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We Went To The Radical Camping Retreat Where Women Get Their Smoke On

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Inside the Ganja Goddess Getaway

I was sitting beneath a huge white tent, the kind usually reserved for weddings, when a rooster and a flock of wild turkeys joined together for an early morning duet. I’d spent maybe an hour watching the sun rise over Lake Selmac before curling up under the pavilion amidst half-eaten plates of sheet cake and discarded astrological worksheets, now smudged by dew. It wasn’t long before a strange woman I’d never met emerged from the firs and pines where dozens of strangers were still snoozing off last night’s dabs and edibles. She sat down across from me and, without speaking, produced a joint from somewhere in her pajamas, lit it, and handed it to me. Thus began the Ganja Goddess Getaway.

Well, it had actually started the previous afternoon, but I had driven down after work and gotten lost in the Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest until close to midnight. When I finally arrived at Smoke on the Water, one of Oregon’s first cannabis-friendly campgrounds and our host for the weekend, the only ladies who were still awake were the Ganja Goddess founders. I was instantly whisked away to a lux RV where co-founder Mama Sailene (self-described mother to none and mama to all) hooked me up with a thick turkey sandwich and a few dabs from her own personal nectar collector.

It took time to realize why this experience seemed so revelatory. After all, I was no stranger to enjoying weed in the woods. My first ever hit was in the southernmost reaches of the Appalachian mountains. I was 17, puff-puff-passing by the light of a massive bonfire. In the years since, I sucked down plenty of Headband and Blue Dream at various years of Bonnaroo, shimmying to the Dead on top of an old school bus, like you do. There were camping trips, popping THC-infused gummies on the beach while the waves crashed in time to my heartbeat and the swaying of my hammock. But these were the furtive tokes of a late Tennessean teen and 20-something, always looking over my shoulder for cops and narcs and ranger danger.

As any weed tourist or legal-state transplant knows, getting to partake in a lawful way is definitely a different experience. The Ganja Goddess Getaway takes that comfort and ease to a whole new level. On private property, there’s no prohibition against smoking in public. We passed joints over breakfast, punctuated mid-morning yoga with sticky THC toffee bars, did dabs before lunch, smoked solar-powered bongs lit with a witchy crystal ball when the afternoon heat hit its peak, and dipped strawberries into an infused chocolate fountain for dessert at dusk.

In between bowls, we chatted, sprawled out with adult coloring books, beat the heat by running through an enormous, inflatable fountain shaped like a unicorn, and celebrated golden hour with a lap around the lake on kayaks and paddleboards and flat-bottomed rowboats. There were massages, astrology readings, and reiki and three lovely catered meals a day. But perhaps the most profound moment was a discussion about women in the cannabis industry which brought each panelist to tears.

The event organizers described the profound positive effects marijuana has had on their lives. They spoke of overcoming trauma and chronic pain, becoming “less of a mean girl,” being better parents and partners, and feeling free to finally live life unfiltered. They spoke, too, of the dark side of a life intertwined with cannabis— the intrusions from child protective services, the carefully built businesses reduced to ash by legislation changes and interference from law enforcement. The way that people who don’t partake misunderstand, defaulting to stoner stereotypes rather than recognizing that the fierce female entrepreneurs they’re speaking with feel they’re able to work harder thanks to cannabis.

This is when it began to dawn on me what exactly about the Goddess Ganja Getaway was so radical, how it was something more than simply smoking weed in the woods with a bunch of other women. I parsed my past, how I grew up in the kind of household where responsible drinking was modeled at the dinner table, and where I was occasionally allowed to participate once I was in my teens. When we traveled, it was part of the experience to sample the local beer or wine or whiskey, as much as visiting European cathedrals and museums and trying regional dishes like haggis. Growing up, too, there were plenty of examples set of what it looked like to spend time outdoors— albeit those examples existed more on the pages of my favorite books than in my day-to-day life.

As a kid, I couldn’t get enough of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Julie of the Wolves, and Island of the Blue Dolphins. As an adult, I’ve maintained that penchant for female outdoor narratives, devouring memoirs like Wild and Forget Me Not and Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube that put the reader right there on the trail with real-life women adventurers. Yet despite the enormous impact of writers like Cheryl Strayed, Jenny Lowe-Anker, and Blair Braverman, despite the images they present of women taking to the woods to find release, solace, and independence, that example is still outside the cultural norm.

