Photos by @thiscannabislife
American cannabis culture has not always had a place for women — at least not while they're wearing anything more conservative than a bikini. However, as green enjoys increasingly mainstream popularity, its microcultural followings have also multiplied. Be it because of recently recreational legalizations in some states or just the brilliance of Broad City, the millennial stoner girl (or even just a female-identifying person who enjoys cannabis from time to time) is on the rise — and the Instagram account Wolfie Memes speaks directly to the whole sect.
Comedian Rachel "Wolfie" Wolfson runs the show, capturing moods from Delighted Rihanna (she's got weed!) to Dismayed Rihanna (a stranger took her blunt! Rude) to the chillest bride perhaps ever. Wolfie, who also co-hosts cannabis culture podcast The Budd, grew up in a fairly strict, political family in Las Vegas (her mom was actually the judge who put O.J. Simpson in jail for his alleged robbery in Vegas). But by age 24, she learned to swap pharmaceuticals for cannabis in treating her anxiety and depression. From there, she investigated NORML as part of her college thesis and grew into a full-blown advocate. Wolfie eventually found humor as a viable vehicle for propelling her message — thus, Wolfie Memes was born.
MERRY JANE caught up with Wolfie to chat about Beyonce, dating a person who doesn't use weed at all, and how weird it is that the majority of her followers are dudes.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity
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MERRY JANE: What are the people like who follow @WolfieMemes?
Rachel Wolfson: Well, it's funny, because even though I'm playing to a female audience, most of my audience is male. So 58 percent of my followers on Instagram are male. This is just on Instagram — people can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter — but this is my main following, and 42 percent are women. But what I love seeing is, [women] comprised 37 percent at one point. You know what I mean? So my followers are a little bit young... Most of them are 18-24, but I also have people who are of all ages, up until 65-plus it says.
But I play to millennials, younger and a little bit older, and I think that's just because I'm kind of an old soul. I love anything from Chappelle to the Kardashians... I'll get a little political, even.
Definitely. And how old are you?
I am 30.
Photo by @thiscannabislife
How do you decide what's gonna be in a given meme? How do you hone in on what content you want to create?
It's different. Some days, I'll just have a joke or a one-liner that'll come to me, and I'll be like, "I need an image for that," or sometimes I'll get an image first, and then a one-liner or caption will come to me. Some days I'm more creative than others, and I'll create three memes in like 10 minutes, and I'm like, "Oh great, I have memes for the next three days." So I don't really have a process, it's more just like I wake up every day and I'm like, "I have to create, I have to put something out there."
A lot of times, [I respond] to what's going on that's relevant. If there's like an awards show or something I know people are gonna be watching, I try to pay attention and ask myself what type of good content could come from that. So I always try to stay relevant somehow, or relevant and relatable.
And how often are you high when you're creating them?
I'm high all the time, so... [laughs] I do standup comedy, that's what my passion is, that's my love. And it's funny, because this meme account really set the foundation for me to get into standup comedy, and my friend, she doesn't smoke, but she's like, "I wonder if you would be even quicker if you weren't high." But who knows if weed slows me down.
I've definitely noticed recurring characters appearing on the account — like Saved By the Bell characters and Rihanna. How did you narrow that down? Who are other folks that are portraying feminism in the cannabis community, but also still being highly productive?
How do I narrow it down, I just ... I don't know. Do I know if Beyonce consumes cannabis? I'm not sure, but I know she's such a huge cultural part of our generation. Rihanna is one of a kind, though. I tried to make memes with Miley Cyrus for a while, but she's kind of left our industry.
Before I started using pictures of myself, I would just find pictures... It was really hard to find pictures of just average girls smoking weed that weren't in bikinis. Now they're everywhere, but even a few years ago it was really hard because no one was making that type of content.
Do you think that was mostly just because it was illegal still? What was holding it up?
Well I do think people were afraid, and before [recreational marijuana laws] passed in Vegas and California, not only did I do [the account anonymously] because I didn't want people to know if I was a guy or a girl, but I was afraid, too. And I think now, since rec has passed, now you just see girls everywhere, women of all walks of life [enjoying cannabis] — mothers even putting out content, grandmothers consuming cannabis. There's been a shift over the past couple of years where I went from not having anyone… to now, when there are tons of women who are posting [cannabis content] regularly.
Photo by @thiscannabislife
I noticed that another recurring theme in your work: the dating realm; where it's like, "Pretty girls don't smoke weed," and dudes who are trying to look for women who do smoke weed. How do you draw inspiration from real life whenever you're creating that sort of content? I find it to be some of the most relatable stuff you make.
Oh my gosh, it's so funny, that's such a great question. I have dated guys who would try to make me quit. I've even quit for people before I realized that I didn't have to do that. And again, this was before recreational legalization went into effect; this was before I had the support from the community, or even found a community out here. I guess in retrospect, my own health needs took a backseat to try and cater to these relationships. Some of these things that I've made into memes are things that guys have said to me.
Oh wow. Like what?
Like, "Pretty girls don't smoke weed." I dated a guy who flat-out said that. That's where I get inspiration; it comes from my life. After things ended with the last guy I dated who didn't like that I [use cannabis], I told myself "This is it. I can't be with someone who doesn't support this." And even if he doesn't consume himself, he can't make me quit, or I can't have that. The guy that I'm currently dating smokes weed and we grow weed together. He's such a great guy.
Yeah, no that totally makes sense. It's hard enough to be dating somebody who doesn't also imbibe, but somebody who actually judges you for your own usage is kind of ridiculous.
Right. Exactly. I would even try to explain and have that conversation with him, like, "This is a medicine to me, this isn't a drug." A guy I dated was like, "This changes you." That's not the case. But he just didn't understand, which is weird because he smoked weed too. It was a control thing for him.
Do you drink alcohol as well, or is it mostly cannabis for you?
Mostly cannabis for me. I have never loved drinking. I will enjoy a glass of wine here and there, but truthfully, I think that alcohol plays to my depression. I've found that when I drink just one glass of wine, I'll wake up feeling a little bit low. And that has never happened with cannabis. So I try to not really drink ever.
Yeah, that's fair. And so where do you see the Instagram account going eventually?
Well, I've been reading a lot about what's going on with Instagram, and people's thoughts ... And I know that it's important to be everywhere other than Instagram. I want the account to at least be a point of advocacy. I know it's humor and memes, and stupid pictures and whatnot. I don't want to say stupid pictures, but for me, it's all about spreading the message of cannabis, and making content that's relatable.
By spreading the message, people who may not be comfortable sharing their own pictures of weed can still maybe share a piece of the humor. I think humor is a message that speaks to everyone. I've met so many great people through my Instagram account, and I've had so many opportunities that I never would think would happen, so I'm just grateful for it really.
Guilty 😁💨 @wolfiememes @wolfiecomedy ________________________________ #iwillmarrymary #justblazeig #cannabiscommunity #cannabis #hightimes #highsociety #dank #dankmemes #kush #og #maryjane #mmj #710 #420 #mood #currentmood #blunts #memes #wolfie #wolfiememes #fitfam #fitness #igfitness #rihanna #organic #green #thc #chronic
For more on Rachel "Wolfie" Wolfson, follow @wolfiememes on Instagram
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