9 Prominent Women in The Legalization Movement

The marijuana industry is one of fastest growing sectors in the country. Not only is it set to create 300,000 jobs by 2020, but the marijuana industry also has potential to become one of the first major industries that equally represents women. From doctors to inventors, lawyers to activists, here are nine prominent women in the legalization movement.

1. Rachel Gillette, Attorney

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Colorado attorney Rachel Gillette works primarily in medical marijuana law and cannabis business licensing. Since 2010, Ms. Gillette has worked with Colorado-based marijuana businesses, specifically on issues involving taxation. She’s also the executive director of Colorado NORML and works with the NORML legal committee.

To date, Gillette is the only lawyer who has won a lawsuit against the IRS regarding cannabis business taxation. When a marijuana business paid their taxes in cash, the IRS fined them 10 percent. They sought out Gillette to sue the IRS.

As Gillette explained to Newsweek, “Most banks do not take marijuana business accounts, even in states where it is legal. They can’t afford the compliance cost.”

For this reason, her client had no choice but to pay their taxes in cash. Furthermore, Gillette’s victory against the IRS is the first of its kind in cannabis law.

2. Dr. Lakisha Jenkins, Herbalist

Dr. Lakisha Jenkins has a long history of advocating for medical marijuana. An herbalist by degree, Dr. Jenkins specializes in medical marijuana. She mainly focuses on its uses for cancer patients and the chronically ill. While running for a seat on Merced City Council, where she lives and operates her cannabis non-profits, Dr. Jenkins was arrested on marijuana-related charges.

It was personal difficulty obtaining medical marijuana that led Dr. Jenkins to become one of the most prominent women in the legalization movement. Dr. Jenkins told Complex that when doctors diagnosed her daughter with brain tumors, she was left with no alternative to traditional treatment.

“I was informed that the State of California knows what’s better for my daughter than I do,” Jenkins explains, “and that if I did anything different than conventional treatment, then I’d be acting outside of medical advice and that I would be a threat to her. Unfortunately, I was forced to accept.”

Despite this medical advice, Dr. Jenkins began researching holistic treatments for her daughter’s condition. She began by exploring traditional remedies used by her Native American ancestors, the Choctaw Indians.

Today, Dr. Lakisha Jenkins works for the Kiona T Jenkins Foundation of Natural Health, a non-profit organization dedicated to marijuana-based wholistic healing.

She named her organization after her daughter, who passed away in 2006.

Dr. Jenkins is also a member of the American Herbalist Guild and one of the California Cannabis Industry Association’s founding board members.

3. Alison Holcomb

Lawyer Alison Holcomb is best known for writing Initiative I-502, which legalized recreational marijuana in Washington. Holcomb has also worked on medical marijuana law for the state and provides other marijuana policy legal advice. She’s recognized as the “architect of marijuana legalization” in Washington state.

Today, Holcomb is the Drug Policy Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. She’s working on the ACLU Campaign to End Mass Incarceration.

In a press release, Holcomb explains, “We’ve had 40 years of widening the criminal justice net too far and have relied too heavily on punishment to address social and health problems.”

Furthermore, legalizing medical and recreational marijuana was the first step in ending mass incarceration for minor drug offenses in her home state.

 

4. Charlo Greene, TV Host and Activist

Charlo Greene rose to prominence when she announced, “Fuck it, I quit” while reporting on live television. Greene also divulged to her viewers that she’s a co-founder of the Alaska Cannabis Club, which she designed as a space for legal medical marijuana users to share with those who may not have access.

Since then, Greene has become a prominent marijuana advocate in her home state, and in California. Much of Greene’s activism has taken place in the courtroom after she was charged with 10 weed-related felonies. The police raided her home, where the Alaska Cannabis Club met, and performed illegal body searches. Today, Greene is facing up to 54 years in prison, if convicted.

In the meantime, Greene is looking for support from the cannabis industry.

“I dedicated my life to fighting for the cannabis plant and the people behind it. Now that I could lose the rest of my life because of cannabis, it feels like the people I fought for have abandoned me,” Greene told High Times.

But the trial, which the court continues to push back, hasn’t stopped Charlo Greene from pursuing marijuana business ventures. Since relocating to Los Angeles, Greene has started The Weed Show. In her TV program, Greene discusses marijuana news with activists and enthusiasts alike.

Green won the High Times Courage In Media award and is also featured in our ranking of 10 Most Memorable Marijuana Stunts.

5. Dr. Samantha Miller, Innovator

Dr. Samantha Miller is the Chief Scientist at Pure Analytics Laboratory, a cannabis lab based in northern California. There, Dr. Miller combines her knowledge of federal laboratories, extensive cancer and AIDS medication research and passion for cannabis cultivation.

Most noteworthy is the hmbldt dose pen—one of Dr. Miller’s inventions. Named one of Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2016, the hmbldt dose pen is a vape pen perfected to give you an exact dose. Furthermore, hmbldt offers pens designed to sleep, make you happy, or even set the mood.

Additionally, many know this biochemist for her cannabis education classes. Dr. Miller also teaches at 707 Cannabis College, which offers coursework on medical marijuana, growing cannabis, and the legal history of the herb.

