The Nuns of Mexico Defy Narcos with Cannabis Cultivation


Nuns of Mexico: In a country ravaged by drug war and deeply rooted in Christianity, a group of women in nun habits are defying societal norms and taking a stand against the narcos by cultivating and promoting cannabis. These women are known as the Sisters of the Valley, an international group founded in 2014 with the mission to spread awareness about the healing powers of cannabis. While they have found success in the United States, where several states have legalized recreational marijuana, their operations in Mexico face unique challenges due to the country’s drug-related violence and strong religious beliefs.

Background on Sisters of the Valley

The Sisters of the Valley, also referred to as the “weed nuns,” are a group of women who have come together to advocate for the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. The group was founded in 2014 and is not affiliated with any specific religion. Their main goal is to promote the healing properties of cannabis and challenge the stigma surrounding its use. In the United States, the Sisters have established a successful small business selling CBD tinctures, oils, and salves. However, their operations in Mexico face different obstacles due to the country’s drug war and the strong influence of Christianity.

Growing Cannabis in Mexico

The Sisters of the Valley cultivate cannabis in Mexico, but they operate with caution due to the legal grey area surrounding the plant. Cannabis remains illegal for recreational use in the country, and its production is often tied to criminal organizations. The Sisters are wary of the potential threats from both the police and local gangsters who may view their operations as a threat or an opportunity for extortion. To protect themselves, they conduct their business out of a discreet two-storey concrete building with limited information about their location disclosed to the public.

Cautious Operations in a Legal Grey Area

Operating in a country where cannabis is illegal and associated with criminal organizations, the Sisters of the Valley must navigate their operations carefully. They take precautions to avoid drawing unwanted attention and minimize their risk of being targeted. The legal grey area surrounding cannabis in Mexico makes it necessary for the Sisters to be cautious in their activities to protect themselves and their mission. Despite the challenges, these women remain committed to their cause and continue their efforts to spread awareness about the healing powers of cannabis.

The Sisters’ Goal to Take Back the Plant from Narcos

One of the main motivations for the Sisters of the Valley in Mexico is to take back the cannabis plant from the control of narcos, or drug traffickers. The Sisters believe that cannabis has great potential for healing and should not be monopolized by criminal organizations. By advocating for its medicinal use and cultivating it themselves, they aim to challenge the dominance of narcos and promote a more positive perception of the plant.

Inspired by the Beguines

The Sisters of the Valley draw inspiration from the Beguines, a lay religious movement that originated during the Middle Ages. Like the Beguines, the Sisters live a spiritual and communal life, dedicated to scholarship, charity, and personal growth. The Beguines did not take formal vows and were known for their independence. The Sisters of the Valley adopt similar principles while focusing on the advocacy of cannabis as a healing plant.

The Significance of Wearing Habits

The Sisters of the Valley choose to wear traditional nun habits to symbolize unity and respect for the cannabis plant. The habit-wearing catches media attention, helping them gain visibility for their cause. The habit also serves as a visual representation of their commitment to their mission and emphasizes the seriousness with which they approach their work.

The Sisters’ Cannabis Cultivation Process

Under the guidance of Alehli Paz, a chemist and marijuana researcher, the Sisters in Mexico cultivate cannabis for their operations. They use simple and modest methods, potting the plants in old paint buckets and arranging them in rows within unfinished concrete walls on a rooftop. Once the plants are grown, the Sisters discreetly move them to private gardens identified with the help of supportive women in the community. They dedicate their weekends to tending to the plants, producing cannabinoid salves, and storing different strains for their medicinal use.

Educational Workshops and Advocacy for Legalization

In addition to their cultivation efforts, the Sisters of the Valley also engage in educational workshops and advocacy work to promote the legalization of cannabis. They hold workshops that cover various topics, such as how to make cannabis infusions and the scientific chemistry behind the plant. By sharing knowledge and insights, the Sisters aim to break down misconceptions and highlight the potential benefits of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

The Failure of the War on Drugs in Latin America

Mexico’s Weed ‘Nuns’ Defying Narcos with Cannabis

The Sisters of the Valley strongly believe that the war on drugs in Latin America has been a failure. They argue that the aggressive approach to combating drug use has only led to increased violence, mass incarceration, and minimal positive outcomes. The Sisters advocate for a shift in drug policies, emphasizing the potential benefits of cannabis and the need for a more compassionate and evidence-based approach to drug regulation.

The Tensions and Support within the Women’s Families

While the Sisters of the Valley are passionate about their mission, their involvement in the cannabis industry has created tensions within their families. In a predominantly Catholic and conservative country like Mexico, where the drug war has been ongoing for nearly two decades, the Sisters’ work clashes with societal norms and religious beliefs. Some of the women faced resistance and disapproval from their families initially, but over time, through education and open dialogue, some of their family members have come to understand and even support their mission.

Despite the challenges they face, the Sisters of the Valley continue to defy the norms and work towards their goal of reclaiming the cannabis plant from the control of narcos. Through their cultivation efforts, educational workshops, and advocacy work, these women in nun habits are making a significant impact in challenging the stigma surrounding cannabis and promoting a more compassionate approach to drug regulation in Mexico.



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