The Legend Of Brownie Mary – And Implications For The Corona Pandemic

Brownie

Mary Jane Rathbun was a legendary cannabis activist. As a hospital volunteer in San Francisco during the height of the AIDS epidemic, she became known for baking and distributing cannabis brownies to AIDS patients at San Francisco General Hospital. Along with Denis Peron, Rathbun also helped pass San Francisco Proposition P in 1991 and California Proposition 215 in 1996. She was also instrumental in setting up the San Francisco Buyers Club – the first medical cannabis dispensary in the United States.

She was arrested three different times during this process, helping to bring interest and attention to the issue of both AIDS and cannabis legalization. Globally.

Although Rathbun is no longer here (she died in 1999), her legacy lives on.

As of last week, 21 years after her death, cannabis dispensaries across the United States, in states like Illinois, California and New York have deemed cannabis dispensaries as essential as pharmacies and thus allowed to stay open.

On The Front Lines Of Pandemics

Bravery is still required of those in the cannabis industry. Starting with figuring out how to serve patients in the best way. Especially in an environment where changing laws and times still do not really protect either cannabis patients or the industry.

The first is clearly to observe rules of operating in the pandemic applicable to all businesses. The second is to think of ways to help your clients. Home delivery is of course just one option. But so is finding ways, after the immediacy of the pandemic is over, to push forward greater cannabis reform and to support medical trials about the efficacy of cannabis as a viral and neural protectant. For the protection of both the industry and patients.

Cannabis as a drug (both as narcotic and antiviral) is in the room right now as much as governments want to pretend that it isn’t.

From AIDS to Corona – What Has Changed?

There has been a change in the way cannabis is viewed, but there is still a long way to go. And sadly, cannabis is still considered, at least officially, as a drug that is on the side-lines. 

As the world recovers and gets back on its feet if not properly back to business, the industry itself as well as advocates and patients need to make sure that cannabis is elevated to its proper place legally as well as in medicine cabinets – not to mention global laws about the classification and use of this drug.

Sick people are not criminals – nor is the cannabis industry illegitimate – at any place and in any country, that legitimately tries to help them.

The International Cannabis Business Conference will resume its conference schedule this summer.

Mary Jane Rathbun

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