Latinas are gaining representation in the emerging cannabis industry, and yet they—along with other minorities–face a culture with deeply ingrained stigma that they still must work to overcome. The history of cannabis prohibition is complicated. What was once considered a health tonic and found in medicine chests across the country became vilified around the time that alcohol prohibition was being lifted.
Some accounts tell of the U.S. government associating cannabis—or “marihuana”— with Mexican immigrants to make it less desirable to white society. Some news stories from the early 1900s vilified marijuana as “locoweed,” an evil plant that could drive people to violence and insanity. Fast-forward to the present day, and the fears and misunderstandings around cannabis still exist.