In the heart of a nation ravaged by the enduring shadows of the drug war and steeped in the traditions of Christianity, a strikingly unconventional sight emerges beneath the glow of each full moon. Within the outskirts of a central Mexican village, a group of women adorned in nun habits encircle a crackling fire, engaging in ancient rituals that blend sage cleansing with a profound communion with nature, culminating in the inhalation of cannabis—a bold symbol of rebellion.
The Sisters of the Valley
Founding Principles: Established in 2014, the Sisters of the Valley is a global entity advocating for the medicinal prowess of cannabis, operating outside the confines of traditional religious affiliations.
Cross-Border Dynamics: While thriving in the legalized marijuana landscape of the United States, the sisters face distinct challenges in Mexico due to the country’s drug-related connotations and deeply entrenched Christian values.
Unconventional Ventures and Obstacles
Thriving Enterprise in the US: Leveraging the legality of recreational marijuana in numerous US states, the sisters have established a successful online business, retailing CBD products and amassing substantial revenues.
Mexican Hurdles: In contrast, their business in Mexico is restrained, operating clandestinely due to legal ambiguities and fears of potential threats from law enforcement or criminal entities.
Symbolism and Defiance
Religious and Societal Rebellion: In Mexico’s religiously conservative milieu, the image of nuns embracing cannabis stands as a bold affront to societal norms, particularly considering the plant’s association with cartels and the deeply rooted Christian beliefs prevailing in the country.
Advocacy for Healing: Beyond mere defiance, the sisters advocate fervently for the medicinal properties of cannabis, incorporating it into their holistic practices to alleviate afflictions like cancer, joint pain, and insomnia.
Personal Narratives and Ideological Roots
Founder’s Journey: ‘Sister Camilla,’ the founder in Mexico, shares her tumultuous past shaped by an evangelical upbringing, highlighting the strain in her relationship with her staunchly religious mother, intensifying the conflict between tradition and modern beliefs.
Historical Inspiration: Drawing inspiration from the Beguines, an ancient lay religious movement, the sisters adopt communal spiritual practices, embodying dedication without formal vows.
Cultivation Endeavours and Mentorship
Cannabis Cultivation: Led by Alehli Paz, a chemist and mentor working with the group, the Mexican sisters nurture a modest cannabis crop using unconventional spaces like rooftops, repurposed containers, and discreet private gardens to evade detection.
Community Collaboration: Engaging with elder women in the community, the sisters seek guidance to identify discrete locations, underscoring the communal support for their unconventional yet purposeful endeavour.
The journey of the Sisters of the Valley in Mexico unfolds as a nuanced tapestry, interwoven with defiance against societal conventions, fervent advocacy for the healing properties of cannabis, and a delicate balance between spirituality, modernity, and societal acceptance. Their story stands as a testament to the evolving landscape where unconventional movements navigate the complexities of tradition, rebellion, and societal transformation.