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MJ Lifestyle Issue 01 Digital

L I F E S T Y L E

L I F E S T Y L E JENNIFER SKOG Editor in Chief DANE DISETH Creative Director JANET BLASER Editor / Proofreader BRITTNEY MESICA Writer CONSTANCE FINLEY Contributing Editor SUMI SOHN-RIGLER Copy Editor FARZANA DAUD Research Writer / Editor RACHEL ‘KUSHY’ BUSSEY Marketing Development / Brand Ambassador KIMBERLY KAMISH Production & Special Events MJ extends its deepest gratitude to our CONTRIBUTORS AdvoCanna Allison Ray Benevides Amanda Bjorn Camille Goldston Caroline Mauro Elise McRobers Emma Chasen Julia Corbett Kyra Mueller-Yamamoto Leah Maurer Monica Lo Naomi Zinns Nichole Graf Siobhan Danger Darwish The Sativa Science Club Tia Reagan Tokativity Vanessa-Lyn Mercier

EDITOR’S LETTER Jennifer Skog /skōg/ If you had told me a year ago that I’d be sitting here writing this, I’d think you had lost your mind. At the time I had just moved home to the SF Bay Area from a two-year stint in Kansas City where I’d battled daily with myself for being a ‘stoner.’ In my mind, I was some sort of criminal, always afraid of getting caught. Professionally, I feared my reputation as a photographer would get tarnished or potential clients would stereotype me as a lazy pot head. After working for two decades building my name in the industry, I did not want to mark myself with a scarlet letter (or emerald in this case). In my earlier years Cannabis was for fun, my way of relaxing my mind and body—I never drank much because I’d end up on the bathroom floor. Soon it became my medicine of choice as I started realizing that when I smoked marijuana it eased my sensitive stomach, calmed my racing mind, and relieved body aches and pains. I had always assumed I’d quit before having children—and I did—for 9+ months while pregnant and breastfeeding both of them. What I didn’t know was what it would be like to be a mother. From the moment they were conceived, there is nothing I could cherish more. But along with the overwhelming love came equally overwhelming worries. The levels my anxieties reached have at times been unbearable, and Cannabis has always been my way to naturally ease my pain. Smoking on camera was always out of the question; I was ashamed of my so-called “filthy habit” and was certainly never going to let my children (or parents!) know about it. I was completely blinded by shame to ever see that something positive could come from my experiences. Funny enough, it was while still living in Kansas that a close friend of mine encouraged me to start photographing Cannabis in California. I was extremely hesitant at first; I remember asking my husband if I could get arrested for photographing five pounds of weed. (Living in such a “red” state, it’s understandable why I was fearful.) But the shoot was undeniably amazing. I loved it. I really couldn’t have imagined anything I could have enjoyed more than photographing beautiful, confident women relaxing and smoking Cannabis. As I dove deeper into the Cannabis industry, I quickly realized that the modern woman is not represented at all in the Cannabis space. And of course, this makes sense— this plant medicine is still widely criminalized and illegal in many places, keeping it an incredibly dangerous industry to be involved in, especially for women. Imagine not being able to use a bank and dealing with everything, including your taxes, in cash. ‘Coming out Green’ is much like coming out with anything - it’s scary! But that’s only because it’s something you have hidden, and hiding anything feels shameful. Shame over, ladies! We don’t have time for negativity, we’ve got far better things to do like loving ourselves, building a sisterhood and teaching our children well. The time has come for us to move past the stigma and fear and rise together for the many many benefits this powerful plant has given us. This is an incredible space we are building, connecting with women we feel like we’ve always known. MJ Lifestyle is a collaboration of many brilliant women, each sharing their own unique genius with us. We are thrilled to be sharing so many voices and hope you will join us in lifting the stigma. xx,

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