As a journalist by trade, I've always been curious about my surroundings. It's a quality that often leads me to the most intriguing people and places.
I've been following the Baby Boomer fashion movement for quite some time; fabulous silver-haired women in their prime, wearing outfits worthy of editorials. Influencer Judith Bradley is one of those pioneers. You may have seen her model for Estée Lauder, Sephora, and luxury vape brand, Alair Vaporizers. When I came across her chic advert for the latter, I wondered if she had any bonds with cannabis. Little did I know, her relationship with the plant spans back to her childhood in the 1940s.
As a style icon and tokeresse, I thought Judith could provide a fascinating perspective on cannabis in the post-Prohibition era.
I hope you'll enjoy our recent tête-à-tête, which is robust with analogies, compelling philosophies and a mantra we can all get behind: "cannabis loves you."
Most people know you as a model and influencer, but perhaps aren't aware of your history with cannabis!
My relationship with cannabis has been going on my whole life. I heard the word "cannabis" when I was probably about 4-years-old. My father was a barber turned farmer in Saskatchewan; I was raised by wonderful parents who taught me that as humans, we are given this wonderful place, or "garden", to live. Everything in this garden is intended to help us, so the beauty of the cannabis plant cannot be denied. I saw it for the first time in 1948. It has been around forever!
Growing up, did you consume cannabis?
My father taught me how to infuse it, so that if I had a sore arm or sinus headache, all I needed to do was swipe a little oil on my forehead. It lifts the aura.
Your parents were seriously ahead of the curve. How would you describe the metamorphosis of cannabis leading up to legalization in 2018?
You know what they say about marriage... two people living together forever should never get married because once you bring the government into your relationship, it's over. It's the same with cannabis; herbs used by drug companies originated in plant life, which eventually turned to chemicals. But the saving grace with legalization is that everyone can now relax. People have access.
Let's get into stigma. Despite legalization, we still have a long way to go in terms of normalizing cannabis.
Yes. We cannot keep passing fear from generation to generation. We all knew about all this stuff in the 1960's; you couldn't have lived in the 60's and not tried cannabis. That's when everything was clean, but then, fear came in and paralyzed us. Along with fear, there was money mongering and we sold out.
Which gestures - big or small - can we make to help reduce stigma?
I suppose, darling, just talking about it! We can't let it be the elephant in the room. We should be learning and teaching more, so that generations do not come in with the same download of nonsense. It all comes back to communication and making sure that our understanding is right. Cannabis loves you. It was given to us by heaven to heal and educate.
Moving onto the fastest growing market of consumers: Baby Boomers. Fact is, they aren't adequately represented or included in cannabis culture.
We don't feel included in anything, for that matter. When I was in a 3-month campaign for Sephora, all I did was talk to women my age who felt this way. It's never actually happened to me because I'm stubborn, but when I go into a store, I feel lost. It's a feeling of not belonging in this world.
How can cannabis products benefit the Boomer population?
Almost 20 years of my life were spent managing administration for retirement homes. CBD oil would be like heaven for these wonderful people who are over-drugged or dying, to soothe their sore bodies and tired minds. There is nothing better we can give the aging.
As a Boomer with dynamite style, what are your thoughts on early female-centric cannabis accessories? I'm talking unicorn pre-rolls, kitschy puns on stash bags, and so on.
I always found them very odd. I always wondered, who designs this stuff? I feel women know they're the stronger of both genders, and really prefer something gentle.
We should be able to proudly wear and display our accessories, as we would a gorgeous handbag or hat!
Yes, and there's no limit as to what you can do with accessories. It would be great if there was one great evening bag designed for your vaporizer, for example. I don't think we should be wearing pins that say "High", like, "I'm cannabis Carol!" I liked it when there were 3 kinds of ice cream, not 25.
I want to know more about your cannabis rituals! What's your preferred method of consumption?
I have bad lungs and don't smoke. I have a wonderful vape pen. My parents used to smoke through a water pipe, quite advanced.
Do you have a favourite strain?
No! It's just like coffee; sometimes, I'll have an espresso, sometimes, I'll take it black. For every occasion, there's a feeling for something different. That's where education needs to come in. When cannabis was illegal, people just bought whatever they bought. Everything we choose is important. We, our souls, all have "vibrations". Let's say I have 5 strains in front of me, I don't think my conscious mind would say Oh, I'll pick this one because of this and that. I would put my hand out, and whatever it touched would be the one.
If Prohibition had never existed, what would a world with limitless and accessible cannabis look like?
It would give us utopia, a gentler place. If we could just drop CBD over a war zone, wouldn't it help heal?
Photos: KRUG Studios for Alair Vaporizers, Bisha Hotel, Judith Bradley.