By Miguel Gavilan Molina
Love and Revolución is a 3 part tale of the romance of the legendary Pancho Villa “Centaur of the North” ( the Mexican Revolutions Fire and Eagle’s Heart ) and his obsession with the famous field Marshall “Warrior Soldier” Marijuana, the commander of the battalion of sharpshooter women “Las Adelitas” and the curandera/ healer of General Villa himself.
The story is loosely based on actual historical events. The characters have been modified, and marijuana is a composite of some of the women soldiers ( Adelitas and Valentinas ) in the Mexican Revolution.
Her spirit lives today ( 110 years after the Mexican Revolution ) in the Social Justice movement against the federal prohibition (Drug War) of marijuana and her medicinal properties. She brings hope and light to a world in crisis and uncertainty, desperately in need of healing and love. Enter a world in upheaval, a timeless tale of Love and Revolution. Aah YaYaYa-Aho!
For Centuries Mexico has been key in the world’s spread of marijuana use and cannabis culture. Through Mexico, the plant found its way to the United States Jazz players, Beatnicks, and Hippies.
The legacy of the 500-year Moorish occupation of Spain was critical in Mexico’s rise as a global cannabis center. The Moors brought hashish and the tradition of Kif smoking to Spain. Marijuana has entered the New World on Spanish galleons.
It was acculturated into Indigenous tribes and the upper class in Mexico over the centuries. The iconic anthem of the Mexican Revolution, “La Cucaracha,” is about Pancho Villa’s rebel army getting high just before a battle.
Numerous accounts say that “marijuana” came into use in the early 20th century because anti-cannabis forces wanted to underscore the drugs “Mexican-ness.” It was meant to play off of anti-immigrant sentiments.
Marijuana was nationally outlawed in the U.S. by the1930’s, and demonizing Mexican immigrants became a decisive tactic of the war on drugs. A common version of the story of the criminalization of cannabis was that it was outlawed because various powerful interests, some of which had economic motives to suppress hemp production, were able to create a “Bad Hombre” (Man) in the popular imagination by spreading lies of homicidal mania touched off by the corruption of the dreaded Mexican locoweed. Fear of the Brown people combined with the fear of nightmare drugs used by the “darkies” produced a wave of public action against the Mexican Marijuana Menace.
The first anti-marijuana laws (1937) came about because of newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst’s lies and racist newspaper articles and ravings, which were cited in U.S. congressional records as facts.
The first lie was to introduce the element of fear of the unknown by using a word that no English-speaking Anglo-American had ever heard before -“Marijuana.”
Eventually, prohibitionists set out to stir up Primal emotions into an existing cesspool of racial hatred that was inherently poisoning society. (1)
It is no surprise that the first marijuana use recorded in the U.S. was by Mexicans in Brownsville, Texas, in 1903. The first Marijuana prohibition law in the U.S.-pertaining only to Mexicans- was passed in Brownsville, Texas, that same year. Thus the cultural war against Mexicans and marijuana was launched and persisted 110 years to the date.
Newspapers in New Orleans from 1910 through the 1930s wrote that marijuana’s insidious evil influence apparently manifested itself in making the “darkies” think they were as good as “White Men.” This gave rise to the cultural drug war against Mexicans.
Chicanos (Mexican Americans) under marijuana’s influence were demanding humane treatment, looking at White women, asking that their children be educated while they harvested sugar beets, and making other “insolent” demands. With the excuse of marijuana ( devils weed ), Anglos could now use forces and justify their violent acts of oppression. Hundreds of thousands of Chicanos and Blacks were victimized and sentenced to chain gangs for merely possessing and smoking marijuana.
In 1915 California and Utah passed State laws outlawing marijuana directed at Chicanos.
Colorado followed in 1917. Its legislators cited Mexican Revolutionary leader Pancho Villas’s rebel army, whose drug of choice was marijuana, the devil’s weed.
In Colorado, its legislature felt the only way to prevent an actual racial blood bath and the overthrow of their “white” ignorant and bigoted laws, attitudes and institutions, was to stop marijuana. (2)
As the cultural drug war against Chicanos and marijuana is initiated in the U.S. in1909, South of the border, the flames of revolution erupt in Mexico with Pancho Villa’s rebel army in the North and Emiliano Zapata’s armed forces in the South. Together they rise up in rebellion to overthrow the dictatorship of Profirio Diaz.
