Cannabis, A Lifelong Friend

Laura Valdez


collage by Ruben Marquez.

Just Call My Name and I'll Be There. 

All my life I have been involved with cannabis whether I was aware of it or not. Throughout the summers of my childhood I can recall the distinctive smell of past bowls smoked that would cling to the goodwill couches at my older cousin's west side apartment as she would watch my sisters and I. Or how on holidays my garage would be saturated with the stench of a freshly smoked spliff conveniently before my dad and my uncles would scarf down a full plate of food and five tamales as an after dinner snack.

I was completely unaware of what cannabis was or what impact it would have on my life until I was in high school. The first time I smoked cannabis was with my best friend at the time, her shitty wannabe BMX boyfriend and his crust punk friends. Let's just say I got completely stoned off three hits of a skimpy joint and had a mini panic attack because I was around way too many teenage dudebros who were talking about how I wasn't "holding it in"  and how the Chocolate Rain kid was the best thing on the internet.

Even though that experience was traumatic for me, something had ignited the curiosity to learn more about cannabis and how it would effect my mood, as well as my experiences with others. Throughout most of my high school years my main source of cannabis would be from boys who would smoke me out only because they thought I was cute. Needless to say, most experiences with those people would either be so cringe worthy I would never see them again or the beginning of an extremely fun teenage romance. However, when I had the chance to score some bud on my own, I would have a total blast with my girl friends. We would gather together, go to shitty garage rock shows, light up a joint, dance around the sticky dancefloor, try to get someone to snag us a beer, go on a midnight Whataburger run, and go home. 

Cannabis has always been the silent mediator of my life. I know that may sound crazy, but cannabis is truly an extension of myself. When I was feeling unsure about a person I was dating, I would head to the backyard and light up a bowl and see where my thoughts took me. Was this the person for me? Did I really like them or liked the idea of them? If I am having doubts about myself; I'll pack a PAX bowl, take a long shower, do my 10 step k-beauty routine and watch some Queer Eye and just let me sit with myself and the Fab Five and realize that life is full of so much beauty we just need to open our eyes to see it. 

 I've had many arguments with my parents about cannabis and about how it's not "ladylike" for a women to be involved with it if she respected herself. I tend to disagree. If a women is not supposed to be involved with cannabis, why is the plant put here for us to use? Cannabis is 100% natural, has no long term side effects and helps people without harming them (unlike big pharma *cough cough*). Femmes and women are so innovated in the way that we view cannabis and have been able to turn it into an essential part of our lives. Whether it be for menstrual problems, beauty productsreading materials, or dismantling the white dudebro culture that comes along with the plant,  I can always count on cannabis to be a part of me and my womanhood until the end.  

 - Laura

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