Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Robocop returns

Once upon a time when I was a teacher at a private school, I busted some kids for possession of marijuana on the last day of school. The kids were 13 years old. I saw one pass the bag to the other, the pass-er trying to be smooth and the pass-ee looking completely nervous and very paranoid with a teacher in close proximity (with good reason). I brought them to the office and interrupted the last day staff meeting to get the principal. I was sent back to "duty" (monitoring the remaining kiddos) without being involved in the office at all...and I couldn't help but notice how quickly they were out of there and how it was never mentioned again. Later that night at the staff party, I was repeatedly teased for busting them. Some of the other teachers dubbed me "Robocop" and said I needed to lighten up, that if I didn't want the stash I should have just passed it along to someone who did...
I guess you are getting part of the picture as to why I didn't fit in there.

Here I am years later, and I'm contemplating my Robocop days all over again thanks to a very relaxed neighbor. For the past several days, the smell of marijuana comes strongly wafting into our house through open windows and doors. I didn't smell this much pot in The Netherlands, and it was legal there. I suppose by my self-righteous tone you can tell that I've never smoked it (or even a cigarette for that matter; I'm such a naive little goodie two-shoes). While neighbors on both sides of us have teenage boys, I am no one to parent their kids (heck, it might be the parents smoking for all I know). If I can smell it over here, I know they can smell it over there. It must be fine with them, so why do I care? Contrary to the nickname, it's not the law-breaking that bothers me. I cared when I was a teacher because I cared about those young kids and I care now because I care about my own young kids. I care because the insulation in this house is poor and the insulation in the hastily built addition is nihl. That means that even with all the windows and doors shut (as they are at night), the smell is very strong in the back of the house where baby Stephanie sleeps. The smell is strong enough to make me feel a bit dizzy and vaguely nauseous...so what does that mean for her? She's only 10 months old! I just don't see any good way to handle this. I can't exactly go knocking on doors of the neighbors and ask them about their drug habits, much less make requests they alter them, but seriously, this is not good. Suggestions, anyone? Or maybe if anyone knows something more concrete about the effects of marijuana, could you inform me? Do you have to be the smoker to feel the effects, meaning the second-hand smoke shouldn't be too bad for others? I've been operating under the assumption that it's just like anything else that gets smoked and therefore isn't good for anyone to inhale it, but maybe this isn't so? I think I'll call our doctor in the morning to ask.

I just wish the neighbor(s?) would smoke in their own home. I don't mind them doing it over there, but why do we have to smell it over here?

5 comments:

Karly said...

Did you get a chance to call the doctor?? I don't know for a fact, but would think that there would be effects from second hand smoke...please keep us updated!!

Anonymous said...

Easy, peasy. When you smell pot, call the cops and say that you smell smoke strongly and are worried that your neighbor's house or garden might be smoldering. However, nobody appears to be home. Could they please come and investigate? Note that pot possession (small amounts) isn't a felony, so they will just get off with a verbal warning. You haven't told the cops that it was pot, so the neighbors can't complain that you busted them...and if it is the neighbor's kids, it is probably a good bet that they won't be smoking near your house again. Given all the Burning Bans within city limits, that is the best way to get a WA cop's attention. Funny, Tony never smelled pot before (drug use in Guate was unheard of when he was young) so when we were going through NL, he was 'what is that weird smell?....' :-)
P.S. It's bad for people to breath smoke. Doesn't matter if it is cigerette smoke, burning leaves, combustion fumes, smog, pot -- all is bad and can cause or aggravate respiratory problems.

Meghan said...

I like Anonymous' recommendation. I think you have every right to be concerned, especially when it comes to your kiddos! Don't worry about gaining robocop status again - your goody-2-shoes status is something to be proud of!

The only thing I can say to try to calm you in the mean time is remind you babies are very resilient - much more so than adults. Also, I remember you are particularly sensitive to smoke. You showered after going to the leaf and you always wiggled your nose around smokers. Stephanie is your little girl so she might be just as sensitive as you are but she might also have a bit of Markus in her :-)

Much love and strength vibes being sent your way!

Karly said...

I completely love Anonymous's suggestion!! Let us know how it goes...

Christine said...

Great idea - but maybe call the fire service and hope the ******* get soaked by a power hose :)