Famous women stay mute when it comes to their relationship to weed, but their voices could be of the utmost importance.
The only way famous women talk openly and politically about pot use today is if they are using it “medically” — as in the case with Melissa Etheridge, who spoke openly about her pot use during the chemo treatments she underwent during her 2005 battle with breast cancer.
What we don’t hear is celebrity women who are willing to advocate for the legalization and taxation of weed, aka cannabis sativa. But they should, because it’s better for the economy, for the sick and ailing and prescription-addicted, for farmers and for the environment.
Twenty million-plus Americans use marijuana recreationally. And here’s where things get tricky for potential high-profile women advocates. Women have not been shown “what’s in it for them” if they endorse re-legalizing marijuana and industrial hemp. Subsequently, they still feel there’s too much at stake both personally and professionally to publicly stand up for drug policy reform. Even as much of our history as a nation included this plant — it served us as rope and masts in the ships that won our wars, as the medium for our founders’ message when the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper — f amous women stay mute when it comes to their relationship to weed.
3. It will probably make you a pop cultural icon. If you are a famous hot female, what’s more rad than getting photographed smoking a blunt in a Bob Marley bathing suit in Barbados? Rihanna could change lives if she would just come out and say, “I smoke pot. I like it.”
Dr. Andrew Weil, the guru of alternative medicine, has called cannabis sativa the dog of the plant world. In other words, the pot plant has been growing loyally since the dawn of mankind, making itself useful to us as fiber, food and medicine. This war on weed is being sustained by a self-interested government that has never figured out how to properly profit from legal marijuana production, and is afraid of its power to put so many big oil and pharmaceutical companies out of business.
Famous women can help change this by arming themselves with the facts and being fearless in the conviction of their choices. Theirs are the voices that are missing from this important struggle, and they need to step up. It’s high time.
Greta Gaines is a singer/songwriter who lives in Nashville, TN with her husband and two young sons. She serves on the national board of NORML and on the NORML Women’s Alliance. She has been named in Skunk Magazine’s “100 most important marijuana activists.”