As many of you know, Oregon legalized recreational/adult-use cannabis in November of 2014. I did lots of campaigning and some public speaking for the campaign after founding a group called Moms for YES on Measure 91. After we had legal cannabis, I knew the next big issue that I wanted to advocate for was marriage equality. I volunteered for Oregon United for Marriage and even did initiative petition signature gathering during the peak of the campaign. Then, only about 7 months after Measure 91 had passed and legalized cannabis, on June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage, legalized it in all fifty states, and required states to honor out-of-state same-sex marriage licenses in the case Obergefell v. Hodges.
We were elated to hear that the Oregon United for Marriage campaign could stop our efforts as the federal government had FINALLY decided to recognize same sex marriage on a national level.
While this motion from the Supreme Court made me so happy, it also made me feel sad for those who had to wait so long for equal treatment. I watched family members and friends have to hide their sexual orientation and love for others because of the stigma and because of the law. Also, I found it hard not to draw parallels between those adversely affected by anti-gay efforts and those who have been adversely affected by the drug war. People’s lives had been ruined in more ways than one because of our government stifling what I consider to be basic civil rights such as marrying who you love or have access to medicine you need.
However, this act from the federal government to (at last) recognize marriage equality also gave me hope. What I saw happen was that states, one after another, legalized same sex marriage and recognized marriage equality. When so many states had legalized this, it seemed that the federal government finally decided to quit fighting the overall desire and opinion of the American public and legalized it too. This is where we are with the cannabis, and that is why it gave me hope.
We are in a space of advocacy for the cannabis plant where the majority of the American public thinks this substance should be legal and that all should have safe access to this plant and the products made from it. As with marriage equality, states are falling in line like dominoes with cannabis law reform. Each time a general election comes upon us, more and more states are choosing to put measures in place for decriminalization, medical, and recreational/adult-use cannabis legalization. It is my hope that the federal government will soon come around as they did with marriage equality, and recognize the medical benefits of cannabis and legalize it for everyone. This will free up law enforcement resources as well as help with economic growth, and hopefully begin to right some of the many wrongs in the area of social and criminal injustices that are intertwined in cannabis prohibition.
The Weed Blog proudly holds an ongoing partnership with the Cascade AIDS Project (CAP), an organization that supports and empowers all people with or affected by HIV, reduces stigma, and provide the LGBTQ+ community with compassionate healthcare. I almost teared up when I saw our company name on the donor wall for their latest project, The Prism Health Clinic, in Portland, Oregon. This clinic offers a safe, affirming, and non-judgmental space where all members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community can obtain the compassionate and culturally effective health care they need and deserve.
It means so much to me that we can partner with CAP on events and support them in their efforts, and I wanted to pass on the message they sent to their followers in celebration of Pride weekend….
Happy Pride Portland!
Join us in celebrating health equity in the LGBTQ+ community!
It’s Pride weekend and we are taking to the streets to celebrate love and equality! Before you grab your rainbow flag and head out yourself, please consider taking a quick moment to make adonation to Prism Health.
“I left [Prism] feeling hopeful, strong, optimistic and ready to take on the world. Throughout the clinical process I was treated with dignity, competence and kindness, and left with a sense of belonging.”
– Prism Health patient
Just over a year ago CAP opened Prism Health to address significant disparities in health care for the LGBTQ+ community. We saw the need for a safe and affirming space where all members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community could obtain compassionate and culturally effective health care. Your gift ensures this kind of care will continue for another PRIDE filled year!
Join us at the Pride Festival: CAP and Prism Health have booths at the festival, stop by to register for AIDS Walk and find out about becoming a patient at Prism Health.
From all of us at CAP and Prism Health, have a safe and joyous Pride weekend!