Good lord. What a shitshow of a year. There is absolutely no need for me to run down the list of absurdities. You lived it with me, plus we would never make it to the end. So instead, let me look back at what was good this year.
Just in the world of weed, we saw some cool stuff happen. I’m gonna get on the bus and say 2018 was the year cannabis legalization became inevitable. Hemp was legalized, ending a decades-long fight. “The significance of the shift cannot be understated,” said Justin Strekal, political director of NORML, “given that it is the first change in the classification of the legal standing of the cannabis plant since the enactment of the Controlled Substances Act in 1970.”
California legalized weed, creating the world’s largest cannabis market. In case you didn’t know, California has the fifth-largest economy in the world. When the state welcomed in weed, it opened the doors to a vista of pot-sibilities. And cannabis is now legal for medical use in 32 states, and recreational use in 10 states, plus Washington, D.C.
And Jeff Sessions got fired. Girl, bye.
In the larger world, some beautiful things happened. History was made during the most recent U.S. midterm elections. In next year’s session of Congress, there will be 100 women in the House for the first time ever, and among them are Native American, Muslim, and Trans women, as well as the youngest woman elected to Congress. On that femme tip, the New Zealand prime minister made history when she brought her 3-month-old baby to a meeting of the United Nations general assembly. India decriminalized homosexuality, the European Union voted for a total ban of bee-killing pesticides, and the latest research shows that cumulative climate action around the planet has allowed the northern layer of the ozone to begin to repair itself. The U.N. says it is likely to be completely restored by 2030, with the other layers restored by 2060, proving that environmental policies actually work.
When I think back over my own year, I’ve had some good and bad shit, probably like everyone else. My 21-year-old cat died, I got to play a killer music festival in the woods celebrating life with a bunch of friends, my favorite bra broke, and my partner bought me a new Hitachi Magic Wand for my birthday.
But a day that comes to mind for me when I think about the spirit — the zeitgeist — of this year is April 30, known as Beltane to Pagans. I got together with some of my favorite collaborators and headed out to Golden Gardens to catch the sunset. Everyone contributed something, and once we settled in, we had music, a raging fire, some chocolate, and a couple of bottles of some tasty stuff. I had stopped at my favorite pot shop on the way out to the beach and had a few prerolls in my jacket. As we passed the smokes (and the drinks and chocolate), we talked about what we wanted from the year, what we expected from ourselves, and our fears and shortcomings connected to those goals. And we held each other up. We didn’t bullshit each other. We didn’t tear down other people to reinforce ourselves. We admired each others’ strengths, we asked each other for advice, and we planted seeds. And as the sun went down, and the moon came up, we cackled around the fire, our voices rising up to the stars with the swirling smoke.