Up until now, filmmaker Windy Borman had never tried cannabis and wasn’t planning to either. That is, until she started working on her latest documentary: ‘Mary Janes: The Women of Weed'. As it turns out, 36% of senior leadership in the cannabis industry is women and that is larger than any other industry. Inspired by these 'pufragettes' - women working for gender parity, social justice and environmental sustainability in the cannabis industry - Windy became a cannabis activist herself. We met for a coffee the day after she wrapped filming.
'I had never tried cannabis,' Windy shares laughing. 'But I am definitely open for it after all I have learned while making this film.' One of the reasons Windy never tried it, was because of the stoner image of cannabis. 'Some people, myself included, are alienated by this stoner dude mentality. I always thought: that's not me, so why try it? Now that I know that cannabis can actually be a health and wellness product and that trying it could be an experience of female comradery, I changed my mind and would be open to try it one day. It can actually be educational for the film audience too.'
The stoner image is one of the stigmas Windy wants to break with her film. Even though it’s actually starting to be replaced by a corporate one now that the industry is professionalizing. Still, both of these images are still white male archetypes. 'Where is the female face?' Windy wonders. 'Where’s the person of colors face, where’s the LGBTQ's face or the person who’s suffering from a debilitated illness? Those are the people who helped get the cannabis industry to the point where it is now. It was build off medical marihuana, a compassionate health care for people who were suffering from HIV/AIDS and part of that legacy is already getting lost as this industry transitions from an activist movement into more of a corporate industry.'
If it was up to Windy, the image that will be associated with the cannabis industry from this day on forward will represent its history and hopefully its future. 'It's an image we actually shot in a hemp field in Colorado,' Windy describes. 'It’s a beautiful image of a sunlit woman of colour who's looking into the camera at the audience. She's not a passive subject, but active in what she’s doing. I would like that to also be the future of the industry. Women touching the plant in nature and the respect that goes into that. Hopefully 'Mary Janes: The Women of Weed' will do just that and become a time capsule for other films moving forward.'
Curious? Go see Mary Janes: The Women of Weed when it hits the big screen! To stay updated, check out www.maryjanesfilm.com.