Monday, December 8, 2008

Peter Gorman on Sister Somayah

Peter Gorman is a brilliant journalist and photographer who was instrumental in implementing the wisdom of the hemp fields into the mainstream. He wrote at least two articles on Sister Somayah Kambui.

High Times Magazine
Sister Somayah Kambui Burning the Bush For Sickle Cell
December 17, 2002
By Peter Gorman

Med Pot Activist Sister Somayah Kambui In Hot Water Again
Wed, Jun 12, 2002 12:00 am
By Peter Gorman

Here's an email from Peter Gorman learning about the passage of Los Angeles' hemp pioneer and hero Sister Somayah:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008, 5:13 AM

"I am so sorry to hear this. She was an extraordinarily courageous woman and the person who brought awareness of marijuana's help for sickle-cell to the world."

"You know, she first got in touch with me in the middle of the night nearly 20 years ago.

The phone rang, I answered, and someone was screaming at me. I hung up. Two weeks later or so it happened again. And again.

I kept trying to find out who the person was and what they wanted, but l I got were names hurled at me.

I had no idea what I'd done or to whom I'd done it. But someone was sure angry with me.

It probably took six months before I could get her to slow down and take a breath and tell me what as wrong, and why she had to keep waking me at 3 AM and 4 AM.

She said she called when the pain from her sickle-cell got unbearable. If she was going to suffer, others were too. As I wrote for High Times on medical-marijuana, she took my not writing about sickle-cell as a racist thing. Therefore I had to pay with her tirades.

I told her I knew nothing about sickle-cell--didn't even know what it was, and so surely didn't know marijuana could help. Then she schooled me. She had me look up articles, call hospitals to see how it was treated, that sort of thing.

And with that information, we were able to begin including sickle-cell in the disease categories that could be managed/treated with cannabis.

I'm guessing she's arguing with St. Pete right about now. And I'm going to bet she gets in as well.

Good for you Sister. Good for you Sister Somayah Kambui."

There is much courage to be found in the life of Sister Somayah Kambui, who is a USA Hemp Museum designated Hemp Hero because of her work in the fields of medical hemp and sickle cell, her agricultural skills, her roles in both the language and passage of Prop 215, America's first state to pass legislation legalizing the nation's #1 cash crop, and producing the first ten Million Global Marijuana Marches in Los Angeles. In one of the marches she is seen carrying a live hemp plant down the parade route with a full police escort.

We'll be posting today, her funeral, and as pieces come in, remembrances of how she (and others) helped change and empower the modern hemp movement.

No comments: