A project that explores the intersectionality of women in cannabis. We see the world through a unique lens, one shaped by our identity which affects our opportunities, experiences, and growth. The focus for Dopeafide for Women's History Month was to explore different lenses by photographing 12 women in Portland, Oregon and collected writings based on their personal experiences. We prompted our participants to tell their stories and bring an item that empowered them. We are honored to share their stories with you today.
Today we highlight Raina Elise, Death Doula and cannabis enthusiast.
Consider what cannabis meant to you ten years ago and how it affected your life then vs. today. What does your day to day life look like now? Is cannabis a consistent part of it? Is it not? How does your gender, race, class, and age affect your cannabis use and the opportunities you are presented in the industry? What do you hope for you future.
This time a decade ago, I was using cannabis to control seizures as a result of an undetected brain tumor. I was also employed as an Autopsy Technician for the Medical Examiner. Not knowing two years later, I'd be using it to manage the symptoms and side effects of treatments for CNS Lymphoma. I was thrown into the industry as a patient, then I became an advocate when I realized how beneficial it really was after I had a stroke and couldn't work my chosen career any longer. Now I work as a Death Doula and Cannabis is the only thing I offer to my clients for their Quality of Life care. It's a highly consistent and necessary part of my daily routine.
I'm a 40 year old magical Black Queen, workin in a predominantly white male industry. In addition to being the ONLY Black Death Doula in the Pacific Northwest.
I have to work harder to not just prove myself to them, but sometimes to my own people too. The lack of inclusion in the industry is still a major issue for me. The fact that there are so many work permit applications that can't be submitted because the fee is too high. PEOPLE WANT TO WORK, but they can't afford to!? There's something wrong about that. Most of the opportunities I've had in the industry were similar to this. Telling my story in hopes of a better Canna Community for all to thrive in. I hope to see my inclusion, equity, public consumption and the OLCC far away from me and my clients!
Follow Raina on Instagram at @cwalkinpdx420
Have a story to tell? Hashtag #intersected2020 to tell us and the world.