Loading

Getting Rid of the Stigma, “Stiletto Stoner” Style

  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator October 15, 2009

    Anne Davis, Esq. and Delia Pratico - NORML New Jersey's "Stiletto Stoners"by Delia Pratico (at right with Anne Davis, Esq. on left.  Extra hyperlinks by “Radical” Russ.)

    When I first read the article entitled “Stiletto Stoners” in Marie Claire magazine this month, I thought, “Wow, I can’t believe they’re talking about this ‘taboo’ subject.” The article dives into the lives of young professional women who enjoy smoking marijuana at the end of a long work day.

    These are the women who are choosing to smoke a “plant” to relax instead of downing a vodka martini or a Xanax. These are the women who are making the smarter “safer” choice. Many women would rather take a few puffs of cannabis and feel great the next day instead of being hung over from alcohol, or groggy from prescription medications that doctors give out like candy (both being completely legal).

    I have been an activist with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws for about a year. During this past year, one thought that always lingered in my head was, “how can we end the stigma surrounded by marijuana?” You know the old sayings “pot head” “Rastafarian” “lazy stoner”.

    Our opponents of the marijuana law reform movement use these stigmas to their advantage which is most likely why half of them are still around. They advertise slogans such as “smoke pot and you can become a burrito taste tester” or “a couch potato remote controller specialist.” They are basically implying that if you smoke pot you will amount to nothing and become a loser “pot head” who can’t accomplish anything in life. Really? So how is it that young professional women in powerful positions with tons of responsibility can smoke marijuana and still work 12 hour days? Doesn’t make much sense does it? So why is there still this stigma about marijuana? Because professional women around the country have not “come out of the closet.” It’s not often that you see a typical “pot head” wearing “stilettos.”

    Women are so “hush hush” about using marijuana because of two basic fears; losing their jobs and facing criminal prosecution. I am surrounded by my close female friends who are all in their mid-twenties and just starting their careers. These are women who are teachers, managers, nurses, and even some who work for the local, state, and federal governments. Although they all wholeheartedly support ending marijuana prohibition they all fear coming out and saying so. Most of them fear that if they speak out the authorities will be after them or they will get fired because of it. It takes a lot of courage for young professional women to come out of the closet, which is why in the Marie Claire article the names of the women in the stories were changed. Although this article is a huge step in the right direction because it spreads awareness of marijuana prohibition, we still need more women to come forward.

    Fortunately, I don’t need courage to come out of the closet. I don’t have the two basic fears most women do. I work as a paralegal for an attorney (also a “Stiletto Stoner” and a member of NORML’s legal committee). That being said, the first fear for me is completely moot. Now I wouldn’t say I have no fear of criminal prosecution because that would be naïve, but it does ease your nerves working in the legal profession and knowing your rights. As a member of the NORML organization, I know I have some of the best criminal defense attorneys in the country on my side. So for me it doesn’t take courage. I’m proud to be able to put a name and face to the “Stiletto Stoners” and to be fighting against the War on Drugs.

    There are women in the marijuana law reform movement who are professionals, mothers, grandmothers, patients and even retired law enforcement. Cheers to them all for having enough courage to come out and stand up for their rights, our rights, and the rights of our future generations. Ladies, lets all come out of the closet to end this stigma associated with marijuana and end marijuana prohibition for good!

    Delia Pratico
    Board of Directors, NORML NJ
    (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws New Jersey)

    (Russ adds: What do you think of the term “Stiletto Stoners”? Discuss it in the comments and vote on our poll at the Daily Audio Stash.)

    36 Responses to “Getting Rid of the Stigma, “Stiletto Stoner” Style”

    1. CJ says:

      Awesome write-up!

    2. ISN’T A “STILLETO STONER” CONTRICTING TO A “LAZY STONER”. IT ISN’T ABOUT THE PLANT IT IS ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO USE IT. ARE THE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE ENOUGH TO GO TO WORK, SUPPORT THEIR FAMILIES, AND BE SUCCESSFUL? OR ARE THE PEOPLE SITTING AROUND ON THE COMPUTER, EATING DOUGHNUTS 24/7, OR CAUSING TROUBLE FOR OTHER PEOPLE? JUST THE SAME AS ANY PRESCRIPTION DRUG OR ALCOHOL, IT IS UP TO THE USER TO MAKE SMART CHOICES. IF A PERSON MESSES UP LET THE LAW PROSECUTE JUST THEM. THE ENTIRE CANNIBIS POPULATION DOESN’T NEED TO BE PUNISHED. THIS IS WRONG AND I FEEL LESS FREE EVERYDAY LIVING IN THIS SO CALLED FREE COUNTRY; THE UNITED STATES OF WHAT?

