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Cannabis & the LGBTQ Community Leave a comment

Featured Image Source: The Fresh Toast

 

Some communities live in a constant symbiosis, as they help one another achieve mutual goals. But did you know that the fact we’re free to use weed legally in Canada and some of the U.S. states is partly attributed to the LGBT community?

 

Yes, fellow weed lovers, thanks to some of the LGBT activists who were fighting during the 80’s and 90’s for easier access to cannabis as a medication with the potential to help young men cope with AIDS, we are now able to use this plant both medicinally and recreationally.

 

But to be honest, there’s more to this somewhat interesting relationship than meets the eye. After all, both communities have been stigmatized for way too long, experiencing intolerance that derived from the lack of knowledge fueled by a propaganda based on false beliefs of people who failed to acknowledge that people can actually be different.

 

But regardless of these differences, we are all equal. We’re born with the same amount of time, we have the right to be happy, express ourselves and participate in the social life with proud. Because that’s what accompanies both cannabis users and the LGBT community. Pride.

 

So, without further ado, let’s see how we can benefit from one another.

Common History

pride balloons display

Source: Culture Magazine

 

Like we said, the cannabis and the LGBT community have several goals in common and they have been under a very harmful stigma for decades.

 

We have both witnessed explicit intolerance that was fueled by the aforementioned propaganda based on misguided believes.

 

How many times have you heard that marijuana is a gateway drug? And how much did the use of opiates drop in states that have legalized marijuana throughout the last couple of years? What about the myriad of health benefits cannabis comes with? Do you, as well, believe this is a harmful drug? Then tell it to people whose lives have been saved by marijuana..

 

Let’s go a bit further. How many times have you read about the threat of homosexual couples adopting children, which would allegedly lead to mental development disorders in those children, or social pathologies. And yet, how many deviated and harmed children of those homosexual couples have you heard about? Have you ever met, at least, one of them?

 

You see, the level of hypocrisy presented by those who discriminate people that refuse to live by the standards imposed by the majority blows up every possible scale. And we’re here to fight for it.

 

Speaking of which, let’s see how the Pride movement and the LGBT community aided marijuana legalization.

The Role of LGBT in Marijuana Legalization

rainbow colours and love symbol

Source: Civilized

 

Contrary to what some people think, the path to legal medical marijuana was not paved by senators, nor was it forged by a well-financed stoner lobby. In fact, this road was built by gay activists fighting for the lives of AIDS sufferers.

 

Back in 1980s, there was a hopeless thought that the country would never have anything but a lack market to obtain their medication. The only legal option for HIV/AIDS patients was an antiretroviral that was released in 1986 to slow the progression of the disease. The drug was known as azidothymidine (AZT), but the treatment – at $8,000 a year – turned out to be too expensive for 65% of people with AIDS.

 

When a word about weed’s assistance with battling all of AIDS symptoms spread, the LGBT community began to form a movement around marijuana to legalize its medical use, or at least enable easier access to the herb for AIDS patients.

 

In the early 1980s, AIDS activist Cleve Jones was chosen for the San Francisco Democratic County Central Commettee as the first public person since the great prohibition to hear about the patients’ vision of a medical marijuana program. The first medical marijuana legislation was set by Dennis Peron, another LGBT activist, and career cannabis dealer. Proposition P was put forth in 1991, which was a groundbreaking event in the history of cannabis, with 80% approval from the Board of Supervisors.

 

Following this event, Peron set up the first-ever storefront dispensary in 1992 – the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers’ Club. Four years later, Peron continued on his endeavor and gathered medical coordinator of the Buyers’ Club Tod Mikuriya, along with their friends and partners in business to create and lobby for Proposition 215. Also known as the Compassionate Use Care Act of 1996, the legislation introduced the first-ever medical marijuana program in the U.S., with the 55.6% support from the state.

 

This is when the cannabis revolution started.

Cannabis and LGBT: Educate, Advocate, Medicate

cannabis leaves

Source: The Fresh Toast

 

While the LGBT community has its own unique concerns and problems to solve, it looks like it shares many common points with the cannabis legalization movement, and the history of the mutual support from both sides is a long one. We both have faced discrimination and violence for our unwillingness to fall in line, but we have managed to overcome these obstacles and get where we are now.

 

So, the next time you hear about the Canada’s Pride Day, don’t be ashamed to participate and spark one up for our endeavor to create a better world for everyone!

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