The feminist tide that runs through Latin America, as well as the debates over the legalization of cannabis in the region, has given them visibility. In Mexico, their voices are increasingly present in the streets, on social networks, through collectives and associations that promote the medicinal or recreational use of the plant, spaces from which they also seek to break with stigmas and demand legalization with a gender perspective.
Karen growcia is one of them. Three years ago, tired of being stigmatized and taking risks for clandestinely obtaining marijuana, she decided to adapt her backyard and a corner indoors to grow her own plants. « Because of the need to stop risking my life by going to look for cannabis in places where they are not recommended for a woman and to stop consuming things that we do not know what they have, that is why my desire to start growing », he says.
A member of the Puerto Rican collective YunqueCrew, mother of an eight-year-old girl and a consumer for 10 years, she has found in cannabis a way to cope with exhausting maternal care and menstrual pain: “as a mother, one suffers a lot of stress; you are undertaking and you are very moved, this serves for stress. In menstrual cycles, instead of taking a pill, I smoke a joint or use CBD, the medicinal part, to calm my nerves and pains ”.
Jesica Maravilla « marnúñ », who participates taking care of the garden in the 420 plant installed outside the Senate of the Republic for a year, also considers that it is a plant that nourishes the female body.
Others have been enjoying its medicinal benefits for years, even if that means going against the medical structure. It is the case of Erandeni « Gi », who has been using marijuana for eight years to control epilepsy. This girl who collaborates in the social networks of the 420 plant says that it was her doctor who unofficially suggested drinking it in tea to alleviate insomnia and epileptic seizures, then she discovered the oil that changed her life.
« Little by little I was able to stop the medication without having problems, I have a good life and I am not taking other alternative medications. I don’t know if it works for everyone, but it does for me, and it is important that others understand the benefits, » he says.
Spreading the healing properties of cannabis and debunking the myths that demonize it is precisely the mission of The Sisters of the Valley, a movement of cannabis “nuns” born in California, which has partners in Mexico and other countries. For four years, the sisters Camilla and Luna They took the habit that characterizes the group and has dedicated themselves to promoting and marketing medicinal products in the country.
Wearing the habit is symbolic, they are not religious, but their life is governed by respect for nature, and the elaboration of their products follows a particular ritual: “Our plants and products are made under lunar cycles, it is part of our rules and commitments; It is medicine and we care that it has the best of us; we do ceremonies between lunar cycles and the production of our medicine ”, he explains Camilla Valley, activist and founder of the group in Mexico.
Its medicinal properties are mainly anti-inflammatory, which is why it acts against joint pain, migraines and menstrual cramps, explains Luna, who also studies biomedicine.
From other international associations such as ‘Mother Cultivate ‘Mothers from different Latin American countries whose children suffer from epilepsy or other pathologies have been fighting for years so that access to cannabis oil, seeds of the plant and their self-cultivation are decriminalized. Thus they have also managed to weave a network of collective care.
In Texcoco, Mariana lopez he has woven his own self-care networks with marijuana. Buds grow in her home garden that she uses for home remedies. He started preparing them to relieve their migraines and joint pains, now he makes creams and oils that he then distributes to his neighbors and mothers with children with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
There is no doubt that in the country, even though legalization is still pending, there is a booming cannabis industry, and women are putting their own stamp on it. Medicinal, therapeutic, feminine hygiene products, to promote sexual pleasure, cosmetics. “What are they not doing! There are girls making lubricants, there are different themes, and they are all betting on the first step, which is not being afraid to recognize themselves and to be the front line of cannabis women who are fighting for all, « he says Cati Villarreal, cultural manager and member of the women’s circles that organize every Wednesday at the Reforma sit-in.
In that weekly space, Cati and other girls have brought together 11 cannabis women’s organizations for the first time to share experiences and create solidarity networks. From there they also seek to sensitize the cannabis movement to the feminist struggle and demand legalization with a gender perspective, since proposals such as the bill that is currently being reviewed in Congress leave those who self-cultivate for medicinal or recreational use at a disadvantage.
They are marking more stigmatization, says Karen: “I have a daughter and the new law is telling me that I cannot grow or consume if I have a minor at home, although I have a space with a patio so I don’t do it where he is, and He also tells me that I cannot smoke on the street, instead of helping, he is stigmatizing and criminalizing us more ”.
Anyone should grow what they consume without being labeled a criminal, he maintains. In her opinion, the law under discussion will benefit only large companies: “If I, as a mother cultivator, want to start a business, I will find it very difficult because I will not have the money to buy a permit and be able to get a product, a mark ».
Both the bill and the recently published regulations governing the medicinal use of marijuana do not take into account entrepreneurial women or indigenous peasant women or producers.
« How is it possible that the regulation only contemplates five or six plants and if they find a seventh I will already be a drug trafficker? », Asks Cati, who also points out the void in which this law would leave peasant women or indigenous women who cultivate and benefit from the plant from their traditional knowledge.
“The female deputies are not talking about cannabis women and what they use them for, some are mothers taking care of their children. They are going to have to request more than five licenses to cure their children. » She assures that they are leaving vulnerable groups of women at a disadvantage, such as the elderly, peasant women or single mothers.
The Sisters of the Valley México see advances in regulation, but also criticize that it only benefits a few. In addition, they question that the regulation of medicinal use published on January 1 indicates that any promotion of cannabis medicine is directed only to health professionals, not to the general population.
“It makes me serious that you can’t promote it because that limits very valuable information that we all need to know, and we as activists have the job to talk about the benefits of the plant. It’s not fair to me, ”says Camilla Valley.