High Femme: Queer Cannabis Culture and Edibles

Calling all Homoganjas!Let’s talk about anything and everything marijuana related, from legalization to pop culture to how to make your own bong using a box of Diva cups and a broken lamp.

Whether you’re a newbie who doesn’t know a blunt from a joint, or you’re planning your gay dream wedding to Mary Jane, this column is for you. Puff, Puff, Pass.

Header by Rory Midhani

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Recently, I experienced an honest to goodness marijuana-induced epiphany. A real one, mind you, not a stoned whim like cookie dough cake or selling bagels outside my dorm room window to pay for school books. (Although I think there’s definitely something to that cake idea — will workshop it later.)

I was sitting in the vintage common room of a lovely fellow Straddler I had met on a few different occasions. She shared a rambling, ancient house with several other people in downtown Los Angeles, and though I’m several years out of college, I still appreciate the low-key, hippyish vibe of a co-op. The Straddler had started having a weekly series of hangouts where queers would get together to drink, smoke and talk. Sometimes there were board games, other times there were dance parties.

But back to my epiphany. As I exhaled, it struck me that my queerness and my love of marijuana were connected. Not just connected but woven together, like the ninth grade hemp bracelet that got me sent to detention. At the time, it seemed like a major violation of my First Amendment rights (as most things seem to a 14-year-old girl). I mean, I was just wearing the bracelet. There were girls in my grade who smoked theirs!

One girl in particular, who I’ll call Missy, didn’t just smoke her hemp bracelet. She smoked lawn grass and tree bark; she even smoked oregano one time, which she claimed gave her a “wicked high.” She had greasy hair and Doc Martens, which immediately meant she was the coolest person I knew. She was also my first girl kiss, and couched in the pretense of a dare, she pressed her teeth against mine. It was quick, clumsy and tasted like smoke and rebellion.

Weed continued to hang around my budding queerness; it followed me to college, where it lingered around poetry slams and straight girl flirtations. Weed played a prominent role in losing my girl-ginity to a fellow smoker. It also served to embarrass me, when I did edibles with the same girl and got so high I couldn’t find her vagina. Couldn’t. Find. Her. Vagina. Amazingly, not only did she continue to have sex with me, but she still talks to me to this day. Weed and women seemed to occupy the same side of my personality I desperately didn’t want people to know about. That clandestine, hidden away part of me that I felt was broken and unfixable. Because nice Jewish girls weren’t supposed to smoke weed or sleep with women. Or at least that’s what I thought.

When I came out of the closet/hot box, things started to change. Being queer wasn’t some secret identity I had to be ashamed of. I told one person. Then two. Then everyone. The dam had burst and the word was out: this girl likes girls and ganja! I felt the walls of my own making crumble around me and I embraced myself for who I was. Hallelujah. I was home.

There’s a few small sites of kinship between the fight for marijuana rights and LGBT rights. Both issues are still ignored and mistreated by the federal government, who would rather put the onus on individual states. And both issues are often the victims of poorly worded, deliberately confusing campaigns of misinformation and misrepresentation.

But the tide of public opinion changes slowly but steadily. That’s why  marijuana culture and politics are important to discuss, and the more we open these doors and let the smoke out (or in) the less threatening and mysterious these issues become.

Consider this column a key hole through which we can fall into a larger discussion of pot politics, smoking (hot) queers, hemp herstory and the like. So refresh your bong water, clean out your pipe, and bust out your rolling papers. You’re about to join a big queer online smoke circle. Take a seat and relax, we’ve been expecting you.


Where NOT To Be When Edibles Kick In

Even the most seasoned marijuana user will tell you that edibles — like straight girls and Southern weather — are fickle. Sometimes they wash over you gently like a calm tropical breeze. Other times, they knock you on your ass so hard you fall asleep for six hours and come to cuddling someone else’s cat. Then you will wake up more fully and realize you are not in your apartment. You’re in a barn and that cat you are cuddling is a baby goat. But she’s here, so we may as well give her a name. How about Doobie?

Because edibles hit everyone differently, there is no surefire way of knowing when the high is going to kick in. It could be ten minutes after you ate that brownie, or it could be 45 minutes before the after effects of your weed-infused kale salad kick into gear.

For this reason, if you are doing edibles, make a plan for yourself. If you are going to stay at home watching cartoons, then congratulations. You know how to do edibles. If you are going to see the New Kids On The Block/Backstreet Boys reunion show, then make sure you have a sober friend there to shuttle you to and from the concert and keep an eye on your tripping ass.

The following are the top ten places you do NOT want to be when the edibles kick in. Write these down in the margins of your Alice B. Toklas Cook Book and try to avoid them at all costs.

1. An avant-garde experimental theater production of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and her Children.

2. A serious discussion about the future of your relationship (marriage, kids, joint bank accounts and puppies) with your sober significant other.

3. Up to your knees in mud in the middle of a dried up lake because you thought it was a shortcut to that amazing house party.