Equally unfamiliar is our image and understanding of female pot smokers— often limited to sweet stoner archetypes like Tai in Clueless and Michelle in Dazed and Confused, or wide-eyed fish out of water like Nancy Botwin in Weeds, all exclusively white. Even then, these characters weren’t enough to balance out the whole stoner canon of Jays, Silent Bobs, Harolds, Kumars, and Spicolis— all the pot-smoking dudes who seemed to make regular cannabis consumption synonymous with a Y chromosome, and with a certain pride in underachievement. There was no example of a female pot smoker I really related to or aspired to be, a far cry from the outdoorsy heroines I admired and the example of alcohol consumption set by my blood and chosen family.

After a weekend at the Ganja Goddess Getaway, I saw how refreshing it can be when women make space for themselves in the arenas of wilderness and drugs usually reserved for men. Sure, it wasn't a hard-core battle for survival in the remote backcountry, or the harrowing hedonism of Hunter S. Thompson. But the women I spoke to at this retreat were deeply moved by their experiences with cannabis, whether they were newly minted smokers barely out of their teens or mellow mamas whose children are grown and are now taking on the adventure that is menopause.

In the month since I attended the Oregon retreat, the organization has officially shifted to blend its individual events with an additional social club model. That’s beneficial for navigating the myriad cannabis laws in California, Oregon, and Washington—the Pacific Northwest line dotted by Ganja Goddess retreats every few months—not to mention all the soon-to-be-legal states where Ganja Goddess might expand. That new approach also encourages repeat attendance and continued connection with nice touches like monthly postcards to keep you feeling the love, discounts on events, and access to a special online social platform.

At face value, the Ganja Goddess Getaway was a low-key weekend that subverted both expectations and stigma by embracing nature and a drug that many are beginning to view as medicinal. Yet what the founders are really creating is something beyond simple hedonism, essential as that can be—and as much as we deny that women need a little of it, too. Mama Sailene and Miss Bliss and their friends are crafting a community around the simple idea that women like to relax. Whether it’s finding release in the company of fellow female-identifying people, the great outdoors, in a nice long toke, or all three, it’s radical simply to admit that women want to chill, specifically so they can keep on letting ‘er rip.

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Photo by Handout / Getty Images.

From selling probiotic supplements to picture frames and umbrellas

A Kardashian-level of success doesn't happen overnight, and it certainly doesn't happen without proper planning. Kim Kardashian West clearly knows this because, according to TMZ, she has already filed for trademark protection on the name of her two-week-old baby, Psalm West. From personal appearances and entertainment services to probiotic supplements and scrunchies, she is leaving no stone unturned in terms of possible business opportunities.

Apparently, all of the Kardashian parents file these kinds of trademark protections for their kids even if the businesses never come to fruition. It's done as a precautionary measure to keep others from profiting off of their name and to make sure that, should they ever want to start a business, they don't have to worry about someone else getting to it first. The sheer length of this list speaks to the huge earning potential of baby Psalm, who can't even control his own neck muscles yet, let alone go into business. Still, this brings a whole new meaning to "securing the bag."

Below, a list of all the things Kardashian West is seeking usage rights for.

Hair accessories

Barrettes

Bands

Bows

Clips

Ties

Ornaments

Pins

Scrunchies

Chopsticks

Twisters

Wrap

Hair extensions

Ornamental novelty pins

Entertainment services

Personal appearances

Skin care

Probiotic supplements

Toy figures

Doll accessories

Computer software

Clothing

Baby bottles

Furniture

Strollers

Beverageware

Swaddling

Blankets

Skin moisturizers

Lotions

Creams

Bubble bath

Fragrances

Body powders

Shower gels

Body oils

Skin serums

Nail polish

Nail polish remover

Nail care preparations

Puppets

Puzzles

Toy jewelry

Toy cameras

Toy food

Bath toys

Baby gyms

Playground balls

Electronic action toys

Baby bouncers

Baby changing tables

Baby walkers

Pillows

Mirrors

Cushions

Picture frames

Playpens

Baby carriers

Cosmetic bags

Toiletry cases

Duffle bags

Umbrellas

Clocks

Watches

Key chains

Calendars

Books

photo albums

Stationery

Stickers

Writing utensils

Collectible trading cards

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FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Well, actually it's crocodile, but she looks out of this world so...

