Saturday, October 30, 2010

Brownie Mary

Brownie Mary

"My kids [people with AIDS and cancer] need this and I'm ready to go to jail for my principles...I'm not going to cut any deals with them. If I go to jail, I go to jail."
—Brownie Mary

I covered this story for The Western Sonoma County Paper as Brownie Mary was busted in Cazadero (scoring her harvest). I can't find the story so the Wikipedia entry below will have to suffice. (Guess I'll need to write a blog about her—the photos are place holders.) Brownie Mary was a a real kick in the pants and I stayed in touch with her for some time after she won her case. We had Irish heritage in common so we got on like a house afire. She took me on her hospital rounds at San Francisco General Hospital, delivering brownies to her "kids," terminally ill AIDS patients—who (figuratively) lit up when they saw her coming. She had that effect on people. I originally posted the photo of her in remembrance for those who've died, but coincidentally California's medical marijuana bill, Prop 19 is also up for the vote. —MH

Mary Jane Rathbun (December 22, 1921 - April 10, 1999), popularly known as Brownie Mary, was an American hospital volunteer who became internationally known as a medical cannabis activist.   —Wikipedia

Que Sera, Serra: Remembering Tony Serra

Tony Serra took Brownie Mary's case pro bono

Brownie Mary
BornMary Jane Rathbun
December 23, 1921
Minneapolis, Minnesota
DiedApril 10, 1999 (aged 77)
Forest Hill, San Francisco, California
OccupationHospital volunteer
Cannabis activist

Dennis Peron & Brownie Mary


Viriditas said...

Aloha. I'm the author of the Brownie Mary article on Wikipedia. I'm in the process of cleaning it up and rewriting it. I would like to ask you for permission to use an image of Brownie Mary in the article. Wikipedia prefers free images, so if you could donate one that would be great. Otherwise, let me know what my options are for finding an image for the article. Thanks. BTW, I contacted you here a few years ago. Your blog says to contact you but there is no e-mail address listed.

Maureen Hurley said...


Leave me an email here so I can contact you offline. Comments are automatically forwarded to my email. I will not publish your email post so it won't show up here.


Joe Hoover said...

Hi Maureen,
I am with the 420 Archive, ( an organization working to archive the history of marijuana prohibition through oral histories and records and documents from individuals and organizations. We are trying to prevent the same loss of history that occurred when the 21st Amendment ended alcohol prohibition. I would like to ask you couple of things, first permission to use your photo of Brownie Mary holding her brownies in some of our promotional materials (do you have a high resolution digital image?), and possibly the photo of her and Dennis together (I will ask Dennis for his permission to use his image).

Also, I would like you think about eventually donating your images to our archive (or any standards compliant archive) to preserve them indefinitely.

Lastly, I would like a chance to talk with you more about Mary Rathbun. We are looking into the possibility of an exhibit about her but we need to find more primary source material on her life. I am hoping you might be able to help us.


_Joe Hoover