4. Mother’s Day brunch at the Sheraton while explaining why you changed your college major from Engineering to Philosophy. Also, you are wearing a silk dress shirt from Banana Republic that highlights (hehe, high) your sweat stains.

5. Defending your dissertation on the benefits of medical marijuana usage before a board of professors and your peers.

6. Trapped on the treadmill at the gym because you forgot how to get off the damn thing. It’s just you, the pounding of your sneakers, and that Road Rules marathon on the gym TV.

7. Meeting your girlfriend’s parents for the first time at the church Sunday social. Did I mention you are meeting them as one of her “friends”? She specifically asked you not to mention any gay stuff but suddenly you need to know everyone’s theories on who shot Jenny from the grassy knoll. That’s how that thing happened, right pastor? Silk dress shirt makes a repeat appearance.

8. Watching The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. You will be paranoid and inappropriate, but think that people can’t hear you because of your “locked-in syndrome”.

9. During your pitch proposal in the board meeting when you decided to beef up your Power Point presentation with music from Ani DiFranco and star sweeps between each slide.

10. When you run into your totally together ex-girlfriend at Ralph’s shopping for organic tomatoes with her cute new girlfriend. Cute new girlfriend looks clean and her clothes are definitely ironed. You are braless, wearing a Ninja Turtles cutoff tee, and buying three different kinds of white chocolate.

And as a bonus, four words, one great place to be when the edibles kick in:

PEDRO. ALMODOVAR. MOVIE. MARATHON. You’ll thank me later.

Special Note: Autostraddle’s “First Person” column exists for individual queer ladies to tell their own personal stories and share compelling experiences. These personal essays do not necessarily reflect the ideals of Autostraddle or its editors, nor do any First Person writers intend to speak on behalf of anyone other than themselves. First Person writers are simply speaking honestly from their own hearts.

Chelsea Steiner was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, where she works as a screenwriter/blogger/sex educator. She's the writer/director of Thank You Come Again, a queer sex positive web series based on her experiences working the Pleasure Chest, which you can follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. She’s obsessed with dachshunds, Buffy, 90's dance parties, and roller derby. She loves the word "Jewess" and wishes more people used it to describe her. Follow her ramblings on Twitter and her cute puppy pics on Instagram.

Chelsea has written 46 articles for us.


  1. I’m pretty sure it was queers who showed me that stoners are not all necessarily annoying bro-dudes, and that lounging on the couch eating cheese and watching movies is quality time.

    …and now I have to call someone to make edibles and Daria happen.

  2. Awkward First Time Edibles Story Time!
    My roommate brought me a brownie for my birthday at about midnight on my birthday. We split it, and put on the Big Lebowski while we waited for it to kick in. She went to bed after about an hour, saying she didn’t feel anything. I stayed up another hour until the movie finished, then went to bed. LITERALLY as my head hit the pillow and I started to fall asleep, it kicked in. I had lots of quasi-half-awake-dreams about flying through space and sailing on a ship in the 1700s…

    • I’m not gonna lie…edibles before we arrived at the Grand Canyon caused me to cry like a little girl and ponder Native American ways of travel through the canyon. When I say cry like a little girl I mean I bawled for a good bit lol IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL

  3. i had my first hit when i was really young. 12 i think, my parents are cigarette chain smokers and i saw no difference between them smoking cigarettes and me smoking my first hit. it was no big deal to me when my friend asked me to roll with him. my friend was planting it under his bed. he would bring it out in the morning, put it next to the window and let the sun shine on to it. he would sprinkle water to it like it’s an ordinary plant. in the evening, he would then hide it again under his bed. we smoked the leaves but not the seeds. he preserved the seeds and planted it again for future consumption. i graduated from there, i don’t roll that way anymore but it was fun when i was young.

  4. Also not-the-best-time/but-simultaneously-most-amazing-time to have some edibles: when your entire soccer teams eats some brownies before your game and you eat four, but have nothing else to eat that day.

    The game itself was awesome, the mad paranoia from tripping after the game was not :(

  5. Thanks so much for reading my article! Straddlers are the best kind of people and I’m crazy thrilled to be writing for you! Does this mean I’ll get more than five Twitter followers? I’m so effing excited.

    Also Jaffe, not all of those examples are true! But yeah, some of them…extremely true…I’m sorry I don’t apologize.

  6. In regards to edibles, Amsterdam really has that figured out. It’s like the first time you have your first revelatory vegan dessert,and it’s so lush and rich. OMG, and the sleepy buzz, delightful.
    The other best edible I had was a banana cake at New Years Eve party it was green,like zucchini bread but yummy and sweet in taste and in buzz.

    Homoganjas unite!

  7. My favorite edibles story of all time: on my last night in LA visiting a friend I had a bit of a cookie around 8 PM and then we drove around Venice and looked at the canals, went and walked on the beach (where a crab pinched my foot…I think), and then dropped my still-high-as-fuck ass off at LAX at 11 PM. I have noooo idea how I made it through TSA. Literally. I remember next to nothing the process of getting from the car and to the airplane.

    Best. Vacation. Ever.

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