Women are on the front lines of the war to legalize cannabis – and paying a heavy price.
There are two high-profile cannabis cases right now that are making global headlines. Both of them involve women who have been caught with cannabis – and face years if not decades in prison.
In Russia, WNBA star Brittney Griner has just pled guilty to drug charges for bringing about a gram of liquid cannabis in her luggage as she embarked on what she thought would be a lucrative off-season abroad.
Just days before this, last week, an Israeli woman was sentenced to life imprisonment rather than the death sentence for drug possession (including cannabis) in the United Arab Emirates.
Women may not be represented equally in the industry at the executive level yet, but they are increasingly on the front end of the drug war as global laws change. Not to mention being subjected to heavy penalties.
Women Are “Half the Battle”
In North America, women are certainly more present in the industry than just about anywhere else – and from every level – from working in the industry itself to proudly identifying as consumers (which is, if one remembers just a few years ago, a real and welcome change.)
Indeed, it speaks volumes that a high-profile female American user would be targeted in Russia in what many observers are calling a bold power play to obtain an early release for Russians held in the US and for far worse “crimes.”
Russian officials have even been quoted as saying that they have done nothing differently than some U.S. states still can (even though hemp is now federally legal).
Regardless, the entire scenario puts yet more of a spotlight on the political deadlock on federal legalization in the US – not to mention the state of reform in Russia.
Cannabis reform is also lagging throughout the Arab world. The UAE, like most Arabic countries, has not reformed its cannabis laws – much – although life in prison is preferable to the death penalty.
Regardless, this case too highlights the draconian penalties that still exist in some parts of the world for a plant with increasingly noted healing properties. Not to mention that such laws are being applied without regard to gender.
This article first appeared on Internationalcbc.com and is syndicated here with special permission.