THE TIME OF SEPARATION IS OVERMyrtle ClarkeIn my life I've been very blessed to have had a series of teachers from quite a young age. The first of those teachers were certainly plants.
I thought that a good place to start would be to celebrate, as women, our teachers and those plants that have taught us what we know.

First and foremost, we celebrate the Cannabis plant because we use the flower. We celebrate the flower. The flower is the crowning glory of the plant, and she's a female.
One of my teachers once told me the time of separation is over. She's a particularly wonderful, beautiful woman from the southern United States and her name is Jean White Eagle and she had a dream. Her dream was to create something that became known as the “For The One Dance”.

To achieve this Big Dream, Jean White Eagle and her husband, John Pearson, left the corporate world and enjoined their visions to create a celebration of oneness, which they have danced all over the whole world. They've danced on every single continent from Sweden to Chile, England to Africa but particularly in places where that are ravaged by war.

They went to Palestine; they went to Israel and then they got Palestinians and Israelis to dance together! Here in South Africa, they've done dances in the mountains, in the cities, in the villages and valleys. This dance is to say that the moment of separation has passed. Life is like their dance. It is a harmony of moving parts working together to create Unity. It is not up to us Women to sort out all these issues we have in life, we have to join with the men to figure it out together.
That is my first message to you – the time of separation is over
We as women must not sit in our little corner sorting out our problems. We need to engage everybody, especially the men.

That is where I can come back to Cannabis as the greatest teacher. When Julian and I were first arrested, our lives changed forever. As an activist, I was launched into a very male dominated space, certainly in my urban environments.

The “stoners” were the men. When we went to a gathering, I was almost always in the minority as a woman, but over the last 11 years, I've seen more and more and more women coming into the fold.

I think that we are sorting out this problem of separation in the South African Cannabis industry, because if you look at our list of affiliate companies that support Fields of Green for All with their monthly donations, I can say that we are nearly up to 50% woman-owned companies.
In the 21st Century, our challenge is bridging that separation and bringing the genders together. As we're bringing the genders together they are diversifying because, thank goodness, as a human race, we are evolving. I really believe that our feelings are less important than what needs to be done.

We can privately deal with our feelings, but you will see that when we take action, and we follow our dreams, and we don't stand back as women, we stand up because we've got no choice but to stand up for what we believe in. When we take action, our feelings are dealt with, and we have less and less resentment. When we, as Strong Women, gather together, we not only inspire others to stand with us, but see pride in the faces of the men and indeed all who stand with. This makes us unstoppable.

I am incredibly heartbroken for the women out there who have no safety net from the law. When it comes to cannabis in South Africa, there's no safety net for women in the law in general. When it comes to crime in South Africa, it is so often the women who are left behind. They lose their men-breadwinners, they lose their children, and are left carrying that flag. There's no recourse when it comes to the law, for any of us women, there's no recourse for me.
It's been over a year since Julian was murdered, and there's still no investigation. The call to action is that we really need to support each other!
I've got two stories about family situations and the police to demonstrate how widespread this is.
The first one happened soon after Julian and I started our campaign. I got a call from a young woman who had just broken up with the father of her baby (who was six weeks old). This guy and his family were trying to get the baby away from her, and they made her take the six-week-old baby for a drug test because they were convinced that she was smoking weed and breastfeeding the baby.

They were going to use this to take her small baby away and so she called us in absolute desperation. It was early on in our campaign, and we weren't in a position to really know what to do yet. I said to her that she would just have to take that baby for the test, and we would deal with the fallout afterwards, should there have been one.

Luckily the baby's drug test was negative, and it ended well.
The second story happened recently to a dear friend of mine; a member of my extended family also had trouble in his relationship.

There were certain drugs involved – not only plants – and both had fallen heavily into “ugly drugs”. When the relationship finally fell apart, obviously the mother got to keep the children. She then subjected the father of the children to a battery of drug tests, including Cannabis, over a two-year period.

There was an eight month stretch where that father didn't get to see his little ones at all. Every single week he still had to pay, even though he couldn’t have supervised visits at the very least. This was a man who lost his business due to Covid, he had to pay up to R800 per test, which he did willingly in desperation to see his children. How shocking that the person to put him in this heartbreaking position was the mother of his children.

Well, anyway, that story thankfully also has a good ending. The court case is not nearly finished, but about two weeks ago they were all in court, and the magistrate said,” You are by law, as the father of these children, allowed to consume Cannabis and you are allowed to have Cannabis in your possession. There will be no more drug tests”.
It's ultimately up to Us Women to call out women who do these kinds of damaging things and use Cannabis as a weapon of destruction instead of empowerment. The only way to change the world is to start in our homes and do it together.
One Love,
One Voice.

Together, ALL of us.
Fields of Green for ALL!

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