The Romance of Pancho Villa and Marijuana
One afternoon in the Sonoran Desert, as the sun bakes and cracks the earth with its unmerciless heat, is the town of Agua Prieta on the U.S./Mexican border. A battle rages as the rebel peasant forces oro f Pancho Villa, El Centauro del Norte, has assaulted the Mexican Federal garrison. Villa strategized to attack the federal stronghold. If he and his regimen could take the city, they would control railroad traffic between Mexico and the U.S. Furthermore; the attack would mark the first time that the revolutionary army would confront federal forces in a regular battle. This was a major success by the revolutionaries and was the final push that would knock over the federal forces. A further sign of the apparent demoralization of federal rank and soldiers, many of whom had been forcibly conscripted into the garrison, actually sympathized with the revolutionaries. The first battle of Agua Prieta was significant in that it was the first time railroads were used by the rebels. Along the way, the insurrectionists captured the towns of Temosachi and Bauche, which greatly raised their morale.
As the dust settles and the crying and moaning of the mayhem and carnage that lays waste across the battlefield are heard, cannonballs whirl through the air, the ground momentarily shaking. Men and body parts flying through the air and gun smoke. The peasant forces keep pounding the garrison, eventually overwhelming the federal forces and forcing them into retreat.
Just as the battle is winding down, a group of federal foot soldiers is ordered to charge Pancho Villa on his horse. They charge at him with their bayonets, hoping to kill or wound him. One of them gets through and stabs Villa with his bayonet through his right thigh muscle. Another soldier happens to shoot his rifle and gets a shot going completely through Villa’s left underside. Villa gets wounded, his horse rises up and tramples two of the soldiers. Villa severs the head of the soldier who stabbed him with a swing of his machete. With his other hand, he shoots another soldier. In a circle, swirling around with the desert winds, it’s as if a dust devil has hit the earth there. Pancho Villa is a force of nature, a carousel, with his horse Chubasko (Thunder) circling with death and fury and laying waste to any soldier that attempts to take down the great Revolutionary General.
Finally, you hear in the distance the trumpet, and the forces of the federal infantry begin to retreat. Close to a third of the federal infantry, no longer loyal, join the rebel army. Their loyalty now rests with their cousins of the rebel forces. After the shooting and the bombardment cease, they tend to the wounded and start slowly making their way back to their encampment, where the women and children await them. Unbeknown to anyone, Villa has been wounded and injured badly. He’s bleeding, but you would never know. There’s no wince on his face, no moan, nada. They make it back by sundown. Already the hundreds of fires are seen lit on the desert floor and the smell of fresh corn tortillas being cooked by the women as men return. There is an air of anticipation. Families were waiting to see if their loved ones – husbands, sons, brothers, uncles have returned. Sadly that day, Villa lost several thousand of his men to the cannon fire that lay waste to his forces.
At the encampment, people begin to rest. Villa, on his horse, begins to check each campfire where his generals and troops are stationed and resting for the night. He checks to see what lieutenants, what corporals, what sergeants made it back, and what generals he lost that day. After he does his headcount, he rides into the distance. It’s legendary that every evening Villa, who trusted nobody in his sleep, would ride off into the darkness of the desert alone with his horse, Chubasko. That night as he rode away, he realized he was burning up with fever. He got dizzy, so he ties his hand to the saddle horn as he doesn’t want to fall off his horse. Somehow the animal, the creature, half horse, half man, rides ahead. The bond that exists between the horse and his rider leads Chubasko to the flickering he has seen, a distant campfire in the wilderness. He approaches the campfire, and clearly, someone is staying here, but he sees no one until, out of nowhere, he hears the cocking of a rifle. Then Villa, who’s barely conscious, looks up momentarily, and he sees something. It’s a woman in a white dress with her bandeleras crisscrossed on her chest, machete over her shoulder, and rifle in her hand. She shouts, “quien andas?” Who goes there?
