Mothers Gone to Pot?

Meet a group of moms who escape stress through legal use of medical marijuana.
8:06 | 07/19/13

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Transcript for Mothers Gone to Pot?
Here are two words you think never should go together, mothers and marijuana, but our next story might have you seeing the combination in a whole new way. A group of put-together women, some who say their lives were falling apart with anxiety, until they started lighting up to escape the stress. And their children have said it's made them even better mothers. So start tweeting. You're not going to be on the fence about these soccer moms turned so-called stoner moms. On a recent evening at a home in beverly hills, a few moms gathered to enjoy food, friendship and a few laughs, I may not know how to cook you I do garnish incredibly well. Reporter: But this was no ordinary potluck party. Before the main course, a special hors d'oeuvre -- the hostess busts out a mason jar full of homegrown marijuana, grinds up a big bud and fires up a state-of-the-art device called a vaporizer and then passes around the balloon bag full of powerful pot to her dinner guests. Vap adviser time. Reporter: Welcome to the beverly hills cannabis club. Your hostess, the it has a little bit of cannabis infused olive oil. Reporter: The hostess, the self-proclaimed "martha stewart of marijuana," cheryl shuman. Cannabis not only made me a better mom. Cannabis made me a better human being. Reporter: Cannabis made you a better mom? Absolutely. Yes. Absolutely. Reporter: So how did this all come to be? Flash back ten years. Cheryl was a married mother of two and a successful optician to the stars. Not exactly a jeff spicoli wannabe. I'm so wasted. Reporter: What was your attitude toward pot originally? I was one of those goody-two shoes girls. I thought they were all losers and stoners. Reporter: But when her marriage fell apart, she says her entire life slipped out of focus. I was just completely disabled by a crippling depression, a crippling anxiety disorder. Reporter: Cheryl needed an escape. She tried prescription drugs, but popping prozac to get up and xanax to come down every day felt more like a prison than a panacea. I went from being a very active mom to pretty much being bedridden. So one day I was at my therapist's office, and I told him, I said, "please help me get my life back." And one day he said, "lady --" it was kind of like, "i'm tired of hearing about this." And he said, "you need to smoke a joint." Reporter: Are you serious? I'm dead serious. And I looked at him and -- Reporter: You need to smoke a joint? in utter disbelief, cheryl says she watched as her own shrink rolled her a joint. I felt kind of stupid 'cause I was 36 years old and never smoked a joint. I wasn't even sure how to do it, right. Reporter: Right. You know, so I took a hit off of it. And literally for the first time in probably eight, nine months i was smiling and happy, and I was like, "this is really great" but -- Reporter: Critics might say, "yes, you were high." I was definitely medicated. But I will tell you that I felt better having two puffs of cannabis at that time than I had ever had any kind of results with pharmaceuticals. Reporter: Cheryl's daughter, aimee, agrees. I felt like my mom was checked out on prescription pills. It was like living with a zombie. But when she would smoke, she was smiling. She was connecting with us. It felt like we had our mom back. Reporter: So you didn't feel like you had your mom back, an impaired mom or -- no, no, no, no. Uh-uh. Reporter: Now, cheryl has recruited fellow marijuana moms like simmi, diane and catherine to come out of the closet and help in her cannabis crusade. It's like out of the closet. It's my body, my choice, how i choose to medicate. Reporter: But you guys aren't arguing that it's healthy. I mean it's not good for you to -- I disagree. Absolutely it is. It's absolutely -- if it was discovered today, it would be a super food. Reporter: Before medical marijuana, they say they felt trapped in a fog of stress and anxiety. Simmi dhillon says just one joint helped her escape a world of pain and pills. Her husband, a police officer, was stunned, but not for the reason you might think. He's like, "oh, my god. My wife is back." I was a completely different human being for seven years. Looking back now, I should not have been driving. Should not have been caring for my child. Now I am completely connected to him. Reporter: Weed-smoking women have come a long way, baby, from the refer madness to dope-dealing housewives. Now, medical marijuana is legal in 18 states. But parenting and pot? That's still taboo. So what would all of you say to people who think out there, "you've gotta be kiddin' me." I mean, you know, these ladies are -- I'm gonna tell it from the point of view of my 10-year-old child. I'm going to medicate. When I'm in pain, I'm in bed for days. I don't talk. I'm miserable. My son will come up to me and say, "mom, it's time to medicate." Go get some cannabis. Come back to us. That's what I tell you. If your 10-year-old child is okay with it, I think adults should be okay with it. Reporter: But do the kids see them as role models? Well, diane, has two boys, 20 and 22. One started using before she did. The other steers clear, but understands why she uses pot. Aimee, 32, who has watched her mother medicate for the last decade just started hitting the vaporizer three weeks ago. But you've heard the arguments, which is that marijuana is the gateway drug. Yes, I've heard that it's a gateway drug. But I define it as my exit drug, because compared to what I was doing before, wow. I'm a lot less stoned now. You know, I have to admit, i was a skeptic too. You know, I would have been one of those momsching this right now and said, that woman's out of her mind. It's up to the person to be a responsible parent. Reporter: Being responsible also means being healthy. And many of these moms choose to grow their own marijuana. This is cheryl at her pot farm where she harvests her thc with tlc, right next to the tomatoes and the zucchini. You'll notice these moms use the phrase "medicate," not "get stoned." They claim they don't get so baked that they can't care for their children, drive safely, work a demanding job or function during, say, a network news interview. Have any of you guys done any pot today? Right before I sat down. Coming over here I was really tense, really nervous and so literally just one inhale. Reporter: Just one inhale? Just one -- it's instant. -- Inhale. That was it. I mean as soon as she medicates, instant results. Calm, cool, collected, smiling. Reporter: We did witness a small case of the giggles later that evening at cheryl's home at that potluck party where chef david schanhals prepared a gourmet meal with the help of that special ingredient. But if this party were a bake sale, cheryl would be in big trouble. Marijuana is still an illegal narcotic in the eyes of the federal government. Are you ever afraid, given the fact that you grow it and it's legal in california but illegal federally. Every single time I do an interview I get nervous because I wonder, "is this gonna be the day that the federal government is gonna make an example out of me and throw me in jail?" It's scary. Reporter: Super scary when she considers recent headlines. Prosecutors say this mother of three is no different than a columbian drug lord. Reporter: What do you hope to change about the way america looks at this plant? Well, I remember thinking, you know, why are you going to go on national television and let everyone know that you smoke pot?" And then it's like, "you know what? It's because it's the right thing to do." I want to be able to do something that, you know, makes a difference in people's lives. So is it outrageous or their own businessment let us know on twitter using the #abc2020. We'll be right back.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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