Veteran Pot-Smoking Mom: Life Is Good
Catherine Hiller wants to normalize cannabis use
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2015 4:10 PM CDT
Catherine Hiller's been smoking the green for 50 years and counting.   (AP Photo/News Herald, Patti Blake)

(Newser) – For anyone claiming pot is a gateway drug that will lead to a gradual downward spiral, Catherine Hiller has one word for you: nope. At least not for Hiller, a 68-year-old mother of three who recently penned the book Just Say Yes: A Marijuana Memoir, in which she describes her nearly daily pot habit and how, as the New York Times puts it, "her life turned out nicely." "I wanted to show people that smoking marijuana did not make me hit rock bottom," she tells the paper. "My story is the story of so many people who use each day. And so what? What's the issue? What will it lead to?" In Hiller's case, it's led to the same dealer for 35 years (she depicts her interactions with him in a March Times piece adapted from her book) and a determination to make marijuana use seem "completely normal."

"I think it's absurd that anyone would get stopped for this," she tells the Times. "Whatever I can do to legalize it, I will." She mentions to the newspaper she's smoked pretty much every day for the past half-century, save for her three pregnancies and nursing periods, as well as a three-year break when she first met her current husband; she adds she made it a point to not smoke around her kids but did present them with a joint when they turned 18. Hiller hopes to bring the "secret smokers" out of the woodwork with her book and pro-pot campaign, which you can read more about on her website. "It's hard for people to change their mind-set after so many years," she tells the Times. "But look at marriage equality and how that happened so fast. That was unheard-of five years ago." (Read her entire essay in the Times, as well as what she divulged about her dealer.)
 

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