Hispanic Heritage Month is a national celebration to honor the history, culture and influence of past generations who came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Americans across the country celebrate with pride and joy, while commemorating the importance of diversity.
The observance started in 1968 under President Johnson's administration as a one-week celebration. Years later, President Reagan supported extending this celebration, and in1988, officially designated Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month.
The diversity within the Hispanic community is spectacular ranging from language, ethnicities and customs. Those of Mexican and Central American descent have unique cultural and linguistic variety based on the indigenous groups of Mayan, Zapotec (to name only a few) and the Spanish. In contrast, those of the Caribbean (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico) have a much more pronounced West African influence in language, culture and food! The post colonial immigration patterns into South America have greatly influenced the large port cities of Caracas, Barranquilla, Buenos Aires and Montevideo with Italian, German, Jewish and Middle Eastern peoples contributing to language, dance and industry.
In the US one of the unifying factors among Latinos is our language and experience as immigrants, now into the 2nd, 3rd and 4th generations. Hispanics account for almost 40% of active duty members in the Armed Services and are the fastest growing small business owners across the US. Some flee dictatorships, others search for economic opportunities, while others are displaced from industrialization in their home country, all strive and contribute to America.
So how does cannabis and hispanic culture relate?
We know that the Spanish brought cannabis to Mexico to cultivate it for hemp, but it's unlikely the Spanish indulged in any significant fashion in the plant's psychoactive or medicinal properties. Following the Mexican Civil war of 1910, the US saw an influx of Mexican immigrants. For some Mexicans, smoking cannabis flower was a traditional path of consumption, which influenced cannabis use in the US, especially amongst counter cultures and minority groups. Up until then, traditional American use resided in tinctures and extracts.
With the end of Alcohol Prohibition in 1933, US police and federal agencies switched to cannabis consumption as an excuse to target and subjugate minority groups instead, and campaigned a culture of fear-provoking propaganda used to spread lies about both the ‘dangers’ of both “brown people” and the cannabis plant, aka Reefer Madness.
This campaign was motivated by the growth of the pharmaceutical industry and use of chemicals over herbs, infused with racist tropes, whose effects are still felt today. Convictions for drug related offences continue to disproportionately affect people of color to this day, who are more likely to be arrested than white people even though according to the ACLU, use rates are the same.
Let's honor our brothers and sisters, and their diverse and spectacular heritage this month, and always. Thank them for their influence and advocacy of this sacred plant, and join together to see Latinos have more access to cannabis, and cannabis entrepreneurship.
Happy Hispanic Heritage month to our new affiliates Nicole, Patrick and Olga, we are so excited to have you on our team here at NurseGrown! NurseGrown's October 1st, Full Harvest Moon Newsletter, features these three new and fabulous affiliates. Be sure to subscribe at NurseGrown.com to receive our newsletter in your inbox on every Full Moon and learn much more about Nurse Nicole, Patrick and Dr. Olga!
|Nicole and Patrick||Olga with Jessilyn|