Back in the 60s and 70s, the establishment knew well that it couldn’t make it illegal to be either black or against the war, but it could disrupt those communities by getting the public to associate blacks with heroin and the hippies with marijuana, and then heavily criminalizing both. It could break their meetings, raid their homes, arrest their leaders, and always vilifying them on the evening news.
However, according to CNN, this War on Drugs initiated by Nixon’s administration was, in fact, a political assault with tragic consequences on poor blacks and Latinos communities. To feminists who understand that racial justice is also necessary in order to achieve gender equality, the unfair criminal justice system is a big issue that legalization of marijuana could help address.
In fact, poor Latinos and black communities are not the only ones to benefit from legalization of marijuana. Feminists are also aware that legalization would benefit Native underprivileged youth, women and Native Americans. Usually, when people think about the War on Drugs and racism, Native Americans are not among the first demographic to consider. However, according to These Times, marijuana legalization on the majority of reservations across the country contributed to improved mental health and has created jobs. It could also be a method to combat Native Americans’ disproportionately high rates of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and alcohol addiction.
Marijuana can treat illnesses disproportionately affecting women
What’s even of more importance for feminists are the direct benefits of marijuana legalization for women. Legal marijuana is already changing the lives of women who suffer from chronic pain. It is being used to ease the symptoms of some medical conditions specifically affecting women, such as period pain and osteoporosis, anxiety and insomnia and even can give some better orgasms.
Scientific research has shown that marijuana may alleviate the symptoms of women who experience period-related pain. In fact, currently in New Jersey medical marijuana is being considered as an option to help menstruating women. And, for pregnant women another study published in the Journal of Perinatology has shown that marijuana can address both labor pains and morning sickness. Other studies have found that marijuana can kill breast cancer cells. Women’s Health Magazine has published an article notes that, by heightening the senses through increased blood flow, the drug helps many women orgasm.
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, multiple sclerosis (MS), breast cancer and eating disorders are affecting women in higher percentage than men. All these medical conditions can benefit from the medical marijuana consumption. For instance, a study published in Science Daily has shown that a 75 reduction in symptoms can be achieved by PTSD patients who smoked cannabis. Other research has found that less fatigue and greater speed and strength can be experiences by MS patients who use marijuana. Scientific research has also shown that marijuana can help women suffering from eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. It can also treat effectively a wide range or psychiatric disorders, including PTSD, depression and anxiety.
Marijuana can become the first billion-dollar industry dominating by women
As ATTN notes, the feminist case for marijuana legalization goes far beyond the racism of the War on Drugs to address the issues of kids in public education, women and Native Americans in important yet lesser-known ways. The lucrative legal marijuana market, according to Forbes, has become the fastest growing industry in the United States.
Weed comes with celebrity endorsements and has become now big business. Celebrities such as Bob Marley Melissa Etheridge, Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Wiz Khalifa and Whoopi Goldberg are backing up the marijuana industry. For instance, Whoopi Goldberg’s marijuana company has launched products that target women including cream and chocolate, as well as cannabis-infused bath salts. They aim to help alleviate menstrual pain. Endeavours such as Goldberg’s are a feminist victory, being good for women and good for feminism.
This new legal marijuana industry could be the first billion-dollar market dominated by women, as claimed by Newsweek. Because the business is so new, there are fewer barriers to women, as explained by female entrepreneurs such as Giadha DeCarcer. For instance, there are already thousands of subscribers to the industry networking group Women Grow.
By legalizing marijuana can be eradicated an illegal black market mostly controlled by drug barons and pimps. It can be then created a legal and safe industry in which women are well represented. This is obviously good news for feminists because it can make a significant difference to women’s quality of life.
While it is estimated that until 2152 they won’t receive equal pay for equal work, according to an article published by Bustle, many analysts believe that women are set to dominate the new legal marijuana industry. There are female cannabis lawyers, accountants, nurses, doctors, chefs, chemists, investors, marketers, and professors. Women can find in the marijuana trade a shortcut to get ahead in many avenues. In turn, women are helping to organize the marijuana industry as a viable business. American women have many opportunities provided by the legal marijuana to prosper, lead and create. Women, who are still disadvantaged economically in many ways, could only benefit from legalizing marijuana nationwide.
Many feminist women circles such as Cannabis Feminist are started across the country. These are communities made of women who want to explore the benefits of marijuana. These circles are inviting women to test together the best marijuana products in a safe place, learn more about cannabis, and provide feedback to companies in order to help them continue to innovate with women in mind. These feminist circles want to change the face of marijuana and shift the conversation towards wellness and health, as well as to create a new marijuana culture that is open, inviting and feminine.
Legalizing marijuana is also good for the environment
Feminists have linked their cause with many other social issues. Beside racism, they are also having a strong stand in environmental issues. Legalizing marijuana is better for the environment according Think Progress. On the same conclusion comes Scientific American, that argues that this would be a measure more responsible for the environment. Legalized cannabis would mean that growers do not need to contaminate untouched ecosystems or colonize remote forest lands anymore. They will also be free to move their crops outdoors, which would reduce carbon footprint and reduce energy consumption.
The demand for smuggled weed would entirely cease if marijuana would be legal all over the country. Since cartels typically use animal poison to preserve their product, diesel storage tanks and generators, the environmental impact of smuggling marijuana across the southern border would also be considerable reduced by making smugglers unnecessary.