Greetings fam! We are super enthused to introduce a relative newcomer not only to the canna-biz, but motherhood as well. Sabrina Rebolledo is an Arizona-based cannabis writer, activist, and dedicated mom.
Born in Florida and raised in California, her dad’s recreational cannabis use familiarized her with the plant from an early age. It wasn’t until she was 21, however, that she decided to trade in pharmaceuticals for cannabis to treat anxiety and PTSD – with successful results no doubt.
Firsthand experience of ganja’s healing properties cultivated a spirit of advocacy and a burning desire to put out the remaining embers of prohibition. Sabrina has rapidly become a notable presence within the Arizona cannabis space for her work in uplifting and engaging cannamoms to advance normalization efforts. Our conversation explores her thoughts on cannabis, mothering, cultural inequalities, and the steps necessary to bring about full legalization.
Do you use cannabis recreationally and medicinally?
Yes, I have anxiety and PTSD. I use it for sleeping and it helps calm me down. Recreationally, I may use it when I’m out with my friends, (whenever that happens).
How long have you been a cannabis writer?
It’s a new thing, but I’ve always written. I started in high school writing short stories and some poems. When I became a mother I moved away from California and my family. It was very hard to find other moms I could relate to. I didn’t have anyone else I could talk to about [using cannabis]. I decided to start an Instagram in the hopes that I could find other mom-friends that also used cannabis.
I began to meet a few other people in the community. That’s when the Cannabis Cactus reached out to me asking if I was interested in writing about motherhood and cannabis. It all just started from there. When I saw that Sublime was hiring, and I applied and now I work for them part-time.
What’s been your experience in regard to building a cannamom community on Instagram?
I started instagram in the hopes just to find friends and I ended up finding a whole community. When I started contributing to The Cannabis Cactus more people started to follow me on Instagram. People thanked me for being a mother who speaks out because it’s still very Mormon here in Arizona and a lot of people feel like they can’t. Moms began reaching out to me; I was able to connect with people and make friends. Now when I go to work I have people come up to me saying, “Hey I read your article, thank your for writing that, I can relate.” I showed my mom the article and she’s thinking about using cannabis now.
Regarding making connections, it’s hard to broach that subject with other parents. Although there are plenty of parents who use cannabis, most aren’t willing to put themselves out there like that.
Right because you’re not gonna be at the playground and ask, hey, do you smoke weed?
That’s why I speak out. I would like other women to be more comfortable speaking out too. I couldn’t find anyone so I felt like I needed to be the one to say something so people could find me, and I could attract the kind of people I’d want to attract.
Talk to us more about your experience with cannabis and mothering.
To be the best mother I can be, I have to feel my best. I use cannabis for anxiety. If I still used the [pharmaceuticals] I was taking before, then I wouldn’t have a personality, or compassion. Being on those pills made me feel like a robot. Now that I’ve replaced them with cannabis I feel like I’m more in the moment. Things are funnier, I am more open to meeting new people and I no longer just want to be in my home all day. I’m more up for taking my son to the park, and taking walks. I like the fresh air and going to the pool.
Because I’m a stay-at-home mom, people think that I just smoke all day, sit on my couch and let my kid do whatever he wants but that’s not the case at all. Instead, I’m more willing to play with him, I’m more creative. I don’t slack off on my other duties. I pay the bills, take care of the dishes and I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. It brings me in the moment and I’m more willing to be present with him.
From your experience, what are some of lowlights of being an outspoken cannamom?
Obviously CPS is always a concern, I think that’s on everyone’s mind. I also worry that if other moms know that I use cannabis and they’re not accepting of it, they won’t be accepting of my kid. I worry that he’ll be treated differently by those who aren’t educated. I worry that they won’t let my kid go to their house or that they won’t bring their kid to my place. I would just hate to be considered the bad mom. But I might be a better mom than they are. I’m very attentive, I play with with my kid; I’m present. I hate that at previous jobs I couldn’t say, “I can’t wait to go home and smoke a blunt”, but everyone else would say, “Hey everyone, let’s go out and get drinks after work!”
You and me both. How about some of the highlights?
On the positive side, times are changing. States are approving of cannabis recreationally and medicinally. I feel like the more we educate people and talk about it, the more normal it will be. More and more people are jumping on board, young and old. It’s not just about getting high; it’s about CBD, hemp and materials. There’s a lot of people that are willing to educate. There are some people on Instagram who are in it for the wrong reason and are just there to get high and take pictures of themselves but if you’re gonna be an activist it starts at home. There are so many people willing to share what they know and make a change.
So many of us have been misinformed about cannabis from a tender age. These days it’s a matter sharing the truth.
Yeah. Here’s the thing about alcohol. Alcohol was banned once (even though it’s not the same as cannabis, because nothing good comes from alcohol) and everyone was so against it because it turned people into raging psychos, but now everyone drinks. It’s getting people to realize that cannabis is medicine, like an anti-depressant. If there’s one strain that doesn’t work, then you try a different one.
As a cannabis consumer, do you catch any flack from your family or immediate community?
While growing up, my dad my dad smoked weed and sold drugs but I didn’t know it was considered a “bad” thing. He always was in the moment with us, and always provided for us. It was hard for people on his side of the family to accept my cannabis use because they just see it as a party drug instead of what it does for me medicinally.
What are some of the unique challenges to being Latina cannamom?
As a Latina mom, especially being Colombian, the challenge is getting past the stigma and stereotypical images from movies like Narcos or Blow. If I was a white mom, I wouldn’t judged as much, especially here in Arizona. If a white mother uses cannabis there’s always a valid reason, like she uses it for pain, but if it’s a Latina or other mom of color, it’s seen as much worse and it isn’t fair.
In your opinion, what’s the best way for cannamoms to advance legalization?
It all begins at home. If we want to see change then we have to be ones to create it. We have to start speaking out and correcting things when we hear it. If we want laws to change we have to start educating people. We are the ones who are voting. We are the ones putting these laws into action.
We also have to educate our kids about the plant and let them know the medical benefits, that way when it’s time for them to vote, they know what they’re voting for. They’ll know why we need this plant and why we should make it legal. It’s up to us as parents to educate our kids. We also need to lead by example to show them that even though we may use cannabis, we still get shit done. I have a job, I pay my bills, I provide a home and food and make sure my son never goes without. Even though I use cannabis it doesn’t stop me from taking care of what I have to do everyday.
Stay up to date/connect with Sabrina on @WHOLETMEBEAMOM