“Modern Family” Normalizes Cannabis Use in Most Recent Episode

Published on April 8, 2016, By Julie Godard

Marijuana News

You may or may not have seen the most recent episode of the hit TV show Modern Family, but if you live in a legal state, you may have tried edibles. MassRoots saw the episode entitled “The Party,” which referred to (spoiler alert) a party Claire and Jay and Cam and Mitch’s teenage boys conspired to throw in order to enhance their images in the eyes of two foreign exchange students from Portugal. The episode is unique in its real life presentation of consuming edibles; Claire and Gloria are off to an evening at the spa, while Mitch and Phil are going to see the latest “Star Wars/Star Trek” type movie in the theaters (with only other men, as Claire points out). While in line at the theater, a business associate of Phil’s gives the men some gummy bears to eat which are cannabis edibles. Neither Phil nor Mitch have ever smoked pot or consumed marijuana in any form, but they figure what the heck – they’re just going to a movie. They eat the gummy bears and then are notified (as are Claire and Gloria) that the smoke alarm at Claire and Phil’s house has gone off. After calls to dishonest teenagers, the four return to the house to deal with a suspected party situation.

Once at the house (accessed by Über), the cannabis gummy bears kick in for Phil and Mitch, leaving them barely able to handle the parenting situation they find themselves in when Claire insists they all search the house for party-goers. While it’s purposely unclear whether the show is encouraging or discouraging cannabis use, it is clear that cannabis use has become much more mainstream and acceptable in modern families today. Instead of portraying cannabis use in a negative light, the show simply integrates it into the everyday activities of most families: attending movies and trying to keep their teenagers on the straight and narrow most of the time.

It’s worth note that, when the high Mitch and Phil find the party kids in an upstairs room gathered around a keg, they decide to take the path of least resistance, and proceed to ignore the kids and not ruin the party for their sons. Whether or not this is a decision they would have made sans gummy bears is unknown, however Phil’s speech after the party is discovered and the Luke and Manny get in trouble is touching. Phil states that everyone should just relax, as the parents sit in a room together, trying to figure out where they have failed as parents. Phil insists that they are all good parents, and that their kids (the until now above suspicion Manny, and the headed for delinquency Luke) are basically good kids. He reassures the whole room that nothing is happening that is out of the ordinary for teenagers, and he’s right. After all, the adults have consumed cannabis, not the underage teenagers.

Both Mitch and Phil act a bit out of the ordinary, and Jay notes that they are high at the end of the episode, but nothing really comes of it. Claire does not leave Phil because of cannabis gummy bears, and Mitch does not go insane as a result of trying edibles for the first time. The message here is that cannabis has become a part of our reality, and a part of the reality of many adults of legal age – why shouldn’t Mitch and Phil eat some gummy bears and go see some spectacular Hollywood movie effects? Because they are parents? Because they might not find their way home? No – they find their way back to house and family, and while they might not have been as supportive as Claire would have liked in punishing Luke and Manny, they have done nothing criminal, nothing dangerous, and nothing that will affect their children for the rest of their lives – except maybe in a positive way since Phil simply feels love and compassion for his entire modern family in the age of cannabis. The normalization of cannabis edibles consumption has finally reached mainstream America.

This post was originally published on April 8, 2016, it was updated on March 15, 2017.

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