Cannabis Health Club: Phoenix Group Helps Women of Color Cope With Life

Chronic Sad Girls Club sometimes meets at Totem Yoga in Phoenix.EXPAND
Chronic Sad Girls Club sometimes meets at Totem Yoga in Phoenix.
Laura Armenta
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Chronic Sad Girls Club is a safe space where women, and in particular women of color, can come together to discuss cannabis and mental health.

It’s also a way for founder Laura Armenta to support her own journey through life.

The “club” is open to anyone who needs a place to talk to people who have similar experiences, offering regular meetings with themes like, “medicate with intention,” and an online boutique and blog.

Themes dovetail with Armenta's work as a medical marijuana consultant, in which she advises those who wish to alleviate specific symptoms, as well as people who want to incorporate cannabis into their self-care rituals. She routinely hosts educational sessions for medical-marijuana cardholders about topics like edibles and how to roll the perfect joint.

She also hopes to supplement her income with the club’s online boutique, which carries essentials like herb grinders and fun items, like a “bad cat” ashtray featuring an adorable kitten dropping an F-bomb.

Chronic Sad Girls Club sometimes meets at Totem Yoga in Phoenix.EXPAND
Chronic Sad Girls Club sometimes meets at Totem Yoga in Phoenix.
Laura Armenta

Armenta, who goes by her maiden name on the club’s website, Laura Ozuna, said she founded club last year when she grew tired of hiding the fact that she consumed cannabis as a way to improve her mental and physical health.

She’s been diagnosed with four types of mental illnesses and nine autoimmune diseases, she said. At the height of her sickness, she was ingesting 15 pills a day and watching her body break down as a consequence.

"It took me years to figure out what to take, what to medicate with, and when to do it in order to drop certain medications," Armenta said. She realized that it no longer made sense to watch others, "especially people of color who don't have those resources," endure the same pain.

At a recent event at Totem Yoga, 3201 North 16th Street in Phoenix, one of the places where the club meets, Armenta expressed gratitude to some of the members.

"A year ago, when I started my platform, it was through loneliness and fear,” she told the group. “I decided I had to make myself vulnerable if I wanted to share what I learned with everyone."

It was her late grandmother, Nana Amalia, who both figuratively and literally planted the seed Armenta is now harvesting. In a small town in Sonora, Mexico, her abuela used the cannabis plants she grew to make tinctures and oils. Armenta lived there with her family until she was 5, when they immigrated to the United States, leaving her beloved nana behind.

Following her diagnoses, one of her doctors told Armenta that she was a great candidate for medical marijuana. She became a patient and began self-medicating with cannabis while learning everything she could about its healing qualities. In a year's time, she was down to just three prescriptions.

Armenta remembers her grandmother's wisdom and hopes to pass on what she has learned without the associated stigma that envelops cannabis use in communities of color. CSGC’s blog covers topics ranging from the best-sedating strains before medical procedures to how to speak with a partner about an illness.

“People often ask me how I deal with unsupportive family members, and the truth is, it’s not easy,” she wrote on the blog earlier this year. “When we get negative responses from unsupportive loved ones, we often try to educate them on the spot, time and time again. We try our hardest to help them understand our choice to medicate naturally.”

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.