How I Re-Discovered Cannabis—In a Conscious Way

Mr. Light Blue, Ms. Yellow, and me, Ms. Red on the right.

Mr. Light Blue, Ms. Yellow, and me, Ms. Red on the right.

I was 13 when I smoked my first bowl with one of my brothers. I’d always considered my first time smoking weed lucky; I had a guide, we were in the safety of our Oakland home, and the weed was kind Northern California bud. Our parents were out to dinner one Friday night when my 15-year-old brother sat down next to me on the sofa while I was watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

“You’re probably going to do this sooner or later, and I’d rather have your first time be here,” he said. Something in his hand glimmered: a pipe with green swirls in clear glass packed with a fresh bowl of green weed with teeny brown hairs in it.

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My Mom Survived a Back-Alley Abortion

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Her story taught me the importance of having choices.

My mom couldn’t wait to get me birth control. Growing up, she’d gently yet boldly say things like, “Every woman should have access to birth control” and “Whenever you’re ready, we’ll get you the pill.” Her feelings were so ingrained in me that I thought all moms were all about getting their teenage daughters birth control.

Despite this, I still went behind her back to get it at Planned Parenthood when I started having sex in high school. It wasn’t my mom’s fault — I was sneaky about everything, including going to raves around the Bay Area in the ’90s. And while I knew my parents wouldn’t approve of my drug use and all-night shenanigans, I didn’t know why my mom was so passionate about birth control.

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Beauty Lessons From a '90s Raver Princess

I remember my first rave beauty look vividly: silver Make Up For Ever glitter, mascara, burgundy lipstick and high pigtail ringlets fastened with those plastic-ball hair bands. It was 1996, and I’d been rocking bleached skunk-stripe highlights in my brown hair—an edgy look popular at the time, though I was the only girl at my high school who dared. By the end of the evening (technically, early the next morning) the glitter went from eyes to everywhere, and my pigtails unraveled. But I was blissed out, having just experienced the most thrilling night of my life.

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