They are California’s self-ordained ‘weed nuns’ and they have responded to a higher calling – though they are not part of any religious order. “We’re against religion so we’re not a religion. We consider ourselves Beguine revivalists and we reach back to pre-Christian practices and our clothes are not that much of a nun, that’s not what we’re trying to be, through our clothes we are showing respect to a plant that has been lied about and disrespected for 100 years,” said Sister Kate. These women grow and harvest their own cannabis plants according to moon-cycles. Sitting around a kitchen table, the women trim the plants, then cook the cannabis to make balms and ointments which they say have the power to heal and improve one’s well-being. Sister Kate said she adopted her nun persona after dressing as one during an Occupy Wall Street protest. But this operation is not an act of civil disobedience. California is one of more than two dozen U.S. states have legalised some form of marijuana for medical or recreational use, but the drug remains illegal at the federal level.

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