“Brownie Mary” Was a Cannabis Advocate, Activist and Culinary Rebel

Mary Jane Rathbun, also known as “Brownie Mary,” baked cannabis brownies for cancer and AIDS patients, referring to them as her “kids”

Mary Jane Rathbun didn’t look like a rebel, but looks can be deceiving.

At first glance, what people saw was a grandmotherly woman with large glasses, a silvery perm and a sweater vest, more likely inspiring visions of knitting by a duck pond than fighting against drug prohibition.

But Rathbun, also known as “Brownie Mary,” spent a lifetime fighting against the system and for what she thought was just.

Indeed, she was said to have fighting spirit. Rathbun was kicked out of Catholic school as a youth after “[striking] back at a nun who had caned her and got in a few good licks herself,” per the New York Times.

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