Reflecting on my Relationship with Cannabis

By Lalita Rose 

Feeling Fine by Savina Monet

Praise to the Creator of Earth and her inhabitants. Praise to the Source of Life. Calling and invoking the Love within us. Creator, who is urging our human consciousness to awaken to the true possibility of liberation and connection, thank you for the gift of your sacred plants. Plants that heal us, that speak to the organs in which you crafted, to come into balance. Creator may we remember the sacredness of every relationship we encounter, may we remember what it is to be human. To be human is to love. To be human is to celebrate differences.  To be human is to create and always be innovative while respecting the generations that came before and those that will come after. Please give us the strength to protect your sacred land.
Cannabis magnifies and presents to us a clear picture where both liberation and oppression function. It teaches us the malleability of our realities and complexities. This malleability gives us the opportunity to alter patterns of behaviors, thought processes that are shaped by our internal dialogue where we see direct results. In large part, it appears that we have yet again need to return to the basics by reflecting on what it means to be human. Opening my copy of Audre Lorde’s “Sister Outsider”, in the essay “Learning from the 60s,” her voice whispers across time: 

“As Black people, if there is one thing we can learn from the 60s, it is how infinitely complex any move for liberation must be. For we must move against not only those forces which dehumanize us from the outside, but also against those oppressive values which we have been forced to take into ourselves,” (Lorde, 135). 

We, and by ‘we’ I mean every single human on this planet, are sitting with this grand task. For many of us, we struggle to find words to describe the emotional territory in which we find ourselves. Collectively, we are in a pandemic, probably the largest pandemic of our generation. Prior to the life-form, that is COVID-19 traveling around the world, it became crystal clear; there is a global voice rising up for the protection of our sacred mother Earth.  Indigenous people of African, Turtle Island, Phillipino, Chinese, Irish, Scottish peoples are returning to the foundations of what offer truths that exist, buried under the fabricated lies of plastic, wasteful, white supremacist Capitalism. The younger generation is reaching back, searching for the Elders who not only hold knowledge but enact it for community uplifting.  Mama Lorde is one such Elder. She did not sleep, nor despair or give up on our human capacity for real change. In the 80s, where 60% of Black youth under 20 were unemployed and becoming unemployable, lynchings were increasing, Apartheid in South Africa was reaching its violent peak, yet there were minds and people who did their work. 

Each generation received a torch passed from a previous one. In each era, there are sub-generations, the older folks, the children, the adults, the teenagers, the babies. Each member holds a thread; a piece to the larger puzzle. Each root of the large tree of life is our family systems. Within our roots, lies what needs to die, and what needs to be nourished and survive. These fabrics interweave in every aspect of our lives, to what we eat, how we spend our time, how we view sex and relationships, and even how we wipe our asses. Though what aspect of ourselves are we feeding?

Plants are organic matter that can communicate information without having to search on Google. The ancestors of healing knew this, the ones who are open can still hear, and nothing can ever change that. Cannabis is a plant that since its birth was a plant that supports the elevation of human consciousness. It is a plant that opens portals and allows us to see in a larger holistic vision when our Consciousness is directed to do so. Cannabis gives us permission to access the aspects of our minds that can shapeshift our reality. It affirms our gifts as healers, as artists, as craftsmxn, as lovers, as humans. Yet it can also give us a portal into those shadow spaces. The grief, the ugly, the loss, and with it all, we humbly give thanks for the wisdom that lies when we allow ourselves to cry, to speak our truth, and to wrestle with our fears. 

Reading Audre Lorde’s account of the 80s reads like a newscast that happened in last week’s news cycle. “Decisions to cut aid for the terminally ill, for the elderly, for dependent children, for food stamps, even school lunches, are being made by men with full stomachs who live in comfortable houses with two cars and upteen tax shelters,” (Lorde, 140). Not to mention that the 60s were rife with the fear of complete annihilation under the threat of the Nuclear War. She continues, “Can any one of us here still afford to believe that efforts to reclaim the future can be private or individual? Can anyone here still afford to believe that the pursuit of our liberation can be the sole and particular province of any one particular race, or sex, or age, or religion, or sexuality, or class? (Lorde, 141).

