Ladies, Let’s Keep Our Clothes On ‘Til It’s Legal

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By Isabelle Farmer

Does a woman’s role in cannabis change where medical and adult use differences occur?

This poses an interesting point for debate, as women define their role in the cannabis industry and movement. There are a growing number of women who are playing active and vital roles in ending cannabis prohibition and developing a legalized cannabis market. Currently, the medical cannabis market is experiencing enormous growth, but at the same time there have been obvious growing pains that have made the experience more… interesting, if not difficult.

Does a woman’s role in cannabis change where medical and adult use differences occur?

Where we draw the line between “medical uses” and “adult or social uses” is anyone’s guess at this point. The blurry lines have made for some unique challenges, especially where the role of women is concerned.

Women have defined major roles in medical cannabis since its roots. The great Brownie Mary Rathbun was a hospital volunteer who

The great "Brownie Mary" Rathbun

The great “Brownie Mary” Rathbun– the REAL 420 Nurse

baked cannabis brownies for AIDS patients in San Francisco in the 1980’s and her high profile arrest was a major driving force in what has become the modern medical cannabis movement. Strong women, like Valerie Corral, founder of the Wo/Man’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) in Santa Cruz, CA, have put themselves in danger of arrest and prosecution for many years to cultivate safe medicine for the sick and dying. There has always been a strong presence of women as the business industry of medical cannabis has evolved, and that role continues to expand. Many great women have poured their hearts into making a movement that is respected and cherished.

There are also areas where the movement has grown that have challenged the boundaries of what is considered medical in our society. From “medical” hip-hop concerts to stripper bud tenders, differentiating between pop culture cannabis and the medical use movement has been difficult for many. While sexy and beautiful women are used to hawk products in almost every industry, when this strategy is applied to medical cannabis in advertising and promotion, it fuels the opposition’s argument against the benefits of medical cannabis. It makes it easy for public officials or concerned citizens to take this cause less seriously when they see a scantily clad “420 nurse” promoting free joint Friday in the local weekly.

From medical hip-hop concerts to stripper bud tenders, differentiating between pop culture cannabis and the medical use movement has been difficult for many.

Not that there is not a place for sexy in cannabis, but I do not get sexy when I go in for a checkup, or go to my dentist’s office. So where is that line drawn. When is it okay to allow sexy to sell, and when is it out of place and strange? I know if I took my son to the dentist and there was a half-naked girl cleaning his teeth, I would not be coming back. I know a lot of young men who might start getting their teeth cleaned more often, but that is kind of creepy.

So, what is the answer? The answer is adult use legalization. By removing the blurry boundaries and allowing for an adult market to flourish, truly medically oriented organizations can clearly take on that role and let sexy sell outside of the medical bubble.

But ladies, until it’s legal, let’s keep our clothes on.