The Future of Cannabis is Female

By Mayme Schmitz

Cannabis makes me feel confident, strong, and indestructible. As someone who has struggled with body image since I was in seventh grade, I value cannabis for its ability to get me out of the body dysmorphic state of mind I constantly exist in. My passion doesn’t come from an urge for an escape, rather a new route around self-consciousness and anxiety that is often overlooked by the stigma around smoking weed and “getting high.”

I realize most women feel alone in their approach to weed until they are given a platform for sharing what the plant has the power to do and their experience with its alleviating benefits. It took me four years to have a conversation with my mom about cannabis, and it wasn’t until then that I realized I wasn’t the only one in my own home that had a positive approach to smoking as a healing agent. My mom, a full-time artist in San Francisco, smokes to promote her subconscious creativity, to open her mind to artistic possibility, and push boundaries she may or may not realize are holding her back. She also uses CBD for severe back pain and frequent migraines.

“Cannabis is such a good tool to ground me and stay in the present moment rather than having anxieties about my past or my future.” -Samantha Urbani, from Cannabis Feminist.

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Most don’t realize there are a decent amount of people who smoke for reasons other than being inebriated. Being “high” has always carried a scary connotation -- but it also is important to examine why the thought is daunting. Weed is currently being revolutionized. It may not seem this way in Louisiana -- sharing a personal anecdote about how I respect the plant as “healing” and a form of “treatment” may seem ridiculous. Watching this transformation in San Francisco, however, has shown me two things: first, with open-mindedness and accessibility comes a change of perspective, from treating weed as a drug to approaching it as a medicine and a plant-based treatment. Second, a new project can create and bind together new communities, or small pockets within a greater community.

This revolution has also spurred a wave of feminist reaction and connection. Cannabis has been projected to be the first billion dollar industry led by majority-female CEOs, prompting the conversation to shift into being one of progress and breaking the glass ceiling. Organizations like Miss Grass, Women Abuv Ground, and Cannabis Feminist are working towards securing this great leap in socio-political equity, but also for greater representation of women of color in this victory, rather than solely white women taking leadership positions in the industry.

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“Anti-cannabis propaganda is everywhere, but it’s good to see people doing their research and discovering this beautiful plant and all its wonderful benefits.” -Rachel Wolfson, from Cannabis Feminist.

As the discussion around legalization and usage expands, it’s essential to keep the future in mind rather than the past. The historical context around smoking weed has been rooted in War on Drug tactics and mass incarceration, both defined and structured by systematic racism; the future, though, carries the potential to reclaim the cannabis scene through activism, inclusion, and medical innovation.

Long story short, use the power and influence you have as a student to keep the conversation alive, read up on the plant itself, and most importantly…listen. Listen to those with personal experience using cannabis for treatment and insight into how being high can be empowering and uplifting -- let’s keep the movement going.