Jennifer Pelham* kicks off her black Marc Jacobs pumps, slips out of her trim Theory blazer, and collapses on the couch. The 29-year-old corporate attorney for one of Manhattan's top law firms has just clocked another 12-hour day, and though it's over, she's having a hard time shaking off her frustrations. (A partner had eviscerated the contract she'd drafted, then left before Pelham had a chance to explain herself.) Still distracted, Pelham orders dinner—sushi, as usual—then reaches for a plastic orange prescription bottle standing on the corner of her coffee table alongside a glass pipe and blue Bic lighter, just as the cleaning lady left them. She twists off the cap, pinches off a piece of the fragrant green bud inside, gingerly places it in the bowl of the pipe, and lights up. Over the next 30 minutes, she takes three deep drags, enough to drown out the noise whirring in her head. Then she eats.
"I hate the term pothead—it connotes that I'm high 24/7, which I'm not," Pelham says, wincing. "I don't need it to get through my day. I just enjoy it when my day is over." Her nightly ritual costs only $50 a month, a pittance compared with the cost of her monthly gym membership or a Saturday night out with her fiancé, an investment banker, who occasionally smokes with her. At 5'4", slim and athletic—she ran three miles a day while in law school—Pelham insists that pot is the ideal antidote to a hairy workday: It never induces a post-happy-hour hangover and, unlike the Xanax a doctor once prescribed for her anxiety, never leaves her groggy or numb. "Look, every female attorney I know has some vice or another," Pelham shrugs, tucking her long brown hair behind her ears, her 3-carat cushion-cut engagement ring catching the light. "It's really not a big deal."
Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.
If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.
Monday, September 28, 2009