Recently I was scrolling through my Kindle, finding Cannabis related books in order to further my education. I bought my kindle close to 10 years ago, and back then, there were hardly ANY books about Cannabis. Nowadays, every Tom, Dick, and Harry thinks they can write a book about it. The truth is, most of these people are jumping on a bandwagon. We are living through the commercialization of the Cannabis industry. What we feared is already happening. The industry has already been taken over by white boys hitting dabs in product shirts trying to tell US how to smoke. We are already watching countless Cannabis POC social media pages get shut down, while blonde white girls get thousands of views for smoking joints while frolicking through midwestern fields.
A simple scroll through my Kindle App store produced the hardest cringe at what is only described as some white girls bullshit. “A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis: Using Marijuana to Feel Better, Look Better, Sleep Better, and Get High Like a Lady” by Nikki Furrer. The loud, audible sigh I let out after reading that title, complete with a semi-tan, brunette illustration that looks NOTHING like her mother or any of the older women who supposedly inspired her to write this. A self proclaimed cannabis enthusiast, she openly admits to jumping on the bandwagon and moving to Colorado. It’s cute of course, the repackaging of an illegal drug into a Pinterest worthy pastime. But really, it’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous to think that in 2018, when the book was published, someone like Nikki was able to monetize in the cannabis industry while enforcing negative gender roles. Especially when getting high IS a lady, and her name is Mary Jane.
For many women, smoking cannabis is an escape from their daily lives. A way to rid themselves of the gender roles they are burdened with all day. Books like “A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis” not only enforce these gender roles but terms like “Get High Like a Lady” are damaging to many communities. Getting high isn’t some cosmetic procedure, for a lot of people it’s a way to heal. For many POC “getting high like a lady” isn’t an option. Not when you are still “getting high like a criminal” according to your county, or your state. White girls like Nikki are hardly targeted, and are mostly let go with a slap on the wrist. For a lot of girls from the inner cities, that slap on the wrist comes from handcuffs. And I don’t mean to be harsh, but as a regular cannabis consumer ask yourself, what does “getting high like a lady” mean to you?
I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. In fact, I agree with a lot of her stances on wellness and cannabis. A former Cannabis lawyer and even budtender, she seems knowledgeable in how cannabis works and how it can help. The book itself is thorough, informative, albeit a bit slow. I agree with her stressing its use by elders. I agree with her reiterating access to getting a medical card. I agree with a lot of her points about suggesting cannabis over big pharma. It’s a great book geared toward women of a certain age. Or so she says. But if you take a quick glance at this picture of her holding the book, you’ll notice the stark difference in who is on the cover and who is the writer. It’s this that makes me so uneasy.
Cannabis is a great way to alleviate period cramps, to get rid of nausea and stimulate hunger. It’s an amazing and powerful medicine that doesn’t care if you’re wearing lipstick. Cannabis doesn’t care if you look pretty, if you comb your hair. It doesn’t care if you cross your legs, or hold your pinky up. Cannabis heals. It heals all of us. On our worst days. On the days when we’re at our lowest. On the days we’re heartbroken, crying, with mascara sliding down our cheeks. Marijuana is there for us. We don’t need lawyers or cannabis bandwagon hoppers setting expectations on us. Cannabis accepts everyone, no matter your gender. Feel free to check out her book if you’d like, I linked it above. I can appreciate all published work that is geared toward destigmatizing the use of Cannabis for medicinal purposes. As for me, I like to consume my Cannabis without any gimmicks.