Younger people often champion the conversations around the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana however, 80-year old self-proclaimed Cannabuelo (cannabis and abuelo put together) Jorge Gavilanes is using his personal story to champion the use of marijuana.
Jorge Gavilanes is currently dealing with a cancer diagnosis that has left him in pain and discomfort. After hearing his prognosis from doctors, he decided to listen to his grandson, Nelson, and try marijuana oils to be more comfortable for the duration of his time with his family.
Using the properties of for marijuana medical, spiritual, and recreational purposes has a long history with indigenous groups throughout regions presently known as the Americas. A study by Neurologist and Researcher Francisco Javier Carod-Artal found that indigenous groups had several uses for marijuana during their pre-Columbian era. These uses included medical for things like easing pain and relaxation. Civilized. Life – a “modern cannabis culture” website – published a video about the many uses of marijuana in Mayan culture.
In The United States, however, the cultural relationship between the Latinx community and marijuana is complicated. People of color are over-policed and over prosecuted for marijuana use and are often times barred from entering the increasingly legalized marijuana business sector.
Cannabuelo Gavilanes knows this and wants to be part of ushering in the change on both the legal landscape and the cultural landscape with his story. With the help of his grandson, Gavilanes is sharing his experiences as a Latino elder in a forthcoming film, CannAbuelo: The Jorge Gavilanes Story. This intergenerational film will be published by Cannabis Cultural Association, a New York based non-profit that seeks to shift culture and create inroads for people of color into the industry.
As part of their strategy, the film will highlight different aspects of Gavilanes’s process and story to reach wider audiences and ensure that people are getting the information they need and want directly.
The reality is that marijuana use for medical reasons is also more cost effective and affordable for patients that already have high medical cost simply because of their diagnosis. Not only is marijuana as a pain treatment helpful in delivering comfort, it can also help increase appetite and reduce nausea.
Latinos as a whole revere, respect, and listen to the elders in our community. Perhaps CannAbuelo: The Jorge Gavilanes Story will help mend the relationship between the Latinx community and marijuana so that Latinx people can not only use marijuana for the reasons they see fit but also enter a sector with a projected valuation of 146.4 billion by 2025 early on. Keep your eye on Cannabis Cultural Association’s YouTube channel for the forthcoming film.