Mary Jane Rathbun: The most baddass cannabis activist you need to know about

Today we are talking about the grandma we all wish we had. The legend, the one and only……...

Brownie Mary!

Brownie Mary is awesome and real. She may have had the whole unsuspecting granny thing going on but don’t be fooled, this lady was unstoppable when it came to getting weed to those in need.

Mary Jane Rathbun, popularly known as Brownie Mary, was an American medical cannabis rights activist. As a hospital volunteer at San Francisco General Hospital, she became known for baking and distributing cannabis brownies to AIDS patients. Along with activist Dennis Peron, Rathbun lobbied for the legalization of cannabis for medical use, and she helped pass San Francisco Proposition P (1991) and California Proposition 215 (1996) to achieve those goals. She also contributed to the establishment of the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club, the first medical cannabis dispensary in the United States

She was arrested three times and was ordered to perform hundreds of hours of community service. Her first arrest on marijuana charges and a judge's order to perform community service prompted Ms. Rathbun to join the Shanti Project, one of the first AIDS support groups.

The court action led to ''Free Brownie Mary'' groups, but two more arrests for marijuana possession went unprosecuted.

Mary Jane suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and osteoarthritis. She survived colon cancer and walked with artificial knees. Talk about a real fighter! She often self-medicated by consuming half a cannabis brownie in the morning and another half in the afternoon to ease the pain of osteoarthritis in her knees. She claimed cannabis brownies allowed her to walk and helped her with her gout. By the spring of 1996, she was in extreme pain and was no longer able to bake. She began losing weight and told Peron that she considered traveling to Michigan for physician-assisted suicide at the hands of Jack Kevorkian.

After suffering a fall in August 1998, Rathbun was admitted to Mount Zion Hospital for surgery on her neck and spine. She recovered from the operation at Davies Medical Center, but received few visitors. Later, she was confined to a bed at Laguna Honda Hospital, a nursing home for the poor. Rathbun died of a heart attack at age 76 on April 10, 1999. On April 17, 300 people, including her friend, District Attorney Terence Hallinan, attended a candlelight vigil held in her honor in the Castro. Hallinan told a crowd of several hundred people gathered at her memorial that she was a hero who will "one day be remembered as the Florence Nightingale of the medical marijuana movement.

So whenever you smoke a joint or get high (legally) or just enjoy a good session remember to smoke Mary Jane in your thoughts ;)

Check out our Brownie Marie "Stoned History" Youtube Episode