6. Jazmin Hupp, Entrepreneur

Next up, we have Jazmin Hupp who co-founded WomenGrow, a Colorado-based company dedicated to involving and promoting women in the cannabis industry. Founded in 2014, WomenGrow is now the largest professional marijuana network and has hosted events in 45 North American cities. Hupp is a big part of WomenGrow’s success.

Hupp, Executive Director at WomenGrow, is a talented entrepreneur in her own right. Additionally, she is one of the leading women in the cannabis industry according to Forbes. In her interview with Forbes, Hupp describes traveling 35 weeks out of the year to attend cannabis conferences hosted by WomenGrow.

Early in her career, Hupp attended many cannabis events without WomenGrow. But she didn’t necessarily feel welcome at all of them. This consequently motivated her and business partner Jane West to foundWomenGrow, as she explains, “[…] we decided to set up these events meant to welcome women into the industry and be the first place they come when they are interested in the industry.”

7. Lynne Lyman, Cannabis Policy Maker

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Lynne Lyman is a prominent voice in cannabis policy nationwide. Currently, Lyman is the director of California State at the Drug Policy Alliance. This organization strives to end the War on Drugs. One of its main objectives is to decriminalize some types of drug use and increase access to education.

Lyman has a long history of working on drug reform policy and criminal justice reform. She began her career working to reduce violence and reform the justice system in Massachusetts. Lyman assumed the role of Director of Justice and Prevention for the Executive Office of Public Safety for Massachusetts before relocating to California.

In California, Lyman has worked with the city, Congress and the state legislature, and civil rights groups. As of 2012, Lyman is the director of California State at the Drug Policy Alliance, where she continues to reform the criminal justice system.

 

8. Ariel Clark, Attorney

Next, we have Ariel Clark, one of California’s foremost cannabis lawyers. Clark’s own law firm, Clark Neubert LLP, is dedicated to advocating on behalf of cannabis businesses, especially in Los Angeles. Due to her legal work, Cannabis Business Times named her one of the Top Women in Cannabis in 2017.

Clark rose to prominence in the cannabis community as the founder of the Los Angeles Cannabis Task Force. This group promoted legalization and a regulated cannabis industry in the greater Los Angeles area. The city has legal marijuana today partly because of their work.

Furthermore, Clark has many roles in the cannabis industry that make her one of the 9 prominent women in the legalization movement. Specifically, Ariel Clark is on the boards of California NORML and the California Growers Association.

She’s also a member of the National Cannabis Bar Association, California State Bar, the National Cannabis Industry Association and the California Cannabis Industry Association.

 

9. Kirsten Gillibrand

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Last, one of the better-known names on our list of 9 prominent women in the legalization movement, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has been instrumental in national marijuana advocacy.

In 2017, Gillibrand proposed the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect (CARERS) Act with fellow senators Rand Paul, Cory Booker and Al Franken. This legislation would allow states to create their own medical marijuana policy. The bill would also give veterans access to medical marijuana. Additionally, the CARERS Act would prevent the federal government from prosecuting doctors or patients who prescribe and take medical marijuana, respectively.

Furthermore, Gillibrand continues to introduce more pro-marijuana legislation. This past February, Gillibrand co-sponsored the Marijuana Justice Act. The goal of the Marijuana Justice Act is to stop the War on Drugs. Gillibrand has been vocal about the racism inherent in marijuana enforcement and the toll this takes on families and communities.

Jeff Sessions’ regressive marijuana policies have galvanized Gillibrand into marijuana policy reform. In response to Sessions’ decision to repeal Obama-era policies that safeguarded states with pro-marijuana legislation, Gillibrand shares her thoughts on the matter on Twitter. She says that Session is “either willfully ignorant or cowing to corporate greed on behalf of pharma special interest profits.”

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9. Kirsten Gillibrand

 

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Last, one of the better-known names on our list of 9 prominent women in the legalization movement, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has been instrumental in national marijuana advocacy.

In 2017, Gillibrand proposed the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect (CARERS) Act with fellow senators Rand Paul, Cory Booker and Al Franken. This legislation would allow states to create their own medical marijuana policy. The bill would also give veterans access to medical marijuana. Additionally, the CARERS Act would prevent the federal government from prosecuting doctors or patients who prescribe and take medical marijuana, respectively.

Furthermore, Gillibrand continues to introduce more pro-marijuana legislation. This past February, Gillibrand co-sponsored the Marijuana Justice Act. The goal of the Marijuana Justice Act is to stop the War on Drugs. Gillibrand has been vocal about the racism inherent in marijuana enforcement and the toll this takes on families and communities.

Jeff Sessions’ regressive marijuana policies have galvanized Gillibrand into marijuana policy reform. In response to Sessions’ decision to repeal Obama-era policies that safeguarded states with pro-marijuana legislation, Gillibrand shares her thoughts on the matter on Twitter. She says that Session is “either willfully ignorant or cowing to corporate greed on behalf of pharma special interest profits.”

 

Final Hit: 9 Prominent Women in The Legalization Movement

In conclusion, there is an overwhelming number of women involved in this emerging industry. And even some getting busted for massive weed empires. These 9 prominent women in the legalization movement are paving the way for better legislation, better business opportunities, and, most of all, better weed … all while promoting gender equality.

(Original Article)