Purple hues

Tehama and Kwabena drove up from Fresno to paint and smoke marijuana. (They declined to use their last names.) As attendees of Sacramento’s second Puff, Pass & Paint class on July 22, the couple left their four kids with a sitter and brought a bible. The front page didn’t reveal holy text, but rather space for a grinder and enough bud for three blunts and multiple bowls. A recreational and medicinal user, Tehama said she suffers from chronic lupus and treats it strictly with cannabis after a cocktail of prescribed pharmaceuticals proved debilitating.

“I couldn’t get out of bed,” she said. “And I got to get my kids to basketball, football, cheerleading. It just didn’t work. Cannabis has been a blessing.”

The instructor of the class, Tyler Joyner, said Puff, Pass & Paint classes destigmatize the plant. He said marijuana helps participants “let loose” and “get outside of themselves” as they partake in the newly recreational product and attempt a form of creativity that’s often been dormant since grade school.

“It’s easy to walk into,” said Joyner, a former pastor. “The classes really help people change their perspectives.”

After moving out to California on January 1, the national Puff, Pass & Paint company has already established a permanent location in Oakland and hosted events in San Francisco, Joyner said. For now, the Sacramento classes ($51.40 per person) will be hosted in the South Natomas backyard of a member of the local art community with a German Shepherd puppy that snuffles at those who enter the bathroom.

Underneath an ivy overhang dotted with string lights, roughly 30 people—predominantly chatty, chill women—puffed away as they used the provided brushes, acrylic paints and canvases to render Day of the Dead sugar skulls. Joyner gave a step-by-step demonstration while providing universally complimentary feedback, stressing the class is about the “process, not the product.”

The next class is scheduled for August 12, and Joyner said they will be held monthly, then weekly, if early interest produces steady attendance. Austa Martin, another instructor, said guests have only gotten too inebriated when they mixed cannabis with a more deadly drug: alcohol.

Participants kidded their table mates’ early efforts during a giggly start, then quieted as they focused on applying distinguishing features to their creations. Kwabena gave his skull bloodshot eyes, and his wife inserted a blunt into the mouth of hers as she enjoyed one herself.

After about two hours, the couple finished and placed hands on each others’ legs as they surveyed their work. Then Kwabena declared, “That’s a wrap,” and they left, planning to quench their munchies at a Golden Corral buffet.

Tickets are available at https://puffpassandpaint.com/find-a-class.