Mother Suzanne Aubert, center; photo in public domain.
New Zealand’s first known cannabis grower is being considered for sainthood by the Catholic Church, the New Zealand Herald reports. Suzanne Aubert, better known by her cleric name Sister Mary Joseph, came to New Zealand in 1860 and founded the Congregation of the Holy family to teach English to Maori children. Mother Aubert worked tirelessly to help others, establishing two hospitals, nursing, teaching, growing and selling fruit, and raising homeless children.
Unlike other Europeans who scorned aboriginal medicine in favor of Western medicine, Aubert studied traditional Maori medicine and incorporated it into her healing practice. Aubert also recognized the medicinal properties of cannabis, and is believed to be the first New Zealander to ever cultivate the plant in the country. The prospective saint created numerous medicinal formulations, many of which contained cannabis extracts, and sales of these popular products provided the majority of the income for her convent.
Even though these cannabis-based medicines were perfectly legal in the 19th century, Mother Aubert would be at risk of being thrown in jail if she…