So here we are. In 2020, former Toronto Police Chief responsible for the imprisonment of thousands of Black and Brown teenagers, men and women, mothers for even having as small as a gram of cannabis is now the Board Chair of Aleafia Cannabis Wellness.. Fantino, once compared the legalization of marijuana to legalizing murder”.  His position alongside other individuals who are not the native caretakers of this sacred medicine, brings into focus an area where justice and accountability need to be made. Our planet still needs protection as Indigenous peoples around the globe are laying their lives on the line in places such as the Amazon, Wet’su’weten territory, to ensure that all of our lives will be worth living for generations. Audre Lorde’s haunting question after reflecting on the legacy she stands on: are we doing our work? Are we willing to carry on this sacred torch we have been given from generations prior? There is so much that we can do, if we can avoid cutting each other down and out of our lives. If we can hold onto compassion for ourselves and one another, and know that there is a juicy vision that is calling upon us to rise up into our power. And perhaps it’s no longer about being at war with the external other. Perhaps it is about centering in our profound dreams and desires. Maybe it is in practicing the feelings of pleasure, affirmation, creativity, experimentation that can snap us out of being drained, and spur us into action that is fueled not by shame, or guilt, or fear, or “we are running out of time,” but of curiosity and anticipation that our collective inspiration can produce different results.

Plants and humans have always had a symbiotic relationship Capitalism puts a price on everything that is priceless. The commodification of Cannabis can change how we are in relationship to it and with the heightened unequal approach to the Cannabis industry, I wonder if this impacts our highs? We are already largely separated from our food systems, as big corporations monopolize on Mama Earth’s main function; an abundant giver. Plants support us in maintaining and returning our bodies, minds, and spirits into equilibrium and balance, including the hallucinogenic herbs that have largely been marked as poisonous and illegal. Though big businesses and governments have no qualms selling poisonous foods, chemicals, and lucrative plant properties. 

Cannabis has taught me compassion. It’s shown me that our life is in fact interconnected, that we can shift our perceptions and the whole world can change. It’s hard stems grow like the neural pathways in our brains. Cleanse your body, purify your mind with this plant. It’s taught me that we are all healing, whether we are Black, White, wealthy, cash poor, and we want to do better, but we can get trapped in our past, all of us. At a moment such as this, we are so capable to tune into our inner perceptions and be the midwives of Mama who will birth us into an era of regeneration.


Lalita Rose is a futurist, time- traveler, plant-lover, pleasure seeker, weaver of songs, films, and visions. You can catch her conjuring a story, reading tarot, twerking mid-day and talking on the phone with people across the seas.

The Power of Dandelion Root Tea

By Lalita Rose

Illustration by Vero Romero

who knew the wishes upon dandelion heads, whose golden petals turn into gray wisps would be the same plant that taught me how to stand up for myself?

whose roots in tea would tend to my inner fire with the truth serum to say, no.

a channeling of unexpressed anger, of boundaries crossed. calm, clear, collected. there is wisdom in their ample presence. a reminder that anger is okay, and you can find ways to communicate it without losing yourself. 

maybe they are the medicine that keeps trying to call out: i am here to help you but humans tend to be stubborn in trusting the frequent alarm. there is righteous rage, waiting to be expressed.

perhaps that is what will help us transmute, that which feels too heavy to expel.

Feminist Weed Farmer

A Two-Part Book Review on “Feminist Weed Farmer: Growing Mindful Medicine in Your Own Backyard,” by Madrone Stewart.

Review by Lalita Rose 

Is this issue getting you juiced up to start growing your own marijuana? Let me tell you, that desire will be stoked with the fire that is Madrone Stewart. Stewart is a cannabis grower based in North California and she deliciously paints a realistic picture of how you can grow in a pleasure-filled, liberatory and feminist practice. Published by Portland-based, Microcosm Publishing in 2018, “Feminist Weed Farmer: Growing Mindful Medicine in Your Own Backyard’ is a feminist-instructional-DIY guide. Induced with wisdom and political reflection on the transformational and liberating effects of cultivating healthy ganja for your personal use, Madrone critiques the expanding cannabis industry and the hypocrisy of the dispensary system.

