Wrestler Shelly Martinez is using what God gave her to promote the cause
By Tyler Davidson
If Shelly Martinez looks a bit intimidating at first glance, don’t worry. You’re probably not the first person to have thought so. The Chino native spent nearly a year under contract with pro wrestling juggernaut WWE as Ariel, a gothic fortune teller-turned-vampire. After parting ways with Vince McMahon & Co. in mid-2007, it wasn’t long before she popped up on the roster of their main competitor, Total Nonstop Action (otherwise suggestively known as TNA), this time as Salinas, a battle-hardened valet to the Latin American Xchange, or LAX.
It’s been two years since Martinez left TNA, and as for right now, it seems she has put the butt-kicking on hold in order to spread the word about the benefits of medical marijuana, joining forces with her younger sister Danielle on a variety of fronts. The two occasionally lend their talents to projects that include modeling, albeit often in a classy, old-fashioned sense (Danielle, for example, recently participated in CULTURE columnist Sarah Diesel’s “Pin-Ups for Patients” calendar shoot.)
“[We realized] we’ve just gotta [spread the word] ourselves, and the way we’re trying to do that is just taking what we love, which is old Hollywood, and mixing it with cannabis and what it’s done for us,” Martinez says, “keeping in mind the whole time, even though we want it to still be appealing, we need to cater to Grandma and Mom, bottom line.”
While “Grandma and Mom” might not be the target market for the everyday cannabis advocate, Martinez has sound reasoning for such an unusual statement, and it all goes back to traditional family values.
“I’m more about trying to cater to those people. At the end of the day, there’s a lot of stuff available in different ways, but [it’s all] kind of the same [ . . . ] kind of catering towards either a younger crowd or a crowd that’s already pretty much for cannabis or okay with it, and I’ve learned that, you know what? Even though there’s a total market for that [ . . . ] for me and my life and my story and how it all fits, I found I just didn’t fit there.
[Danielle and I] just wanted our story out there to educate those people like my mom, like my grandma, who still have a hard time with my sister and myself using cannabis as a medicine, as an alternative, which [is something] I think they both can benefit greatly from.”
Martinez hasn’t always been so pot-friendly, though.
“I used to be totally against cannabis. I had a boyfriend when I was in high school that was very abusive, and I thought that the reason why he was abusive was because he smoked pot. That’s how uneducated I was about it because growing up, I was around a lot of different drug use, so I kind of looked at marijuana as one of the drugs on ‘the list.’”
While Martinez went to great lengths to avoid getting involved with marijuana for some time, soon into her wrestling career, a back injury led to the use of (and later, a dependency on) muscle relaxants.
“When I started taking 10-20 [pills] a day, my friends were concerned, and one thing I was famous [among my friends] for saying was, ‘I’ve never smoked a marijuana cigarette a day in my life, so I don’t have a problem.’ I really almost prided myself on it, without realizing that I was becoming addicted to the muscle relaxers. So then I had an experience where I OD’d for a second, and [ . . . ] when I saw the pictures of my lifeless body, [I knew] I had a problem.”
Eventually, after fellow pro wrestler/cannabis advocate Rob Van Dam espoused some of the myriad benefits of marijuana as an alternative medicine, Martinez gave in and was pleasantly surprised at what she found.
“[Once I tried it,], it just changed a lot of things. At first, when I was using it for pain and for muscle spasms, I was also prescribed prescription pills for anxiety and depression, so what I started to realize was that I wasn’t needing to take those anymore because I was smoking, and that was a big relief to me, because those prescriptions really gave me, like, a zombie-like state of mind.”
Whether it’s through “Fun Time Radio,” their weekly show on Blog Talk Radio, or their various other mediums, “Las Hermanas Martinez” (as they often refer to themselves) are simply out to use what’s available to them to an educational end.
“All these different things, we try to use it all in hopes [of getting] the education out there. We’re not trying to be famous off of this, we’re just trying to use the tools we’ve got. We take cute pictures, we do cute things on video, we have video-quality presence. We’re goin‘ with it!”
Keep up with Shelly at www.shellymartinez.org.