If anyone could use a joint, it’s probably your mom.
And no, that’s not a dig at you, or your mother. It’s actually a big part of the premise of a new web series called Cannabis Moms Club. The show premiered on Elizabeth Banks’ comedy platform, WhoHaha, late last month, and is already earning heavy praise for its avant-garde approach.
The subject matter of the five-episode mini-series is simple, yet salacious (which is kind of the whole point). After discovering that they all secretly consume cannabis – or, in some cases, have always been curious about it – a group of five mothers make marijuana a part of their formerly mundane hangouts. The results are – inevitably – hilarious, as creators Kai Collins and Deena Adar of Quiet Duke Productions weave together a previously unexplored and evidently hysterical combination of mom and marijuana humor that hits all the right notes.
Civilized recently had a chance to chat with some of the women behind the series about what inspired its content – and why it’s so unheard of.
For their part, Collins and Adar were hoping to put a magnifying glass up to the double standards endured by moms from all walks of life.
“It seems like there’s a lot of platforms out there today for moms to feel bad about themselves and feel judged,” said Adar, herself a mother of two.
It was, in fact, one post in particular from an online "mommy blog" that largely inspired the series, claim the comedic duo. The wheels started turning after they stumbled upon an image of a mom holding a wine glass with the caption “It’s just been one of those days - are you with me mommas?", flooded with expressions of support from other moms.
“For us, it just seemed odd that drinking was so socially acceptable on every platform, but marijuana wasn’t… and it kind of grew from there,” said Adar.
She says she knows many moms on a slew of mood medications whose television commercials would “take five minutes to tell you all the potential side effects, including death or heart attack” – a hypocrisy addressed in the series.
Collins added: “That struggle to maintain your sense of identity while also being the world’s best parent and 100 per cent organically awesome… was a really interesting topic to explore.”
And, as it turns out, a highly relatable one. The pair said they immediately felt as though they were “onto something” once they assembled the cast and started filming. The media attention and Twitter tributes that have followed the show’s debut in the DailyMotion.com player seem to confirm that belief.
“I think it says that there’s an audience, that there’s a demographic that wants to talk about this, that the secret’s out [about moms and marijuana],” said Adar.
“There’s a lot of relatability in the text. As moms, there’s a lot of pressure because we’re responsible for other humans’ lives, so there all this pressure to say the right thing, do the right thing, and we’re not perfect people. We’re still humans, and I think we lose sight of that when we have our own children.”
Showing moms as human beings – who, like many other people, enjoy a toke every now and again – is a big part of the show’s bottom line. It’s certainly what attracted Danielle Weeks, who plays the initially reluctant Kim.
“I liked the idea of moms getting together and, for lack of a better phrase, being real,” said Weeks, the mother of a four-year-old. “Mothers are probably the most judged demographic out there. I can’t open up my phone to look at anything without seeing an article about how to be a good mom… It’s a barrage.”
It’s a "nit-picky" culture to which shows like Cannabis Moms Club are flipping the bird, believes Weeks.
“Since becoming a mom, I’m really aware of the thin line that I think we sort have to go on here. There’s not a lot of room to screw up… [Cannabis Moms Club] is sort of asking, ‘what does it mean to screw up? What is the perfect mom?’ Moms can be human.”
Shannon Nelson, who plays the role of Caroline, hopes the series will help elevate the cannabis conversation to new heights – particularly among demographics who don’t tend to be very open about it. This will have to take place after audiences stop giggling, of course.
“[The main goal] is laughter, but the second part of it is helping in every way possible to destigmatize this,” said Nelson. “The less mystery there is around [moms smoking cannabis], the less salacious it seems, then the more people who really need to use it or want to use it for fun can step out of the shadows.”
Adar and Collins are hoping to secure a second season for the show, but nothing is set in stone yet.
“We would love to do a second season and we’re hoping the momentum continues,” said Adar. “We’ve already started brainstorming a bunch of ideas in talking about expanding the series…and as long as people keep watching and sharing, it’s going to happen.”
Banner Image: From Left to Right - Danielle Weeks, Shannon Nelson, Kai Collins, Staci Lawrence, Paula Christensen