She boldly states, “I believe that in order to consume cannabis with integrity, we must derive our plant medicine from ethically responsible sources,” (Steward, 9). She continues: 

“Cannabis, DMT, mushrooms, ayahuasca, and LSD, among other entheogenic plants and compounds, can help us to illuminate these invisible prisons that society has created for us, which prevent us from thriving. I believe that growing and getting high on cannabis and other psychedelics can help to wake us up to who we are, how society is actively constraining our dreams, and they can help us illuminate pathways to liberation and self actualization,” (Stewart, 9-10). 

Her introduction empowers readers to ask themselves the question on why it is important to gain control over their access and consumption of cannabis.  On the topic of dispensaries she declares “I love my straight white brothers, but I do not think it is fair that they have come to control this industry, especially because of the disproportionate incarceration of black and brown people for cultivating and selling pot throughout the span of the war on drugs,” (Stewart, 10).

An inspiring call towards women’s capacity for self-actualization, and why it’s radical and political to take responsibility, to control our consciousness how we see fit. The guidebook is helpful for both beginner and seasoned growers. Divided into 5 main parts she speaks to the plant life cycle (Stewart, 16-35), creating a good growing environment (Stewart, 34-63,) protecting your plants (Stewart, 64-75), harvesting your medicine (Stewart, 76-107) and hash making (Stewart, 108-121). She ends the book with “twenty ideas for enriching your cannabis growing experience,” as if the initial call wasn’t enough to get you started on growing your own high vibration ganja. 

With the shifts, changes and expansive market of cannabis that is available, it is my hope that we can produce, consume and share the plant medicine in a way that enhances our capacity to grow individually and collectively. As we step into Spring, may you receive blessings to a growing season that will elevate you. I have come to understand that there are various contributing factors that can impact one’s experience.Understanding our relationship with plant medicines, especially the plants that have a strong impact on our consciousness can perhaps allow us to learn more about how we are to come into balance and shatter perceptions that have disconnected us from our true humanity.


Review by Ciana Hamilton

When I first cracked open Madrone Stewart’s “Feminist Weed Farmer” I dont know what excited me more – the fact that there is a book written by a Black Feminsit Cannabis farmer or the fact that Stewart’s guide emphasizes the importance of growing Cannabis in it’s most natural state. I am a lover of growing all the things. The power of growing my own food or medicine is a big part of my personal liberation. Weed is no exception. Getting my hands on this book was exciting and I highly recommend it to anyone who has an affinity (or simply a curiosity) for growing your own cannabis medicine. You will quickly discover that Madrone is an advocate for an all earth grow; growing this herb outdoors with the sun, earth and fresh air. This is the common theme throughout, a sound chamber for the importance of growing this plant with its most ideal and natural conditions. It is important to recognize that growing your own cannabis plants indoors can be just as liberating and freeing.  Sadly, I dont have access to a private outdoor space but I still found the Feminist Weed Farmer to be influencial and a great resource of information. Throughout the guide Madrone touches on all the important topics of plant care and maintenance. She clearly and creatively takes the reader through the process from seed to harvest while intertwining her own personal lessons throughout the book. This guide challenges the standard narrative around what growing Cannabis looks like and gives folks something to lean on when starting out. My biggest take away from “Feminist Weed Farmer” was the integral part of meditating while tending to your garden. No matter what kind of medicine or food you are growing, do it with intention. Do it with love. Step into your garden with a mind that is tethered to the moment and transfer that energy to each of those plant babies. Big shoutout to Madrone Stewart for putting something like “Feminist Weed Farmer” into our community. 

Resources:

Stewart, M. (2018). “Feminist Weed Farmer: Growing Mindful Medicine in Your Own 

Backyard.” Microcosm Publising: Portand, OR.


Ciana Hamilton is a happy nappy freelance creative writer & journalist. When she’s not writing she can be found doing fun shit with her kids.

Headshot of Sharrae Lyon

Lalita Rose is a futurist, time- traveler, plant-lover, pleasure seeker, weaver of songs, films, and visions. You can catch her conjuring a story, reading tarot, twerking mid-day and talking on the phone with people across the seas.