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The Story of Mary Jane Rathbun, Inventor of the Marijuana Brownie

Mary Jane Rathbun, known as Brownie Mary used to hand out brownies laced with high-grade marijuana to sick people to relieve their pain and nausea. She baked the brownies in the small kitchen of her home and called them 'original recipe brownies' and 'magically delicious.' During a raid on her home in 1981, the police confiscated 54 dozens of marijuana brownies, along with more than 18 pounds of the marijuana, donated by growers

Ms. Rathbun campaigned for the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. .

Ms. Rathbun was arrested three times and was ordered to perform hundreds of hours of community service, which she spent with AIDS patients. Her base of operations in the early years of the AIDS epidemic was San Francisco General Hospital. Working as a volunteer for some 10 years, she devoted untold hours to help care for ''her kids,'' as the patients came to be known.

Her role as a baker was but a small part of her activities. She became a San Francisco fixture for whom the city fathers proclaimed an official Brownie Mary Day in 1992 to honor her work with dying patients in the AIDS ward.

With Dennis Peron, a longtime comrade and prominent marijuana advocate, she published ''Brownie Mary's Marijuana Cookbook and Dennis Peron's Recipe for Social Change,'' which did not include the brownie recipe. They also founded the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club, which is now defunct.

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