Contains news clippings, flyers, and brochures about Rathbun, the cannabis brownies she served to people with AIDS and other
serious illnesses, and the medical marijuana legalization movement; awards, some photographs, and items including her signature
Mary Jane Rathbun, popularly known as Brownie Mary, was a medical marijuana activist. Born in 1922, she arrived in San Francisco
from Minnesota in the late 1940s. She was briefly married and had a daughter who died in a vehicle accident in 1974. She worked
as a waitress and began a side cottage business of selling cannabis brownies, baking them in her kitchen, posting flyers for
"magically delicious...original recipe brownies," and selling them from a basket in her Castro neighborhood. Rathbun was described
as grandmotherly, and she wore a marijuana-themed vest and pendant. With no grandchildren of her own, she called the patients
with AIDS that she befriended her "adopted kids." She was twice arrested in San Francisco for possession, receiving community
service. This led to volunteering with the Shanti Project, launching her career as an AIDS activist. She volunteered with
and delivered her special brownies to San Francisco General Hospital's Ward 86, the AIDS outpatient clinic. Rathbun was arrested
a third time in Sonoma County in 1992; the charges were dropped.
3 boxes, 2 oversized flat boxes, 1 framed art piece
(2.1 cubic feet)
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