Post by Ask Jan on Apr 20, 2011 5:20:35 GMT -8
Women who use drugs or are even suspected of using illegal drugs might as well wear a Scarlett Letter. Factor the stigma of drugs in with a little color; add some poverty and you now have a woman on the fringes of society. As mothers, grandmothers and daughters, we know all too well the disgrace that comes as a result of minimal possession arrests.
Of course there is the infamous case of Angel Raich. She is well known for her battles on the frontline of the medical marijuana debate. She is a survivor who suffered a maelstrom of conditions, with an inoperable brain tumor and was prescribed marijuana by her doctor. He said it was the only thing keeping her alive. Didn’t stop them from going and arresting her for 6 plants! Only they didn’t realize just exactly what they were doing. They created a force to be reckoned with and Ms. Raich continues on the front lines today!
Often, if women choose to speak out in favor of medical marijuana the repercussions can be life altering. Take a women recently arrested in Nevada. She and he husband are both cardholding patients. Metro Police in Las Vegas conducted the raid in April of 2011 and found approximately 40 plants. She and her husband were both arrested and charged with drug trafficking, conspiracy and child endangerment. Her 14 year old son was also taken into custody. She claims her Doctor told her she could have up to 99 plants, however, in Nevada; a cardholding medical marijuana patient is limited to a maximum of 7 plants at a time. Clearly, she is over the limit, but since her advocacy efforts made her a public figure, she feels the arrest was more politically motivated.
The rate of single parenthood is at an all time high. Many of these parents are women with children. If a woman finds herself in need of help and applies for public housing, she can be denied such housing if she is found to have marijuana in her system. Never mind you may be in a legal medical marijuana state. Forget that she is a cardholder. She smokes marijuana so she must be “bad.” Therefore, no help for you or your children! Can this happen to men? Clearly, it can, but a larger majority of single parent households are headed by women. Women who are, more often than not, already stretched to capacity, are forced to deny the personal freedom to choose the medicine of their choice because society says so!
The time for imbalance is long overdue! As women we must have the courage to speak our minds regardless of what we are told we should say or do. It’s past time for an end to the war on drugs and quit making grandma a criminal because she smokes a little marijuana to get through her day!