I first toked up at the Oregon Country Fair, the summer before my freshman year of high school. I was with a few close friends, and even though I didn’t really get high, it was an exciting adventure and maybe one of my first experiences of present moment awareness, trying to soak in the feeling and memory. I didn’t smoke again until the followed spring, when we had no sports and were simply bored and looking for anything to do. Getting high made us laugh and smile, and forget that we lived in a boring little countryside town. Miel and I were still overachievers and worked hard to put up the facade that we didn’t just live to party on the weekend. Marijuana seemed to make teenage life tolerable, and ironically we rarely ever smoked with our friends in Eugene, instead we went to the WOW Hall and danced our hearts out to the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies.
Fast forward and Miel and I each went on Rotary Youth Exchange, where we just drank like the locals and never missed pot.
**Here’s the most shocking thing of this whole “coming out” story…as seniors our parents opted to allow us to smoke pot as long as we were at home (similar to liberal parents with alcohol). By this time they were well aware of signs of us smoking, and initially they completely disapproved. Yet, after seeing other teens around us get into serious trouble with meth and pregnancy, and a deadly car accident, they figured that we would be safer simply smoking under their roof. I was tired of keeping up with the party scene and relieved to hang out at home listening to music and hanging out high on the weekends.
In college, we partook occasionally, but we both had part-time jobs, and wanted to work hard and get good grades. I didn’t smoke at all at Oregon State, and when I transferred to the University of Oregon, I smoked at parties and some epic rafting trips.
Yet, by my senior year, I was ready to “grow up” and kept thinking about how smoking didn’t mesh with my professional plans. Not long after meeting Kevin I realized that he would never approve of me smoking. I made a commitment to stop using marijuana and I didn’t smoke at all for a dozen years. Then my father died suddenly.
You’ll find here on Yippie Chicks that we love to tell stories, especially about our hippie family. So, here it goes our first 420 story:
- When Wally died he was renting in the Craftsmen house where he had lived for twenty-five years. We had less than a week to empty out the whole three bedroom house, which was packed with all sorts of interesting hippie artifacts. As funny as it sounds, we actually had a lot of laughs sorting through everything. The process felt very mindful and serendipitous, like everything we uncovered was meant to be healed and loved, and savored. So, we found it hilarious when we had just been talking about how odd it was that Wally was never much of a pot smoker. (He preferred good craft beer, mushrooms, and LSD for special occasions.) Then suddenly in the very last drawer to empty out his dresser, we found his pipe and stash. We naturally burst out in laughter, and then knowingly looked at each other. We agreed that toking up would be like a sacred libation. It turned out that the stash wasn’t very good, but then our Mom stepped in with bit of homemade hash. Moments later we were higher than kites, and I was suddenly giddy with joy.
I didn’t smoke again until six months later, when I severely broke my ankle. After bone surgery, I was in excruciating pain and the pain meds made me horribly nauseous. I felt retched all weekend, and with my Mom visiting to take care of me, as soon as the family got out of door on Monday morning, I begged for some medicine. I immediately felt immensely better. I felt stupid for not having asked early (at this point, Miel had recently gone through her melanoma surgeries and was getting supplied with her own medicine).
But the thing that was actually more surprising was how I bonded with my Mom. I had struggled through much of college about how much I judged her (not wanting to be like her), while wanting to accept and love her. As soon as we were high together again we suddenly had fun and creative conversations. I also I started to dream again, and suddenly I was able to see past my fears. I felt like I had been living in a limited practical world, and suddenly my reality was limitless. I was laid up for six weeks, so I eagerly watched the entire Weeds series, and dreamed of a world when pot would be legal.
Now that marijuana is legal our culture is still catching up with the idea. There are very few people beyond my family who know that I smoke cannabis recreationally. So, again, coming out of the closet is a BIG deal for me personally.
Light and love,