Featured women in cannabis

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A History of Women in Weed

  1. 1100s Benedictine Abbess, Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), was a composer, musician, herbalist and mystic who wrote about the medicinal use of cannabis in her book, ‘The Physica’. She grew cannabis in her herbal garden and recommended its use against nausea and stomach troubles.
  2. 1563 Queen Elizabeth orders English crop growers to devote a portion of their land to growing hemp. She added a fine of £5 for any eligible landlord who failed to comply.
  3. 1840 - 1850 Queen Victoria is said to have been prescribed cannabis for her menstrual cramps
  4. 1846 Harriet Martineau, writer, feminist and sociologist (and relative of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge) travelled to the Middle East. In her memoir, Eastern Life, Present and Past, she recounts an experience of enjoying cannabis in a harem.
  5. 1876 Louisa May Alcott, writer of Little Women, published her short story, ‘Perilous Play’ about young socialites who experiment with hash. The story ends with the love interest of the socialite declaring, “Heaven bless hashish if its dreams end like this!”
  6. 1954 Alice B Toklas, life partner of author Gertrude Stein, published her recipe for Haschish Fudge in The Alice B Toklas Cookbook.
  7. 1969 Renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead testified before congress in favour of the legalisation of cannabis. In her testimony she declared “It is my considered opinion at present that marihuana is not harmful unless it is taken in enormous and excessive amounts. I believe that we are damaging this country, damaging our law, our whole law enforcement situation, damaging the trust between the older people and younger people by its prohibition, and this is far more serious than any damage that might be done to a few overusers, because you can get damage from any kind of overuse.”
  8. 1974 Writer, civils right activist and poet extolled the benefits of cannabis in her autobiography ‘Gather Together in My Name’: “I learned new postures and developed new dreams. From a natural stiffness, I melted into a grinning tolerance. Walking on the streets became high adventure, eating my mother’s huge dinners an opulent entertainment, and playing with my son was side-cracking hilarity. For the first time, life amused me.”
  9. 1978 American intellectual and writer Susan Sontag was interviewed by High Times saying, ‘I think marijuana is much better than liquor. I think a society which is addicted to a very destructive and unhealthy drug, namely alcohol, certainly has no right to complain or be sanctimonious or censor the use of a drug which is much less harmful.’
  10. 1980s Mary Jane Rathbun, a.k.a. “Brownie Mary,” illegally bakes and serves brownies to San Francisco AIDS patients. After her arrest in in 1992, Mary testified to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors about the medical benefits of marijuana. This led to a Board resolution to make medicinal cannabis possession the "lowest priority" in arrests and prosecution. On the day of the City Hall rally, the Board declared August 25th to be "Brownie Mary Day" in recognition of her work at the San Francisco General Hospital with AIDS patients.
  11. 2004 Professor Ester Fride, the Dutch Israeli scientist, published, ‘The endocannabinoid-CB receptor system: Importance for development and in pediatric disease’, in which her results proposed the importance of a fully developed endocannabinoid system for the survival and healthy suckling among infant mammals.

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