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Women & Weed: Tracie Egan Morrissey

Mary Jane Gibson

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Women are at the vanguard of the marijuana movement: as growers, cannabusiness owners, manufacturers of edibles and topicals, activists, mothers who choose to medicate their kids with herbs instead of pharmaceuticals, and, significantly, as self-identified consumers. Even Newsweek noticed.

It’s a hot topic that is near and dear to Tracie Egan Morrissey’s heart. Morrissey is the newly minted editor-in-chief of VICE’s latest venture, Broadly, a website and video channel “devoted to representing the multiplicity of women’s experiences.” Broadly’s mission statement hews to the often-irreverent tone of its parent organization:

“We provide a sustained focus on the issues that matter most to women. As one YouTube commenter succinctly put it: “So basicly [sic] vice but excluding anything of relevance that includes men.”

Gotta love those YouTube commenters!

Under Morrissey’s leadership, Broadly has a pot-positive, weed-centric angle. The site has a daily 4:20 moment. “It’s super rando—something you want to see when you’re stoned,” Morrissey says. Other weed-related stories on the fledgling site have included “Ganja Yoga”, “Pussy, Money, Weed” and “Higher Education.”

Morrissey has been a feminist writer and weed advocate for years. Following a stint at Bust, she made a name for herself as a founding member of Jezebel, the Gawker media empire’s feminist website. While at Jezebel, Morrissey and her friend Rich Juzwiak created an advice-column web series called Pot Psychology. The charming pair would get thoroughly baked and dispense words of wisdom to reader-submitted questions in weekly confessional-style videos with cheeky title cards. The pithy series proved to be so popular that Morrissey and Juzwiak were offered a book deal. Pot Psychology: Lowbrow Advice from High People was published in 2012. Morrissey says jokingly, “It was sold at Urban Outfitters… It’s one of those things people read on the toilet.”

Morrissey first smoked pot when she was 15. “I didn’t know how to inhale properly, so it took me a bunch of times toking up before I got high, but I didn’t give up… and then I was like, whoa—and I ate a whole box of cookies.”

As a writer and editor, Morrissey feels that, now, more than ever, is the perfect time to create web and video content for women who love weed. She muses, “There’s been such a shift in public acceptance [of marijuana use] in the past few years. There’s been a shift away from the stereotype of the stoner guy. Women are more associated with marijuana use than ever before.”

She feels that the rise of women openly declaring their pot use has to do with “Rihanna, the Broad City girls… pot is used to alleviate PMS—there’s more talk about moms who smoke pot. I’m a mom, and I smoke pot. I don’t get blazed up around my kid, but when I’m on my own, maybe I’ll have a hit or two off my vape, because to me, it’s so much more convenient than a glass of wine. I don’t feel like shit the next day. I’m able to chill, but I don’t feel like crap in the morning. [laughing] It doesn’t have all the sugar or calories. It just makes sense for women—especially with vapes and edibles—for women to be more into weed than wine.”

With the discernible shift away from the stereotype of the stoner-slacker dude, and the growing social acceptance of marijuana use by responsible adults, Morrissey declares, “I think it’s important for {Broadly] as a woman’s interest site to cover that. Especially because, once you get moms on your side, you’ve pretty much got it.

“It shouldn’t be demonized. It’s the chillest drug. It’s natural… I’m going to start sounding like a total hippie, but I’ve never seen someone get stoned and go into a violent rage. I’ve seen them get stoned and laugh with their friends. It’s so much safer [than alcohol], when you know what you’re dealing with.”

When it comes to flowers vs. dabs, Morrissey says, “I’m kind of a purist. I like weed more than edibles or oils. I have a little pocket vape that I use, and it tastes like actual weed.” She prefers smoking—or vaping—sativa-dominant strains like Blue Diamond.

What does the future hold for Broadly? Morrissey has an expansive vision. “We’re video-driven. We’re making a lot of original videos. We’re not aggregating, we’re not doing opinion pieces. We’re doing original reporting; we’re doing humor pieces. It’s unabashedly feminist… Feminism is mainstream now. It’s the right time to elevate the conversation. It’s amazing to be able to make documentaries and original content for women.”

Especially for women who love weed—for college girls looking for an alternative to boozy nights,  for moms who choose to relax with a toke instead of a cocktail, and for retired ladies who can finally blaze in peace.

It’s a natural fit.

Visit broadly.com

Mary Jane has been writing and editing for High Times since 2007. Currently based in Los Angeles, she writes about cannabis culture, entertainment and cutting-edge trends.

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