When the TODAY Show published an article about “Marijuana Moms” on Monday, the backlash was swift.
The article, which focused heavily on suburban, middle-class, white moms who use marijuana, drew accusations of “hypocrisy” and “white privilege” from Twitter users.
Kaycee Bawdon, a mother of four and one of the women interviewed in the story, said it’s possible to be a great parent while smoking marijuana. She lives in California where recreational marijuana use is legal.
"Mommy needs a joint just as much as mommy needs a glass of wine,'' Bawdon told TODAY. "You can still be a good parent and use marijuana at the same time."
One user claiming to be a “Marijuana Mom” said she was aware of the racial disparities.
African-Americans and whites use marijuana at similar rates, but African-Americans were roughly four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession in 2010, the New York Times reported.
In June, Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of second-degree manslaughter after shooting Philando Castile, a black man, during a routine traffic stop. Castile had an open carry permit for a gun and informed the officer he was carrying one.
Within seven seconds of informing Yanez, Castile was shot. Castile’s girlfriend was in the passenger’s seat while her 4-year-old daughter was in the back seat.
Yanez reportedly told investigators that the smell of marijuana made him fear for his life.
"And I thought if he’s, if he has the, the guts and the audacity to smoke marijuana in front of the five year old girl and risk her lungs and risk her life by giving her secondhand smoke and the front seat passenger doing the same thing then what, what care does he give about me,” Yanez told investigators, according to The Washington Post. “And, I let off the rounds and then after the rounds were off, the little girl was screaming."
Twitter users were quick to draw comparisons between the two.