Happy New Year, Today’s Woman readers! Staying true to my resolution to not operate in fear — we are pushing boundaries and having the conversations that count.

So, if we are going to push boundaries in 2022, why not do it with the controversy of medical marijuana as the focus?

I remember my first experience with marijuana: it was short, sweet (literally) and reminded me that I am definitely a cocktail girl and not a smoker. I sat in a coffee shop in Amsterdam where I ate a brownie laced with weed. Knowing I was doing something taboo gave me a rush. I was curious. But now, 20+ years later, I couldn’t have imagined that the conversation surrounding this controversial drug would change the way some of us live.

I didn’t think I’d see the day when marijuana would be legal in parts of our country. I didn’t think I would see the day when those who were at the helm of its financial boom would look very different from those who bore the brunt of the legal system when they deemed it a plausible business practice to pay the bills. What will happen to the people who were making a living selling it before the government wanted “in” on the business? Will we make space for them to benefit as well? And what about those whom we’ve incarcerated in the states where it is now legal? Will their criminal records be absolved?

Government concerns aside, I am also humored by its ripple effect. Some of the people in my family are what I jokingly refer to as weed connoisseurs, and it has been funny to watch them make decisions about what state they will live in based on whether marijuana is legal there.

However, the funniest — and weirdest — part of my experience with marijuana involves my mother, whose doctor prescribed it to her for medicinal purposes due to chronic pain. During a recent visit, she asked me if it would be OK for her to bring it into my home. One more time: MY MOM WAS ASKING PERMISSION TO GET HIGH IN MY HOME! I was astonished! Tickled, feeling slightly naughty — all of the feels! My mom has been given a health hallway pass to smoke weed! It is very much intriguing yet appreciated, because I’ve noticed an improvement in her pain management. Yep! Cognitive dissonance at its finest.

I know things change. I live part-time in Colorado, and it is legal there, but for me, getting past the stigma surrounding marijuana is hard to shake. When the world consistently tells us something is bad for us, we typically subscribe to that belief; but when the world changes the narrative and tells you this bad thing is now good for you, it can be difficult to process — though I am learning to be flexible with my perception of it. The only thing I am hoping is that the grandkids who live in places where it’s legal never hook-up with the grandparents in possession of a medical stash!

For those of you who are like me, know it is OK if you are still grappling with how to change what you’ve been conditioned to believe. We are all being challenged to think about this in a way we haven’t before, but I am excited about people having access to a product that could greatly improve all aspects of their health — stigmas be damned. And for those who are not quite up to the challenge perhaps you’ll consider simply taking the high road. #punintended


Tawana Bain is the Owner & Publisher of Today’s Woman.