So I wrote this a few days ago, practically stream of consciousness, and decided to send it into the Huffington Post editors. For the first 24 hours, nothing happened and I spent a long time contemplating taking it down. Am I really going to publish this on the most widely read internet news source in the world? Am I OK with the word “Pothead” coming up every time someone googles my name? Does HuffPost even have the nerve to publish it?
My husband, Phill, talked me out of removing it, even though his family will probably have the strongest reaction. He said to stick to my motto, “Be Bold, Be Brave” and that one day our daughter would appreciate me for it. So I left it up.
The next day, much to my absolute surprise, I got a personal e-mail from one of the top editors at HuffPost saying how much she loved the piece and wanted to feature it. Wow! Humbled and a little nauseous.
She asked if I had a personal photo I could send them, or would I rather they use a stock pic. I thought about it for a few minutes and decided that using my name was “out” enough for me, for now, and that an image of me smoking pot, right next to the one of me being arrested in China, would greatly diminish the message of our Tibetan Freedom protests in 2007. Something I’m very proud of. Whereas this blog is about something I do to cope with life’s stresses, rather than something I feel truly powerful about.
I suggested they use something not so obvious, like a breakfast table or a domestic scene, but they went with an image of a woman smoking pot, taken from the nose down. Some of the comments online were about how they liked the blog content, but found the image “inappropriate” or “seedy”; which was interesting, given the topic of breaking down stigmas. Why is she seedy with a joint in her mouth? Why does seeing it make it suddenly “inappropriate”? I’m glad they used the picture they did.
I’ve refrained from responding to comments online so far, instead enjoying the debate unfold outside of me. But this morning, I had e-mails for interviews from HuffPost Live and ABC news, so I suppose I’ll have to join the conversation further. It’s a good thing I’ve had some media training in my years of activism, let’s hope I come across as intelligent and upstanding, rather than fulfilling all the stereotypes associated with the word “pothead”.
If you want to tune in, I’ll be on HuffPost Live on Friday March 21st at 10:30am EST.
And here, again, is the link to the blog, which went viral yesterday: Confessions Of A Pot Head Mom