Sister Somayah Kambui
A True Hemp Hero - RIP
Los Angeles, CA Cannabis Pioneer
She organized the first in Los Angeles Global Marijuana March in 1999 and continued to organize the LA-GMM event until her death in 2008.
She provided Cannabis Oil for free to her south central Los Angeles community
She pioneered the work and research for treating Sickle Cell with Medical Cannabis.
An amazing leader, Sister Somayah Kambui was a pioneer researcher regarding cannabis oil as a treatment for sickle cell. Somayah produced the first Los Angeles Million Marijuana (now Global) in 1999 plus all subsequent ones until her death in 2008. She gave away collectively tons of cannabis and its healing oil over the decades while fighting tirelessly to end the drug war. Sister Somayah frequently said she was born to help free the weed, bring hemp’s and love’s benefits to people in need. Many close to her believe she died of a broken heart based on lack of financial support. All those dispensaries in Los Angeles and not one would help her save her home from foreclosure.
A sickle cell survivor, Somayah doubled her life expectancy plus 8 years with her precious ‘Nigritian Keif cannabis oil’ that she credited with her longevity. She spoke of when she was a child her father ignored the law and heroically gave his daughter the oil. Though in the olden days it was done on a stove. Somayah’s way to make what is now called Rick Simpson oil was to put buds and leaves in a crock pot and cover them with Everclear alcohol. First bring the mixture to a boil with the pot on high, then set it to low. Let the mixture stay like that for a day or two, skimming the oil off the top periodically.
Somayah brilliantly explained how cannabis helps sickle cell. ‘Normal cells are round and plump. During a sickle cell crisis, instead of round, the cells bend, part collapses to take the shape of a garden sickle. Cannabis helps the cells relax, inflating them back to a normal, healthy cell shape, relieving the severe pain a sickle cell crisis brings.
Sister Somayah as her contemporaries called her or Mama Somayah as she was known to the youth, was an activists activist. She served in the USA Air Force as a radar technician. She was a legendary Black Panther known as Peaches. She worked with many other great men and noted here women in the marijuana movement: Jeri Rose who donated a hemp seed oil pressing machine, Lynette Shaw, Jack Herer and countless other California activists to pass the historic Prop. 215 which opened the doors wide for our current state by state legalization strategy.
Because of her activism, garden and freely giving cannabis oil to neighbors in need, she spent many times in jail under harsh conditions. It was an abomination how during the many times she was jailed for growing plants. She was denied her medicine while in prison by the Los Angeles Police Department and had to suffer unaided.
She was a master farmer who could get 4 crops a year out of her back yard garden. Her trick was to start the seedlings indoors then transplant outside when the last crop was harvested. She use to be able to predict when the LAPD would come and destroy her home again, casting her off to prison for growing the best crops of the year. “Ever notice how the police always come at harvest time?” Like clockwork, they always showed up at harvest time.
We suspect from heaven Somayah is laughing as recreational marijuana is legal in California, with the multi-billion dollar surplus to prove the prospering power of pot. She’d still be fighting if she were here though. The taxes are too damn high.
The legalization movement received a lot of empowerment through the work of Sister Somayah Kambui. We all owe her a debt of gratitude. She taught us all how to stand strong in the face of adversity as we fight for what we believe in.