Winnie Harlow walked the Cannes red carpet on Wednesday on her way to a screening of Oh Mercy!, wearing a showstopping gown.

The sheer black dress featured green embroidery on the front and back, which Ralph and Russo confirmed was in the shape of a crocodile. She belted the dress with a black crocodile skin-like belt and finished the look off with some strappy heels. She didn't leave it at just that. For beauty, Harlow packed on full lids of sparkly purple eyeshadow. She kept her hair sleek and simple.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Though the brand says otherwise, as Game of Thrones fans, we'd like to think the embroidery is reminiscent of a dragon's skin. Not to mention, Harlow looks out-of-this-world beautiful in it.

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Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

That denim kimono!!

Marion Cotillard shut down the Cannes red carpet on Wednesday at a screening for Matthias Et Maxime. Instead of an extravagant gown that's expected of the event, Cotillard wore a matching black crop top and shorts. Despite wearing an outfit I typically don to a hot yoga class, she looks incredible. She completed the look with an oversized denim kimono, a statement necklace, and heeled booties.

Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

At first, I was drawn in by the crop top and hotpants duo, but, after looking closer at the kimono, it's clear that it's the real scene-stealer. The floor-length Balmain piece was decorated with artful rips and dragon motifs. I would like to live in it.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Let's all bow down to the Khaleesi of Cannes.

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Photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images.

"It doesn't make you weak to ask for help"

Singer Billie Eilish is continuing to open up about mental health, this time in a new PSA video in partnership with the Ad Council and Seize the Awkward.

In the video, Eilish insists that "it doesn't make you weak to ask for help." She doubles down on the importance of asking for help, and stresses the importance of friends and family being there when their close ones reach out and checking in on them as well. "You should be able to ask anyone for help, everyone has to help someone if they need it." According to Eilish, there have been times when someone reached out to her at the exact moment she needed it, and it helped.

It was particularly refreshing to see Eilish acknowledge that there are things she still doesn't know and has to learn about her mental health. At the very beginning of the video, the interviewer asks her to reflect on her mental health journey, and all Eilish can do is let out chortle. "I think when people hear, 'Remember to take care of your mental health,' they think that everyone else is, and that is not at all accurate," she admitted. "You know, for me I'm trying to learn still to make sure that I stay okay."

Check out the PSA below.

Billie Eilish On Mental Health & Friendship | Ad Council www.youtube.com

Photograph via @kimkardashian.

"#NotOnMyMoodBoard"

Kim Kardashian has definitely been accused of borrowing a design now and then. But when Instagram influencer and Kardashian look-alike Kamilla Osman claimed the entrepreneur copied her birthday look for a Met Gala after-party, Kardashian was not going to let it fly—and shared plenty of photo evidence to shut down the claim.

Fashion industry watchdog Diet Prada first noticed Osman's claims on Instagram and shared side-by-side images of Kardashian's Cher-inspired outfit designed by Mugler and Osman's dress. "Never get confused with who 'inspires' who. They won't give you credit but they will copy," Osman wrote on her IG story. "I designed this dress for my birthday last year. Nobody had a dress like this was an original design."

Kardashian responded by posting the true inspiration behind her look: images of Cher, in similarly sparkly, plunging-neckline dresses and wigs, and of model Yasmeen Ghauri walking a Mugler show in the '90s. In fact, the only similarity between Osman's and Kardashian's looks is the bodycon mini-dress style, which the two are not the first to wear. Among the images, Kardashian included a blank slide with the hashtag "NotOnMyMoodBoard," making it clear that this was in response to Osman's claims.

Screenshot via @KimKardashian Instagram Stories

Screenshot via @KimKardashian Instagram Stories

Though I am with Kim on this one, Kardashian does have a history of co-opting other people's work. From being sued over her Kimoji app, to claims she copied makeup palettes and perfume bottle designs, to being accused of copying Naomi Campbell's entire style, it's far from the first (and probably, far from the last) time Kardashian's name will be mentioned like this.

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