#THC "THE HIGH COLUMN" IS DARLA'S SERIES THAT FOCUSES ON THE PHYSICAL/MENTAL HEALTH, SPIRITUAL, AND CULTURAL BENEFITS OF MARIJUANA.
Women.Weed.Wifi is a Seattle-based collective of women of color who use art and marijuana as a medium to encourage their network of believers to reach their highest potentials. Through events, a blog, a curated magazine, and more, the ladies of Women.Weed.Wifi provide us with information about cannabis in relation to spirituality, healing, and unity. At a time when the topic of marijuana usage is awkwardly controversial, with it being legal in some states in the U.S. yet still outlawed in others, Amanya Maloba (Kenya Ku$h), Janice Ibarra (J-Na$ty), and Vanity Thomas ($toney SPICE) are changing the conversation around cannabis and re-defining what it represents with a positive light.
Amazed by all that Women.Weed.Wifi is, DARLA reached out for the opportunity to connect and learn more about their unique story, intentions, and future ambitions. Read all about it through our exclusive interview with this Badd-Ass International Girl Gang!
Tell me about yourselves.
Women.Weed.WiFi is an expansive, international, and intergalactic network of women of color artists that use our ancestral and learned knowledge, our melanin, spiritual guides, and our natural talents to heal and teach about and through cannabis. We uplift and inspire one another to continue on our highest paths. We note our similarities and celebrate what makes us unique. We love marijuana and celebrate the glory of the female plant that, like us, brings beauty and peace to those we touch. Weed unites us, elevates us, and heals us. Though you often see co-founders Kenya Ku$h and J-Na$ty and partner $toney SPICE on the gram, our network is expansive with family, friends, believers, and representatives on all continents and planets. We are all holistic healers as well as advocates for our communities, those we were born into and those that we chose.
What's the meaning behind Women.Weed.Wifi and what inspired you to create it?
Women.Weed.WiFi signifies the essential components to our lifestyle and a harmonious future as we envision it. Women represents the divine feminine energy that we embody and revere as well as the need for ancestral holistic knowledge. Weed represents our favorite plant that is critical to our physical, mental, and emotional health as well as unlocking creativity and spirituality. Weed also represents a tie between ancient knowledge and futuristic economics. WiFi is the means by which we accomplish a lot of our work. Through our wireless connection we can reach each other instantaneously, work/engage with like-minded women worldwide, since we are THE international girl gang!
What message are you trying to convey with your brand? (What do you hope for it to represent in your community?)
Women.Weed.WiFi is an extension of ourselves, our talents, interests, knowledge, and goals. Any message that we are sending stems from our core beliefs and knowledge. We aim to be a source of information for people, especially black, indigenous, and folks of color that rely on the plant for medicinal and therapeutic benefits due to systematic lack of access to healthcare. We want other women healers, educators, and activists to see themselves reflected beautifully and creatively on our site and social media.
The fast-growing cannabis industry has the potential to become women-dominated as it expands in the US. Do you think it's important for women of color to get involved? What's some advice you have for women interested?
It is super important for black and brown women, as well as men, to get involved in the legal cannabis industry. White people with just enough capital are jumping in and becoming multi-millionaires. It is the first hurdle of initial capital and establishing a network of people to work with that keep black and brown people from jumping in the industry, however imagine the possibilities for our communities to establish generational wealth… Some advice to those looking to get in would be to use the resources you have available instead of being discouraged to start, and also to find other people in your community already in the industry (or also looking to get in) and work with them. Often, you will get more help from other poc than big money companies.
What's it like being marijuana advocates today, in a society in which it has been illegal for such a long time? What are some challenges you face?
Though legalization is happening all over the USA and many other countries, you would be surprised at how much stigma still surrounds weed and people that smoke weed, and how much shit we still get for it! Once we were sent home 10 minutes after arriving to a gig because the organizer said we smelled like weed, and proceeded to lecture us on our “drug” use despite it being legal and widespread in Seattle. On the flip side, there is a lot of sexism in the industry itself stemming from the top-down since most owners are white men, and customers can be assholes occasionally.
Your blog features stories about holistic healing. What are your go-to practices for using marijuana for healing and self-care?
Kenya Ku$h: I like to smoke before all self-care rituals :) One of my favorite combos is, obviously, meditating/yoga (we have an event called Smoke + Stretch, which is just that). I also love taking baths and using cannabis-infused salts makes the relaxing effects that much more intense physically and spiritually for me. And, probably the most important thing weed helps me with is sleep, which is absolutely critical to a healthy mindstate. I have a very active mind that needs help to shut off at night and Mary is my girl for that!
J-Na$ty: smoking cannabis for me is a performed ritual. I routinely tidy and clean my environment before or during lighting one up to develop clarity. It helps me map out my meditative process and meditation is simply awareness of what is, mentally and physically. If a thought breaks me away from cleaning, by comparison, I can tame my mind as quick as returning back to the blunt. By slowing down and assimilating to the moment, weed teaches me how to open and relax to whatever arises, without picking and choosing. Whenever I smoke, I also let my prayers go with them, when the smoke rises. You can also accompany your marijuana with natural herbs or collecting floral specimens refine the essence of healing.
$toney SPICE: Smoking hasn’t always been about healing for me. These last couple of years I have been really working on refining my intentions when I light one. I do this during the ritual of breaking down the flower, making my crutch, and rolling a J. This is my time to reflect. I smoke before I sit down to work, preparing myself to be authentic with my thoughts and focused on my readings. I enjoy Mama Mary for the realizations she forces me to come face to face with. Some powerful and understanding, other times, overwhelmed and lost. But I always keep in mind that each emotion that comes into play is one I must face head on in order to mentally and emotionally conquer the world in which we live in. She has truly become my personal guide in higher healing and consciousness.
What do you hope to achieve with Women.Weed.Wifi in the future?
We hope to continue to do what we do, but bigger and better and in more places worldwide!
We are opening submissions for the fourth issue of our zine this month. Womxn artists of all mediums stay tuned to www.womenweedwifi.com and our Instagram (@womenweedwifi ) for theme and submission guidelines!
[these things take time.] the poetry book available on amazon.com.