Destination Ladybud


It’s a quiet morning.  With a couple of hours of darkness, no one else needs anything of me yet. Coffee in hand, I can go where I want. Destination Ladybud.

Ladybud, for those not yet in the know, is a women’s online magazine organized around the proposition that nice folks, even women, even women with young kids, use marijuana. You could learn how to put up pickles, (a recipe that does not involve cannabis), or read a profile of Emma Watson (aka Hermione Granger) or an analysis of what is going on with Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana bill.

But The Lady, like many women we respect, also has a spine of steel, and is perfectly capable of being angry. Read “Why Rape-Related PTSD is the Ultimate Legalization Argument” or “Her Name Was Rachel Hoffman.”

Women’s magazines are often scoffed at as light on content and crushingly conventional in the way that they depict modern women and men. They have been variously blamed for promoting unhealthy body images in teenage girls, or hailed for powering second wave feminism as in the case of Ms. magazine. For better or worse, the “lady mags” are powerful, insidious shapers of popular culture, stealth agents of change.


Cannabis Refugee Families

Diane Fornbacher, Publisher of Ladybud, recently spoke at the International Cannabis Conference in Portland, Oregon, with the dual purpose of helping activists get exposure for their causes and helping families like her own, whom she describes as “cannabis refugees,” find and build a culture that is tolerant of adult, responsible cannabis consumption.

Fornbacher, who uses cannabis to treat a health condition, decided to relocate her family to Colorado after having been threatened by New Jersey authorities with removal of her children. It is the kind of doubly harsh consequence many women, especially women with families, face for consumption and activism. Ladybud, like the NORML Women’s Alliance, on whose Board Fornbacher also serves, offers a forum for women to discuss and organize around the particular issues they face with marijuana, whether in personal or business life.


The Lady Also Does Business

Coffee and a cozy read accomplished, it is time to get to business. Are you looking for a realtor who specializes in growhouse properties, or are you baffled by multi-level marketing? What about the risks of an edible business? There is a serious business side to Ladybud articles, blogposts and advertising that can be easily overlooked amongst the recipes and testimonials. Women in the marijuana industry have faced levels of discrimination almost unthinkable in enterprises with a longer legal history. Ladybud offers a valuable opportunity for business networking.

In a sense, Ladybud does something that women have been artful about forever, hiding cauliflower in the mashed potatoes or wrapping a serious conversation in a shopping trip. It is less a matter of disguise or dissembling than it is of integrating diverse points of view, difficult truths or overlooked interests and talents into an existing social matrix.

It is interesting to compare the approaches the NORML Women’s Alliance and Ladybud take toward the same end. The former advocates for rational marijuana policies. Ladybud is powerful as it demonstrates what normalizing marijuana looks like.

Anne Wallace is a New York lawyer who writes extensively on legal and business issues. She also teaches law and business writing at the college and professional level. Anne graduated from Fordham Law School and Wellesley College.

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