The First Time I Smoked Cannabis

by April Flores

As with most things, I am a late bloomer. I lost my virginity at 17 only because I didn't want to go to college as a virgin. I thought it would make me a target for predatory dudes. I settled on giving it up to my then-boyfriend. I entered the adult industry at the age of 29, which is many years after most performers do. My late bloomer status can also be applied to my relationship with cannabis. 

Back in the mid 90s, I had a group of friends who all smoked weed. I would watch my friends as they'd roll joints then inhale and exhale the pungent smoke. It all seemed very glamorous to me, but I didn't see the point of it.

I was still self-conscious about my weight. I had no interest in smoking something that would give me the munchies no matter how good it made my friends feel. I would watch them eat Cheetos, ice cream, and whatever else was in the house, and think, Oh, hell naw! No, thank you. This was not for me.

I had been drinking for a few years and felt like that was enough. My friends and I would pregame before going out, downing Strawberry Hill, Old English, or Mickey's 40s. These nights usually involved me throwing up somewhere that wasn't a toilet, surrounded by random dudes we had met that night. Still, I wasn't open to trying cannabis. I had easy access to alcohol, so it remained my preferred method of achieving an altered state. 

Fast forward a few years to the age of 21. I was dating another dude who smoked weed every night to relax from his demanding job in film post-production. He would always offer me a hit. I was still not fully into the idea of smoking something that could potentially cause me to gain the weight that I was in a constant battle with.

However, this boyfriend had a real influence on me. I was young and impressed by how worldly (he had lived in NYC and Mexico City!) and sophisticated (he was a hipster with a cool job!) he was. He'd smoke and I would watch his hard exterior soften as he became an easygoing and happier boyfriend. Seeing this effect piqued my curiosity. One night I asked him if he would teach me how to smoke.

I took my first hit from a glass pipe. My boyfriend held the lighter to the freshly packed bowl. He gave me step by step instructions: to suck the air in, hold it in my mouth, then inhale as if I were breathing in. It was surprisingly easy, and I got the hang of it in no time. I remember feeling joyous and free. I finally understood why my friends loved weed so much. 

He and I spent many nights stoned together in his A-frame apartment in Lincoln Heights. We would get high and slow dance to a record he'd play. We'd get high and get lost in an old, obscure, foreign, independent film he'd put on the VHS.  

The thing I remember most about my first times being high is how much I laughed. I was getting high with my friends. I was happy we had a new way to connect that didn't involve the spotty memories and nauseous days I had after a night of drinking. I was not thrilled about the fact that I was getting munchies now, but I didn't stress about it anymore. I didn't see the point of it.