NEW YORK—A puff of blue dream smoke lifts from the fire escape and onto the Brooklyn street as Ann-Marie, a micro-influencer and Depop shop proprietor, takes her final morning hit. “I try to do this at least every morning to keep myself grounded. I looove the open NYC air.” She sighs with the carefree relief of a person who has never had to think about mandatory minimums, except when she’s had to buy two drinks at a comedy club.
Jacelyn, 36, a microdosing micro-influencer who is still devastated she couldn’t vote for Michael Bloomberg, takes a five-minute work break to dab from her sherbet pen in the middle of East 42nd. “This way I don’t smell during meetings,” she says, as a young Latinx man who was in the same room as weed smoke two weeks ago is searched on the sidewalk below.
“That’s what I love about New York—nobody cares here. My dealer once met me in front of an elementary school and he told me all about his canna-business while a divorcee pushed her kid on the swing.”
Ann-Marie considers pivoting her brand. “Weedfluencers are getting more potent than this virile flower,” she says, as she shakes her fraying J. She takes a snap of her morning sesh for her more than 20,000 Insta followers before rolling up the last of her bud, accidentally flaking some northern lights morsels onto the sidewalk below, just as an NYPD van pulls up in front of her local bodega. She winces at the lost bud.
Ann-Marie shrugs and climbs back into her apartment, her feet landing on a bright pink weed bathmat from Victoria’s Secret. A haze of grinder fluff encases every surface of her place. She puts the last of her morning toke on her “stash patch,” a soggy wooden coffee table covered in crusty bongs, rusting joint ends, and a variety of half-smoked ounce bags of saturated bud. Each piece, including the “live laugh bud” plywood, would make for the NYPD’s quickest search and seizure, although it’s never crossed her mind.
When a push notification on her iPhone informs her that the state of New York has officially legalized adult use recreational cannabis, Ann-Marie excitedly opens her group chat.
“This is going to make our lives sooo much easier,” she texts her friends. “I was so tired of hiding blunts in my bra in the security line at Coachella.”
Riding a confident sativa buzz, she asks me: “I can’t with the Slack at my job right now. Do you think I could work at the White House?”
Images: Daniel Monteiro / Unsplash