Nuns Defy Marijuana Cultivation Ban in Californian Town and Grow the Plant to Heal the Sick

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By Amando Flavio

Two self-proclaimed nuns from the city of Merced in the state of California, have defied a ban on cultivation of marijuana in the city, growing the plant for medical purpose.

Generally, medical marijuana is legal in California in pursuant to Proposition 215 in 1996 and Senate Bill 420. However, in July 2015, state governor Jerry Brown signed the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act into law, targeting illegal marijuana growers.

The state also gave municipalities the power to create their own medical marijuana laws. This has allowed the city of Merced to make growing and selling of medical marijuana illegal. Although city officials claim the ban is temporal, two women living in the Central Valley of the city have hit local news headlines for defying the law.

The women, Sister Kate and Sister Darcy describe themselves as nuns. Just to be clear, they are not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. They are self-proclaimed spiritual nuns.

The nuns say they are on a mission to grow marijuana to heal the sick. They have named themselves “Sisters of the Valley.”

According to the sisters, the marijuana they grow has low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary mind-altering ingredient found in the marijuana plant. Sister Kate says the marijuana they grow doesn’t let users experience the ‘high.’

“It’s about honoring the people honoring the wisdom. Our products have less than 0.3% THC. Our medicine is medicine, and it is non-psychoactive. We’re dealing with what is actually hemp but really we advocate for whole plant legalization,” the self-proclaimed nun said.

RT English News reported that the nuns follow their own ‘holy trinity’. Their holy trinity includes honoring Mother Earth; honoring the people, through making medicine and healing; and their progressive activism. The nuns are said to have dedicated a portion of their week to “the good fight” for the poor people around them.

Kate said the low levels of THC in their marijuana allows them to mail their marijuana-infused oils and creams all over the world. They make a good living out of their products. The nuns reveal they make up to $1,000 a day through online marketing of their product. They clarify that their business is not cash only. They work legally with banks.

According to ABC10, California’s new regulation on marijuana had initially required the municipalities to have medical marijuana laws written by March 1. However, the state legislators who wrote the regulations later announced that the deadline was a mistake, and that more months are needed in order for the municipalities to write comprehensive medical marijuana laws.

This discrepancy allowed council members in Merced to put the ban on medical marijuana, while they await the new laws.

In April, medical marijuana users in Merced nearly clashed with council members on the delay, prompting the police chief in the city to intervene and save the situation. The nuns say the council members are making the process slow, and are not considering the need of medical marijuana users.

As it stands now, it is unclear when medical marijuana laws will be passed in Merced. The council said it is hoping to finalize an ordinance before the November elections. But that notwithstanding, the nuns are continuing with their business. They seemed very determined to take on city officials on the legality of the ban.

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