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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.
Where are the female Tommy Chongs, the Snoop Dog (Lion)s, and the Willie Nelsons? They are out there, but they’re not talking. And they need to understand all they have to gain by coming out of the greenhouse or the pot cookie closet. Is it because they’re not as cavalier as men when it comes to going on record about breaking the law to smoke pot? With upwards of 850,000 marijuana arrests yearly and over a trillion spent, the war on drugs has been the costliest war in American history. Our job at the NORML Women’s Alliance is to urge women to become more vocal about the need to “free the weed.” But a sister needs to help a sister out!
So this is a call to arms to Kristen Stewart, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Sarah Silverman, Joss Stone, Paris Hilton , Drew Barrymore, Charlize Theron, Rihanna, Cameron Diaz , Mischa Barton and Jennifer Aniston. Which one of you will be gutsy (and career savvy) enough to cash in on your celebrity stoner status? Millions of us are waiting for our USmagazines to arrive with those first photos of a green goddess collecting her platinum bong for her commitment to the cause.Here are three good reasons why famous women should consider legalizing marijuana in America.
1. It’s an entirely green initiative. Oil companies are already bidding on the oil reserves underneath the ever-melting polar ice caps. Hemp is oil and all of our cars and airplanes can run on it while also putting out-of-work farmers back to work. Hemp actually improves the environment where it is grown. 2. It could save your life. Not only is pot way cooler than alcohol, it’s also non-toxic. Dylan Thomas could not have smoked himself to death. There has never been a cannabis-related death. Ever. In fact, recent studies show that cannabis kills stage 4 cancer cells. It’s not only not bad for you, studies are showing that cannabinoids (helpful compounds found in the plant) support the immune system. These same compounds found in the pot plant are found in mother’s milk. So, while drinking can kill you -- and others if you drive while intoxicated -- pot could save your life.
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.”