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Marijuana and Watching TV with Your Kids


Any parent who has spent a considerable amount of time watching the TV programs liked by their children has likely come to the same conclusion: what kids watch is pretty much garbage.

I know that is a broad generalization, but it’s not far off the mark for most reading this. Children have less-developed brains and are still mainly in learning mode, so what they watch is usually either chocked-full of information adults already know (ex. Super Why), or it is totally devoid of any educational purpose whatsoever and is basically an amalgamation of silly and basic jokes (ex. SpongeBob Squarepants).

On the flip side, however, many adult cannabis users have turned some children’s shows into cult classics (ex. Adventure Time). I remember watching Teletubbies at around age 17. Sober, it was borderline unintelligible. But when my friends and I would smoke a joint, it suddenly became interesting. I could watch 5 minutes of it without wanting to run screaming from the room. It was still the same garbage show, but something about the colors, the weird characters and the way the Teletubbies interacted with very basic language drew my attention.

This is a phenomenon that an untold number of parents have found when watching TV with their kids after consuming cannabis – the parents consuming the cannabis, not the kids. It is also a subject studied in a new survey by the NYC-based media and brand consultancy Miner and Co. Studio.

The survey covered parents who consume cannabis in states where it is legal and have kids under the age of 18. Nearly 80% of them said they consume cannabis at least occasionally when preparing to watch TV with their kids. From the survey:

They [parents] feel it improves the time they spend watching TV as a family, with 8 of 10 saying:

  • Consuming cannabis makes watching their kids’ TV shows with them more enjoyable
  • They spend more time watching their kids’ TV shows with them when they’ve been consuming cannabis
  • They’re more engaged discussing their kids’ TV shows with them when they’ve been consuming cannabis

The survey shows that adults are more engaged with TV programs on the whole when using cannabis, but instead of fulfilling the stereotype of the “zoned-out stoner” who melds with the couch and doesn’t really follow along with the course of the TV program, those surveyed found themselves more engaged with the show itself when under the influence of cannabis.

“The stoner stereotype is so prevalent and persistent in TV and Media that it continues to stigmatize those for whom cannabis is part of their active and healthful lifestyle,” said Robert Miner, President of Miner & Co. Studio. “This is especially true for Cannabis Consuming Parents who feel that cannabis plays a positive role in their lives and in some ways, improves their parenting and time spent with their families – including watching TV. They find themselves better able to put aside the impatience that is such an entrenched part of today’s adult experience and take the time to relax and bond with their kids.”