    3. I just wanted to state I am a full time nurse and working towards my Administration degree at the present moment and I fully back your take on women in the workplace who do smoke marijuana here and there to relax, yet still manage to live a functioning, successful life. Thank You for working to reform marijuana laws and giving us hard working ladies a stand.

    4. fla activist says:

      you know, this thing with women being sucessful in life is nothing new for me. or the fact that many of these fine ladies are intelligent enough to enjoy cannabis after a long hard day at the office. i personally never doubted that women were making a difference in this world and, that they have good sense to use the good stuff rather then deal with the hangovers….whats good is that they’re speaking up for a great cause. a great enhancement of life. hopefully, others who dont know about its true effects will learn from the good ladies personal choices.

    5. arigg says:

      I am 47 yr old female who smokes pot, well, actually I like to eat it raw like a bunny rabbit with a salad but i’ve been smokin’ for 31 yrs. I’ve done many horrible experimental hard drugs, drank like a fish, and the only mind-altering substance I consider safe to continue to ingest is cannabis. If you eat it the “mind altering” thing is so very minimal it’s practically non-existant unless you know what you’re looking for, but even smoking it, just take a hit or 2 and it’s not like you’re all stoned out like the classic stereo-type stoner. You’re just nice and relaxed – not out of touch with reality at all. I’d never consider myself in mainstream work force cuz I work at home doing medical transcription, but I do still have to interact somewhat with others, also having a 10 yr old son in local elementary school (the fear of having “The Man” taking your kid away – shame on them), and I’m pretty sure nobody looks askance on me like i’m some kind of deviant doper. Nobody knows what I do & I’m not tellin’. I do manage to take care of a job out of my own home, keep all the bills paid, help pay for my oldest kid’s grad school, still remember my 5th grade math so i can help my youngest kid w/homework … yep and i use marijuana. I love it, it is a wonderful gift from our earth – nonsmokers don’t get “it” – and it makes them scared – but if enough of us can band together or whatever it takes we can show them how harmless and wonderful it is – like mint or coffee or chocolate – other cool awesome plants we ingest. There’s enough written scientific and scholarly proof that cannabis is harmless and also very useful in so many ways – we should all just keep speaking out – we shouldn’t have to be scared. I hate being a scaredy cat, that is so annoying. Be brave sisters – don’t give up the good fight. It’s time for all the rest of us civil righters – gay people, pot users, whoever else is oppressed for some stupid reason to be free too – enlightenment must fill everybody’s minds. spread it like peanut butter. thank you.

    6. Rick says:

      Delia: Well put. The fear of coming out of the “green closet” applies to both genders, though. I am a federal employee, and a member of my state NORML chapter. I have a few friends where I work who also blaze up, and obviously, we support legalization. I hear from some of them that there are many more, but no one wants to speak up. Sometimes I blaze up before work. It makes looking at endles spreadsheets tolerable. What would be interesting would be who would come out of this green closet when legalization should occur.

    7. […] here: Getting Rid of the Stigma, “Stiletto Stoner” Style Share and […]

    8. Fireweed says:

      Well the last time I wore heels of any sort was in my sister’s wedding almost 20 years ago, so for me the word “stiletto” conjures up something painful and awkward, but I also appreciate the motor control it takes to walk gracefully in those, so that again negates the myth that smoking pot impairs coordination and motor control.

      The word “stiletto” also for me conjures up female authority, denotes someone of high responsibility, someone who (unlike this stoner) is willing to put comfort aside in favor of professional image.

      I think the term also makes reference to feet, which conjures up images of someone marching forward, someone empowered.

      It’s also a bit edgy, bold, as are the women who have taken a stand and come out of the closet.

      I promise as soon as I’m self-employed I’ll come out of the closet publicly, and I actually kind of did at a recent professional conference when I asked the presenter about the use of medical marijuana in the context of a discussion on holistic medicine and use of herbal remedies.

      His response (this is a highly recognized psychiatrist mind you) was that we have taken a beautiful plant with some wonderful uses and demonized it and turned it into something terrible by driving it uinderground and putting it in the hands of violent drug traffickers. He also commented on how “mindfully” I hade phrased my question, so the main point was not lost on him!

    Leave a Reply