Getting Rid of the Stigma, “Stiletto Stoner” Style
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!
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.) October 15, 2009