Whether or not you’re a parent, you’ve probably heard of the wildly popular picture book called Go the F*** to Sleep by writer and illustrator Ricardo Cortes. But you may not have heard of his more recent picture book It’s Just a Plant: A Children’s Story of Marijuana. While it may sound like a joke, it’s actually a serious book. It teaches children that cannabis is a plant that adults can choose to use – or not – responsibly, and that it’s not for kids.
The book’s website says, “It’s Just a Plant is an illustrated children’s book about marijuana. It follows the journey of a young girl as she learns about the plant from a diverse cast of characters including her parents, a local farmer, a doctor, and a police officer.
Marijuana can be hard to talk about. Many parents have tried it, millions still use it, and most feel awkward about disclosing such histories (many duck the question), for fear that telling kids the truth might encourage them to experiment too. Meanwhile, the “drug facts” children learn in school can be more frightening than educational, blaming pot for everything from teenage pregnancy to terrorism. A child’s first awareness of drugs should come from a better source.”
And It’s Just a Plant is not the only cannabis-centered book for children. Among others, there’s If a Peacock Finds a Pot Leaf, “The first installment of educational children’s books about Peter the peacock starts when Peter is going for a walk in the forest and discovers a new leaf, he goes on to meet up with some helpful creatures who teach him the many benefits and uses of medical marijuana.”
And then there’s Stinky Steve the skunk. He’s the star of a series of eight children’s books about cannabis with names like Stinky Steve Explains Daddy’s Dabs and Stinky Steve Explains Grandma’s Growroom.
The one thing all these books have in common is a well-intentioned effort to educate children about cannabis use. And that can’t be a bad thing.