The Visionary Activist Show

The Visionary Activist Show – Women: Money & Marijuana

Kate Levinson “Emotional Currency”

In the first segment, Caroline hosts Kate Levinson, author of “Emotional Currency,” a woman’s guide to building a healthy relationship with money. Kate is convening “Women, Money, Spirit” on 4.29 at the California Institute of Integral Studies (

Ellen Komp/Nola Evangelista “Tokin’ Women”

…and for our second half, being 4/20: Caroline hosts Ellen Komp, (Deputy Director of California NORML) aka Nola Evangelista, author of“Tokin’ Women: A 4,000-Year Herstory.” Her book presents biographies of over 50 famous females throughout herstory who used cannabis, from the Goddess Ishtar to Miley Cyrus.  See more at and

7 responses to “The Visionary Activist Show – Women: Money & Marijuana

  1. Thank the Goddess for a program that tells the “Herstory” side of the story (always good—for any issue—to get “the feminine” viewpoint)!

    Now, finally, after all the recent books, documentaries, films, etc. bringing out Women’s contributions in areas from social change to physics, we get to be made aware of the same contribution when it comes to the issue of the movement for marijuana/cannabis legalization. Yeah, famous Women using cannabis — going back 4000 years! “the Goddess Ishtar to Miley Cyrus”.

    Yeah, maybe only a sacramental 4/20 hit and a deep deep breath is the only way you’d catch all the breathless connections (in historical periods and cultures to Herstory) coming at you fast and furious. Woooow! is right!!!

    Nola Evangelista, author of “Tokin’ Women: A 4,000-Year Herstory” knows her stuff and you’ve got to admire her vast knowledge of her subject and her rhetorical ability to convey it — a veritable nexus of cannabis-connexions! Looking forward to getting her book (as soon as my “relationship with money” improves) in order savor the trippy, far-reaching connections she made, at my own pace, to see what else she can … blow my mind with!

    Until then — when I can examine NE’s data (my area of expertise is not the area of archeology or cultural anthropology, so I will need to consult authorities I trust on this) and following her pathways of connections carefully to see how it all fits together in her mind — I must put my Big Question, the one I was left with after the show, on hold.

    By way of “start the discussion” here, it concerns the evidence from ancient Egyptian, Jewish, and North African cannabis-goddess worship (if it’s not too much to call it that) to pop-star divas.

    It also concerns what can be seen as — and I would think NE wants it to be so seen (because she adopts the “feminist,” more accurately, the “goddess-feminist”, trope, some would say “meme”, of “Herstory”, which has become a kind of synecdoche for the entire discourse and narrative about the universal Great Goddess and her pre-patriarchal culture complexes we are learning more and more of through the religious, archeological, anthropological, aesthetic, and sociological fields) — as a book that contributes to the ongoing project of feminist “reclaiming”; salvaging back the pre-patriarchal history from its winners; not His-story, but “Her-story” — this time in terms of the ancient history of the cannabis plant and it’s medical and spiritual uses.

    In other words, if this is what Caroline’s guest was about, I was wondering — in terms of the larger picture behind marijuana/cannabis legalization (which I assume NE framed much of what she had to say in; “Herstory”) — if NE was saying (in the final analysis, or in so many words):

    Marijuana/Cannabis (a) made these Women (from the Queen of Sheba to Maude Gonne) what they are?” (and the men she also named); (b) the movements she talked about, such as artistic, bohemian, literary, social — that the sacred herb MADE THESE WHAT THEY ARE (instead of one influencing factor, though significant, among others).

    That’s the Big Question, for me at least. I mean, if NE (who early on distinguished between the aspects of “medicinal” use and the more psycho-spiritual uses people have reported), is just taking about “sacramental” usage (even though she decried its profane, “decadent” excesses while, at the same time, pointing to it’s beneficial use among poets and artists of the 19th and 20th centuries — some of whom were heavy drug “addicts”) then, this weighty claim would perhaps be unquestionable.

    However, I must confess that part of me — listening to all the trippy connections piled on connections that beg to be interpreted as pointing to a vast, ages-old conspiracy against the dangerous herb, and in so doing bring into stoned focus a “secret destiny” of this Goddess-plant (biologically and theologically “feminine”) — yes, part of me hesitates in making too much of it (in terms, at least, of NORML’s righteous cause of marijuana legalization).

    I mean, I know the passion is there to right the historical record that gives the sacred herb such a bad wrap, but, to be perfectly candid, I’m uncomfortable with going to the other extreme—i.e., cannabis/marijuana is not only a cure all for what physically ails you, but the key to spiritual salvation as well; that the truth is what the Goddess regions, whether under the aegis of Ishtar, Isis, or another Mid-East goddess, were, in one way or another, about cannabis worship (and maybe even the sacred herb that started “religion”, at least the Goddess ones)!

    In other words, by qualms are out of concern that cannabis/marijuana advocates, like Ms. Evangelista, become a little too carried away, like (what’s the word?) … “Evangelical” in their cause. But, hey, that’s cool—after all, I have to remember it’s April 20 today, right?

  2. Hi Caroline… Regarding your first guest, I’m reminded of a verse from Ursula K LeGuin’s rendition of the Tao te Ching:
    “To know enough’s enough is enough to know.”

  3. Would be nice to let Ellen Komp know that the great Braddock Mayor John Fetterman has put Braddock’s hat in the ring for a medical marijuana greenhouse license! (Braddock is part of the Pittsburgh area that was depressed but now is getting new life!) Come to think of it, Caroline, John Fetterman would be a great guest on your show! 😉

      1. Very cool. I grew up in Braddock (until age 11) and there’s lots of mystical wild energy there….healingly creative.

      2. BTW, just got your book (Tokin’ Women) and am enjoying it tremendously! I love that it gives so many wonderful creative ways to be a woman! Beautiful, informative, and “it stoned me, to my soul…”!!! Thank you for writing it.

Leave a Reply