No evidence Suzanne Aubert used cannabis

cannabis grower

Mother Suzanne Aubert somewhat surprisingly featured in Wednesday’s Jesse Mulligan interview with James Borrowdale about his new book, Weed: A New Zealand Story; a book about cannabis.

The book once again raises the conjecture that Aubert was New Zealand’s first commercial cannabis grower.

Mulligan asked the author to expand a bit on what he had written about Mother Aubert’s use of cannabis.

Was it true that “New Zealand’s first commercial cultivator of cannabis also turns out to be New Zealand’s first saint?”

Borrowdale replied that he had not been able to find any conclusive evidence either way that Aubert was a cannabis grower.

He said there had forever been conjecture that Aubert was New Zealand first cannabis grower.

Conjecture there may be, particularly from those who favour the legalisation of cannabis, but there is no evidence.

In his book, Borrowdale records that he spoke to Fr Maurice Carmody, the postulator of the Cause for the Beatification of Aubert.

Carmody said she might have used cannabis in some of her preparation, but whether or not she did was of no concern.

“Her use of it or otherwise is irrelevant to whether we consider her a holy woman or a saint.”

Jessie Munro, Aubert’s biographer, told Borrowdale that while it is most likely Aubert was aware of the medical use of cannabis she had not come across any evidence that Aubert had made use of it in own her preparations.

The Sisters of Compassion website says that over the years there have been many people who have made claims that Suzanne Aubert experimented with or was the first person in New Zealand to cultivate cannabis or marijuana and hemp.

“These stories are often based on anecdotal accounts that are frequently many times removed from a direct source.

“Most accounts stem from the 1960s.”

When Borrowdale asked a sister from the Home of Compassion, by email, she replied: “I am really sorry I am no help to you.

“There is no physical evidence that she ever used cannabis in our archives. She may have I don’t know.”


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News category: New Zealand.

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