I wake up every day at 8:30 a.m. to smoke my first half-joint and take a big hit off a bong, so I can get super high before I get into the shower. I take another hit when I get out of the shower and start getting ready. Then I go to work.
As a concierge in Portland, I have an eight-hour work day of multi-tasking, answering complicated questions, taking reservations, training new associates, and any other rogue task that is trickled down to me. I have been called the backbone of the company.
You might not think it, but the stakes in a job like this can be very, very high. Just a few months ago my co-worker was nearly assaulted by an angry customer who lunged at him. My co-worker was able to dodge the customer and run for the door, but no one else tried to intervene, so I had to get security and call 911. It was business as usual minutes later, even though I had a minor anxiety attack first.
That's where the weed comes in. I've developed more anxiety from this job than I have ever felt in my life, and I doubt I could handle it if I weren't smoking. Smoking weed is so ingrained in my daily life that it doesn't even cross my mind that working and smoking aren't a thing.
I get a 15 and a 30-minute break during the day, and I smoke during both of them; it's how I release all the tension I've built up. I keep a kit with me that's airtight so you can't smell anything, and I hide in a different place each time so nobody sees me. After all, I work for a major corporation with a specific code of conduct—if they catch me, I'll be fired.
I smoked my first bowl at the age of 14. I ditched school and hung out with some friends at a park near my neighborhood. We had some really bad brick weed—it was brown and had tons of seeds in it. But I got super high and thought it was the best thing in the world. I remember the feeling of the breeze touching lightly on my skin...I thought, "Oh my god, this is amazing."
I made smoking weed a way of life early on. I wasn't your stereotypical pothead, though, floating through class and barely paying attention. I graduated. I was prom queen. I had a plan to go to community college.
Then, by age 21, I found myself addicted to heroin. A mentor I'd had since childhood stepped in and brought me into a "recovery bootcamp," after which I went back to school and got an associate's degree and music technology certificate. I learned how to cope and get off the hard drugs. I quit everything for a while.
Four years later, I broke my leg, and I started to have extreme chronic pain. I had to figure out alternative ways to manage it because I didn't have health insurance, and the only thing I could think of was to take a variety of pharmaceuticals I bought on the street, from Oxycontin to Vicodin. That dependency developed into a familiar downward spiral.
But those kinds of drugs dulled my senses. I couldn't focus or concentrate. I decided to stick to what I knew and could control: marijuana.
Doctors say any type of smoke is bad for your lungs. They say it's like a rock, choking your air stream from within. But for me, it feels like a window, opening me up, clearing my seasonal asthma, inspiring my creativity—even upping my business prowess.
In my earlier years of smoking, I produced music and took meetings with DJs. Often, in a stoned, blissed-out dream state, I imagined parties packed with people dancing to my songs. Soon, I had an event business in Denver, Portland, and Seattle.
My next professional endeavor is to be a stylist and fashion blogger for plus-size women. I want to start an Instagram community for fashionable curvy stoner girls—I've already tapped into a wellspring of support through #curvystonerchick.
I don't know many other women who smoke as much as I do, for the reasons I do, and still get things done. But I'm a high-functioning stoner, and I plan to stay that way.
Follow Marie Claire on Instagram (opens in new tab) for the latest celeb news, pretty pics, funny stuff, and an insider POV.
The Best Rain Boots, According to Fashion Editors
Stay dry *and* look cute!
By Julia Marzovilla
Mexico City, A Vibrant Cultural Hot Spot, Is the Perfect Travel Destination
This epicenter of art, history, and food should be on every culture enthusiast's bucket list.
By Gabrielle Ulubay
Can Light Therapy Get Rid of My Acne?
Blue and red light are where it’s at.
By Samantha Holender
Peloton’s Selena Samuela on Turning Tragedy Into Strength
Before becoming a powerhouse cycling instructor, Selena Samuela was an immigrant trying to adjust to new environments and new versions of herself.
By Emily Tisch Sussman
This Mutual Fund Firm Is Helping to Create a More Sustainable Future
Amy Domini and her firm, Domini Impact Investments LLC, are inspiring a greater and greener world—one investor at a time.
Power Players Build on Success
"The New Normal" left some brands stronger than ever. We asked then what lies ahead.
By Maria Ricapito
Don't Stress! You Can Get in Good Shape Money-wise
Yes, maybe you eat paleo and have mastered crow pose, but do you practice financial wellness?
By Sallie Krawcheck
The Book Club Revolution
Lots of women are voracious readers. Other women are capitalizing on that.
By Lily Herman
The Future of Women and Work
The pandemic has completely upended how we do our jobs. This is Marie Claire's guide to navigating your career in a COVID-19 world.
By Megan DiTrolio
Black-Owned Coworking Spaces Are Providing a Safe Haven for POC
For people of color, many of whom prefer to WFH, inclusive coworking spaces don't just offer a place to work—they cultivate community.
By Megan DiTrolio
Where Did All My Work Friends Go?
The pandemic has forced our work friendships to evolve. Will they ever be the same?
By Rachel Epstein