“Just because I was supporting it, people think I smoke it,” the 24-year-old tells
“As a kid growing up, I was never interested in marijuana. It was not something for me,” the Sudbury, Ont., native explains. “It’s pretty cool that since it’s legalized, people’s perspectives have changed and more people can have an open conversation about it. I was so interested to learn how something becomes illegal to legal? What would happen to the black market?”
As for her choice for the National Costumes segment of the competition, which was designed by Nicaragua’s Neftali Espinoza, Boston knew it would turn heads.
“There’s no set national costume in Canada,” she says. “Over the years, there’s been a maple leaf, a hockey player… but we’ve never had something so controversial. It was something I believed in.”
Competing for the Miss Universe title was a dream Boston has had since she was a little girl — one she concedes could have gone up in smoke with her costume choice. The Dec. 8 competition was held at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, where cannabis is illegal for recreational purposes federally and within the state.
“I can’t tell you for sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing — it was a risk as drug laws across the world vary and wearing a cannabis-inspired costume might be considered an affront,” she says. “But we had to clear it with Miss Universe prior to wearing it and they were all okay with it.”
“I was with Miss Uruguay at the beginning and Uruguay was the first country to legalize marijuana and when she found out about my costume, she was like, ‘I am so mad I didn’t think of that first.’ Miss Colombia thought it was a good idea.”
Boston says Miss Indonesia, on the other hand, was a little more distant.
“She didn’t want to be anywhere near when photos of my costume were being taken.” Drug laws in Indonesia are among the strictest in the world. Cannabis was banned in 1927 and remains prohibited — people caught can face hefty fines or a minimum jail sentence of four years.
The costume also caught the attention of mainstream media and talk show hosts like David Spade, who weighed in on his show Lights Out.
“A Canadian competitor in the Miss Universe pageant wore a marijuana-themed costume,” he said after the pageant. “She was the most stoned contestant since Miss Saudi Arabia.”
As for Boston’s family, they “weren’t opposed to the costume, but they were a little confused. They were more worried about me crossing the border,” she told the Cannabis Update Podcast.
With no trouble at border crossings and the pageant behind her, Boston is now preparing for her new role — in the cannabis industry. She was just hired to work with The Cannabis Investor, a Windsor-based marketing company. And she was also hired to speak at NoCo Hemp Expo in Denver, Colorado.
As for the ones who might diss her for lack of experience in the cannabis space, she says, “People who are not into the industry at all may not want to work with me because they think I am a stoner. But ‘stoners’ might say that I don’t even smoke weed so I may not know anything. I kind of stand-in between everybody. I am very up front about the fact that I don’t smoke. But I never say I won’t use it — if it was something I needed medically, sure I would take part in it.”
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