She's Rich! She's Thin! She's A...STONER!!!
The October issue of Marie Claire, in its Lifestyle Section, offers up a feature called “Stiletto Stoners,” about a gasp-inducing trend of professional women who smoke pot. The article cites information claiming that a reported 8 million women smoked pot last year.
Bitch, please. I KNOW 8 million women who smoked up in 2008, 7 million of whom did it at my apartment. There’s gotta be a million or two I haven’t met. That study is hooey.
Jezebel, Huffington Post, and the Today Show (video available at both Jezebel and HuffPost) have all covered the trend through the lens of the Marie Claire article, indicating that even if this isn’t really news, it at least boasts a certain novelty fascination, like that video of a rat trying to steal meat from a cheetah.
The first paragraph of the article wastes no time in emphasizing to us that Jennifer Pelham* (*not her real name) is rich, thin, educated, professionally successful, sexually attractive to her fiancé, and that we are supposed to regard all of these facts as surprising in light of her drug use:
Jennifer Pelham* kicks off her black Marc Jacobs pumps, slips out of her trim Theory blazer, and collapses on the couch. The 29-year-old corporate attorney for one of Manhattan's top law firms has just clocked another 12-hour day, and though it's over, she's having a hard time shaking off her frustrations. (A partner had eviscerated the contract she'd drafted, then left before Pelham had a chance to explain herself.) Still distracted, Pelham orders dinner—sushi, as usual—then reaches for a plastic orange prescription bottle standing on the corner of her coffee table alongside a glass pipe and blue Bic lighter, just as the cleaning lady left them. She twists off the cap, pinches off a piece of the fragrant green bud inside, gingerly places it in the bowl of the pipe, and lights up. Over the next 30 minutes, she takes three deep drags, enough to drown out the noise whirring in her head. Then she eats.
Unrelated note: I hope that Jennifer Pelham’s maid is stealing a hit or two when Jen’s off boffing the poor fool who gave her the “3-carat cushion-cut engagement ring.”
Jennifer, like the rest of the interviewed women, isn’t willing to disclose her puff-puff-passing identity to a major national magazine, and abhors the term “pothead” for its conjuring of “the blotto hippie teens of Dazed and Confused or the unemployed, out-of-shape schlubsters who are a staple of the Judd Apatow canon.” Debbie Schwartz offers up diet tips: lose 25 pounds while staying stoned by eating a healthy meal before toking. Gina Bridges likes a side of high with A) sex and B) dinner parties. All rich, all thin, all baked. Restrain your gasping. The Marie Claire set is blaaaaaaazed!
Can we please cut the shit and clear up some of the implied myths here?
Myth #1: Everyone who smokes pot is poor, just like everyone who smokes Newports and crack. If you’re not poor already, getting stoned will certainly make you poor.
An hourlong trip to any college campus in America that costs $30,000 a year or more will debunk this myth. As Jezebel points out: “Wow. Who would've thought that an expensive habit that lends itself well to introspective—albeit retarded—thoughts would popular amongst women with a little spending money and a lot on their minds?” Also, any teenager you know can hook you up with an eighth of ditch weed for $40 or less. Shit ain’t gonna send you to Brokeville.
Also, the sticky icky could just save our broke-ass economy: recent studies estimate that the underground pot industry generated $100 billion last year, and that if marijuana were legalized, it could generate $1 billion annually in California alone.
Myth #2: Pot makes you fat.
Debbie Schwartz’s mother told her that “people would lace pot with PCP and that I'd get hooked, or that I'd get the munchies and get fat." Interesting that the fear-mongering starts with addiction, and progresses quickly to body image. I mean, to a teenage girl, what’s the only place your parents can send you that’s scarier than rehab? Answer: fat camp.
Let’s drop a truth bomb. There are things in life that make you fat. Beer is one. Late-night pizza after a dozen beers is another. Pot is not. Just ask that girl I knew in college who gained 15 pounds in sheer beer weight senior year--after she quit smoking pot because she was afraid of the munchies. Pot doesn’t make you fat. YOU make you fat.
Myth #3: Girls don’t smoke pot. Girls who do are ungirlylike. And unmotivated. And fat.
Did anyone else notice how far this article went to underscore the fact that its heroine, Jennifer, was thin and sexually desirable? Her blazer is “trim.” She eats a ton of sushi. She has a gym membership; she’s “slim and athletic” and “ran three miles a day while in law school.” Jennifer is a Girly, Girly Girl. Because Marie Claire would never do an article on biker dykes getting high.
Somehow, American culture is fine with images of male potheads sitting on couches crunching on Doritos, but can’t quite wrap its head around, say, pretty college-educated girls who like to, say, hotbox their bathroom. No one has trouble believing that some career women get drunk sometimes, or pop Xanex or Vicodin or Ambien, to wind down. Why are we supposed to be agape that they’re blazed?
Myth #4: White people don’t smoke pot, because they know if they do, they’ll get arrested, like all those black and Latino gang members, and go to jail, where they all belong.
The Marie Claire article doesn’t actually cite all of its interviewees as white. But look at the names. Look at the careers. Look at the body images. Subliminally, this article is telling us that we should be shocked because these red-eyed, giggling career women are hot, wealthy, and white. And while they’re not willing to divulge their names, they are willing to divulge that they buy weed from coworkers, or at California pot clubs, and that they fudge drug tests with Ready Clean, and all to a national magazine. If they really thought that they could go to jail, would they do any of these things? No. Because they read the New York Times, and they know that while 1 in 9 adult black men is behind bars, only 1 in 355 white women is.
Myth #5: Pot gives you cancer. And you deserve it.
Even Marie Claire has the facts mostly straight on this one: there is no conclusive link between weed and cancer. Period.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Marie Claire.