Carlos Santana was christened Devadip in 1972 by Sri Chimnoy. Santana's spiritualism has oozed through his music ever since. And it's also a part of his new weed brand, Mirayo by Santana. At the company's website, Santana explains the mission:
"If you’ve been to a Santana concert, you may have heard me take a minute between songs to advocate the spiritual use of cannabis. Why? I’ll explain it this way: I’m a flame-keeper for the spiritual re-evolution that made a happening like Woodstock possible, the striving of universal love.
"Cannabis has special properties in my experience to enhance meditative reflection, sensual perception and creative expression. It can dispel negative doubt to reveal the everlasting gift of our uniqueness. I advocate cannabis as a door to divine wisdom.
"In Autlan, Mexico and later in Tijuana, my mother would make salves of cannabis to relieve various pains and symptoms. Maybe that’s why I think of cannabis as a medicine more than a drug. Drugs are made in a lab. Medicine is made by a beam of sunlight into plants. For me, cannabis is a blessing worth sharing.
"Mirayo is my salute and invitation to celebrate your invaluable, essential divine light."
Partnering with Left Coast Ventures (they also provide flower for Mickey Hart's Mind Your Head and Marley Natural), the Mirayo by Santana strain names are predictably cosmic: Radiance (sativa), Centered (indica), Symmetry (hybrid) and Essence (CBD). They're currently available as loose flower and prerolls at Califiornia pot shops. Four of the stores, including Dr. Greenthumb's in Sacramento, are Latinx-owned businesses.
Santana was born and raised in Mexico. He told the story about his mother's salves to CelebStoner's Steve Bloom in January when the brand was announced.
“She put it in a jar with alcohol, let it sit for a while and she’d rub it into her joints for arthritis, rheumatism and her knees, all kinds of things, and it worked,” Santana said in Variety. “It’s been handed down by generations and generations for a long, long time.”
Santana Talks About His 1991 Marijuana Arrest
Santana was arrested for possessing a small amount of marijuana at the Houston Airport in 1991.
“I had one tiny, little joint that was about the size of a thin toothpick," he recalled during the Variety interview. "The guy that arrested me, who was Mexican, said, ‘I’m just doing this because we have zero tolerance.’ I said, ‘You’re only arresting me because you want to get your name in the papers and you want to get a raise or notoriety.’
“Strangely enough, when they put the handcuffs on me and put me in the car, the policeman who was driving broke down and cried. I asked him if he was alright, and he said, ‘Not really, man. This the worst day of my life.’ I said, ‘That’s okay, you need to do what you have to do.’ Then I said, ‘Would you do me a favor and turn on the radio?’ He turned it and first song that came out blasting was ‘I Shot the Sheriff’ by Bob Marley.”
When Santana arrived at the police station, he received the royal treatment. “Everybody looked at me like I was from another planet. They said, ‘What are you doing here? You shouldn’t be here. We’re going to put you where no one will bother you. We’re going to process you really quick. Somebody made a mistake. You don’t need to be here!’
“After they released me, I went to play with Grateful Dead in Colorado. Everybody in the Dead looked at me, like, hey, I had just joined the club. I started laughing. The Grateful Dead have always been like that with me. They believed in me before I believed in myself.”
In 2009, Santana called on President Obama to legalize marijuana.