The horse kneels on his four legs, and Villa slides off onto the ground turned onto his side. She runs to look and pushes him over with her boot. She realizes that he is wet with blood. She unbuttons his shirt and sees that his left side is bleeding. She sees that a pant leg is ripped and wet with blood. She realizes that he has a bad puncture wound and is bleeding. She sees that it is swollen and that it feels hot to the touch. She examines and palpates the areas and determines that no major organs or arteries have been compromised. It seems to be a clean shot through his side, very fortunate. She looks at his leg and realizes he has a nasty puncture wound by a bayonet. She swiftly lays him down and puts pressure and puts pressure on the bleeding areas, and she gets into her medicine bag. One jar she opens is filled with yarrow. She takes the yarrow, adds a little water, and starts grinding it in her mortar with her pestle.
She adds a portion of chapparal, a blood purifier, and antiseptic. She then grinds in cannabis flowers to help with the pain and inflammation. She takes the ground-up medicine and uses a cotton sheet to cut bandages. She makes a pouch with the cotton, puts the ground herbs into it, and ties it with a hard knot. She packs the wounds with the poultice pouches. All Villa can do is moan, but he’s completely unconscious and burning with fever. Once she is done and she can see the blood clotting, she wraps the wounds tightly with bandages.
Her camp lies between two giant boulders that meet in a ravine where an underground stream flows. Sure enough, she gets her little miner shovel from her saddlebag and starts digging. She digs a foot and a half and finds water. In that water, she takes the mud and puts it on Villa’s face and forehead to suck out the impurities and the heat. She keeps digging in that area and finds smooth stone rocks which are cold. She cleans them up and places them on his forehead, behind his neck, and under his armpits to cool his body down. She gives him some cool water to drink. He’s unresponsive, but he instinctively takes the water. After she’s done dressing the wounds, she takes a handful of sage and sweetgrass with some kopal in a clay pot and sets it on fire, creating smoke which she blows over him. She begins chanting and doing a ritualistic prayer to La Tonatzin, Protectores of the Americas, and making an offering to the creator that whoever this man is, not to let him die under her care.
After she’s done, she goes to a carton cactus she saw earlier. She cuts one of the stalks with a swing of her machete. She then cuts it in half and places it on the fire embers to roast. When she smells that it has roasted, she takes it, cuts into it, and lets the steam escape to cool it down. When it’s completely cool, she takes the inner gelatin of the cacti, the aloe-like substance. The cactus flesh is a pain killer, disinfectant, and astringent. She removes the packing in the wounds and applies the cactus flesh directly onto the wounds. She keeps him cooled down with the mud and rocks and watches over him. Finally, as the sun begins to crack at the horizons, she hears the great horned owl -whoo, whoo in the distance. She realizes the nocturnal creatures of the desert are seeking refuge for their sleep of the day. It is also a time for her to check his wounds. As she takes the cacti off, she sees the blood and drainage has completely stopped. She has her needle ready that she acquired earlier from the maguey tip, with several more ready to go. With the string of the maguey, she sews his wounds up. She starts first with this leg, two parts to stitch the entrance and exit wounds. She makes four sutures into his leg and on his side. Without signs of pus or redness, she applies a bit of the aloe, yarrow, chaparral, and cannabis oil. She keeps a cannabis tincture in a pouch around her neck with her amulet. She has a simple salve of beeswax, which she had collected days earlier in one of her clay pots. She puts cannabis oil in the pot and chaparral to keep it all clean and purified.
She applies the paste to his wounds, and he awakens, startled, exclaiming, “who are you? Where am I?” He attempts to get off the ground. She responds, “you’re not going anywhere. Stay where you are!” He barks at her, “you don’t know who I am. You can’t tell me what to do!” She goes to him and asks, “well, who are you?” He responds “I am General Francisco Villa, Pancho Villa ! Who are you?” She gasps and steps back, and tries to catch he breath. Just the realization of who he is and that she is the one who has nursed him! He asks for assistance to get up, but he realizes he cannot jump on the horse. He exclaims, “I have to go back to my men. We took the town and garrison, but the federal soldiers will regroup and return. I need to be there!” So she exclaims, “You’re not going anywhere without me.” He goes,” um, and why is that?” “Because I am your field Marshall, the commander of the Adelitas, women sharpshooters.” Villa replies, “I’ve heard of you!” He looks up at her with his crooked smile. “Well, get your gear together! We have a war campaign to carry on! For Tierra o Muerte.” Land or Death! They saddle up and ride towards the rising sun. El Enquentro? The encounter of Pancho Villa and Marijuana has begun. Ahhh ya ya ya Ajo!