- Jennifer Betz
Women Changing Cannabis: Louisiana Marijuana Card Celebrates Dr. Chanda Macias
Women in Louisiana Have the Power to Smash the Stigma of using Legal Medical Marijuana
Cannabis offers unique business opportunities for women who want to get into the wellness market on a new level. It is also becoming widely recognized as a legitimate treatment for a number of qualifying conditions that affect families, like PTSD and chronic pain.
Today, we are celebrating Women’s History Month by recognizing Dr. Chanda Macias, founder of Louisiana-based medical marijuana company, Ilera Holistic Healthcare.
Dr. Macias is one of the most successful women in cannabis, but her mentorship has contributed to the success of dozens of other women entering the business as well.
Not only does she run one of the only two medical marijuana companies authorized to operate in the state of Louisiana, she is also the first woman of color to operate a multi-state cannabis company, she worked in conjunction with Southern University to become the first Historically Black University to create its own CBD line, and she is the founder and CEO of Women Grow—an organization dedicated to helping women succeed in cannabis.
Women Supporting Women is the Way Forward for Cannabis as a Business, and for Medical Marijuana Patients in Louisiana
Back in 2017, Dr. Macias was interviewed on CBS This Morning for a segment on “Pot Moms.” In the segment, Macias and a few other women shared their excitement for cannabis, as well as the challenges and concerns they faced for their families and their future.
“It’s okay for people to judge me based upon what I’ve chosen to do, but it’s very hurtful for them to judge my son where he’s innocent in this,” Macias said as she discussed the value of having a group of moms supporting each other in an industry stunted by stigma and continued grey-area laws.
Women who network get things done and drive societal change. Their concern for families and their fierce support of each other are a force to be reckoned with. From the Women’s Suffrage Movement, to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, women banding together and speaking out for the betterment of their communities are vital to the health and wellness of our families.
Dr. Macias started her own women’s cannabis network, and it is an inspiration to women everywhere working to break free of old-fashioned beliefs and stigmas that hold us back from feeling our best.
Using Medical Marijuana in Louisiana: Is it Even Legal?
Medical marijuana in Louisiana is a complicated subject due to misunderstandings and stigma. Despite the fact that Louisiana was actually the first state in the Deep South to legalize medical marijuana and implement a program for access, many are unaware of the legal status of therapeutic cannabis.
The good news is that you can get a Louisiana marijuana recommendation today, and go to a dispensary to purchase your legal medical marijuana tomorrow. The list of qualifying conditions is long, and a marijuana doctor can recommend cannabis for any condition or symptom that is deemed to be debilitating.
The varying levels of awareness about the availability/legality of medical marijuana point to a larger issue: Stigma. Even though marijuana was recognized as a legitimate medicine by medical texts in the 19th and early 20th centuries, prohibition campaigns effectively changed laws, ended research, and shifted public opinion through sensational headlines and public service films like Reefer Madness.
One Woman Changed Attitudes About Medical Marijuana in Louisiana
Attitudes about medical marijuana changed among lawmakers in the state after Alison Neustrom testified before a committee, asking them to allow patients suffering from cancer to legally access relief through cannabis.
Unfortunately, Neustrom died from pancreatic cancer just a few months after her testimony and before she saw the results of her brave plea.
However, the following year, the Alison Neustrom Act was passed, opening the door to creating a program that gives Louisiana residents access to natural medicine that can enhance quality of life for thousands of patients.
How Does Medical Marijuana in Louisiana Affect Families?
People on both sides of the fence use families in the defense for their arguments about whether or not marijuana should be legalized. People that think prohibition should remain the rule of the land point to the potential for children to pick up a habit that they should avoid, and they raise concerns about marijuana products getting into the wrong hands.
However, families may stand to benefit the most from medical marijuana legalization. When parents can access the medicine they need in order to feel their best, everyone gets something good out of it.
Decriminalizing marijuana is another move in a direction that benefits families. Low-income and communities dominantly populated by people of color are disproportionately affected by marijuana law enforcement, and decriminalizing could level the field.
Even minor drug offenses can ruin a person’s ability to get an education or a job. But making possession a civil offense rather than a criminal offense changes everything. People who would normally have years worth of financial and professional setbacks for enjoying a plant less dangerous than alcohol, would be able to move on and succeed at the same pace as everyone else.
How Can Women in Louisiana Help Destigmatize Cannabis?
The best way to destigmatize anything is to talk about it. Be open and honest about it. And be willing to have the hard conversations about it. In states where there is a lot of stigma around cannabis use, this may seem like a feat greater than moving mountains. However, anything is possible when you bring women together to fight for change.
Talking about medical marijuana with your friends and family, starting a support group for people who use medical marijuana for their conditions, and contacting your local representatives and your senators are all excellent ways to get involved. Consider starting the first Louisiana chapter of NORML if you are feeling extra motivated!
Get Your Louisiana Marijuana Card Today!
If you do not yet have your Louisiana marijuana card, this is the first step to making sure attitudes about medical marijuana in the state continue to change. When you have the ability to legally access medical marijuana and you are proud of it, you inspire others with your openness.
It’s not that people in Louisiana are not using marijuana. They just aren’t talking about it. It’s time to start the conversation.
Give us a call at (833) 253-2943, or schedule an appointment for an online Louisiana medical marijuana evaluation today!