If you’ve ever heard of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, it was more than likely surround by words like “abstinence,” “temperance,” and “crusaders.” As an organization, they are devoted to keeping women away from drugs, alcohol, and other devious distractions. Or as their mission states, to create a “sober and pure world.”
This past week marked both the 80th anniversary of the end of prohibition in the United States as well as the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Portland, Maine (a largely symbolic act as the state has yet to follow suit). As such, members of the WCTU have made it their mission to combat the evils and temptations of the devil’s weed in Portland – only this time they’re decidedly more low-key in their efforts -- thank the lord! They are ridding themselves of the days of crusading in the streets in favor of gently telling people that they “want to love you but [also] tell you that there are ill effects” of these substances.
Back in the day (the 1850s to be specific), Portland was a hotbed for the WTCU, going so far as prohibiting alcohol nearly 67 years before the actual prohibition happened. Yet, for the past two years, the Portland chapter of the WTCU has been abandoned and defaced with Portlandians disposing of porn, drug paraphernalia, and empty liquor bottles amongst the remains of their former headquarters. Essentially they stuck it to the woMAN.
Last year David Perkins and his wife and president of the Portland chapter, Janet Perkins, began the process of rebuilding – both physically and ideologically. While most of the state of Maine is in favor of legalizing marijuana, the Perkins contend that "a lot of people who are on hard drugs started with marijuana. That's one of the reasons we don't agree with the new law." But they are not shining a laser-focus on the potheads alone; instead they are striving to bring attention to other dire issues facing women such as human trafficking and other social injustices.
So as long as they stick to fighting social injustices and not campaigning for marijuana abstinence, we’re cool. Otherwise we're calling for a strike. It’s game on ladies.