Cap'n J says.
"You just sleep better," Sunny D says.