As individuals we are constantly faced with making choices. As parents, we are faced with making choices that not only affect us, but our children also.

We choose a school hoping that it is suitable for our children and that it brings out the best in them, we choose what they are allowed to watch on TV, which computer games they play — and for how long. We help them choose their friends.

We also often choose — or have a substantial say in — which medicines they take when they are ill. We make these decisions with the wellbeing of the child uppermost in our hearts and minds. We make those decisions based on our beliefs.

When I was a child, it was the right thing to put DDT in our beds to get rid of bugs — and my father was a GP! My older sister suffered from asthma and the advice in those days was to send them to a seaside boarding school for the fresh air. I don’t think she ever got over it.

Of course, none of those things involved marijuana, but I think they still serves as a relevant parallels.

Resign?

When the story of PLP leader Marc Bean giving his three-year-old daughter ganja tea, I wrote this on my blog, Bermuda Blue:

“Is it a fair question to ask whether the Opposition leader, Marc Bean, should resign for admitting that he gave his three-year-old daughter marijuana even if he thought it was in the child’s best interests?

Is this a good example to follow? Is it the image the PLP wants to foster? Is this a vote winner?

I am sure the PLP and its supporters will pillory me for asking these questions, accusing me of being rabidly anti-PLP, and try to tarnish me with the ex-RG brush, and so on.

But as a parent, I have to pose these questions and ask if he is a Premier I could support.”

I have had time to reflect on my original questions and I absolutely do not condone the use of illegal drugs such as marijuana, so please do not jump on my bandwagon.

Mr Bean said that at the first opportunity he had with his daughter, who suffered from severe asthma, he took action and gave her ganja tea, which he said cured her. He believes that THC is not soluble in water and he admits he was a ‘full fledged’ Rastaman. It was his belief.

It was also 17 years ago. Was there as much evidence about the psychotic dangers of marijuana as there is today? I don’t know.

It appears that he broke the law, but presumably he did it because he truly believed it was a cure. Can I honestly say that if I thought it really was a cure and that nothing else was working that I would not follow the same course of action?

So when I asked: “But as a parent, I have to pose these questions and ask if he is a Premier I could support?” I have to say now that I am not sure.

However, change that question to: “But as a voter, I have to pose these questions and ask if he is a Premier I could support?”

The answer is no. Does that seem at odds with everything I have written? Maybe. But I would expect a politician to respect the laws they are there to amend and enact.

It’s tough being a parent and a politician, isn’t it? 

Jeremy Deacon runs public relations firm Deep Blue Communications and writes a blog Bermuda Blue http://jeremydeacon.wordpress.com