“The entire medical cannabis movement grew out of the deep love of 2 gay men for each other & the world. Pride!” We were hella shocked when Steve DeAngelo sent out that tweet recently. Not because we’re homophobes, dude. Or don’t believe the guy. Afterall the dude’s among the ten most prominent people in pot says Fortune magazine, he’s authored the popular Cannabis Manifesto that picks up where preeminent pot activist Jack Herer left off and he runs a couple of the largest and most successful medical marijuana dispensaries on the planet. He also fought the law. And guess what? He won. The feds took a four-year-long swing at the Oakland institution and missed. Suffice to say DeAngelo knows what’s up.
Why were we so shocked by the tweet? Because we recognized it. We heard the line come straight from DeAngelo’s mouth. It was during an interview we did with the marijuana magnate back in 2010 about the awesome history of medical marijuana and the gay community. And it found its way into a recent article in Cannabis Now Magazine. It’s cool to know that six years later our article, which actually hangs framed on DeAngelo’s wall at the flagship Harborside Health Center in Oakland, is still relevant and inspiring others to take a look at the rich history of weed’s helping hand—especially during Pride month.
Like we said in the original post—looking back at the 80s most people remember the shoulder pads, the spandex and the bad flock of seagull haircuts. But many have forgotten about AIDS—the epidemic that ravaged the decade. Back then it was commonly referred to as the “Gay Disease” because it initially appeared among the gay community. At first society felt safe. But the real nightmare began when people realized it wasn’t only affecting gays.
During the AIDS epidemic it was war on homosexuals. Stoners can relate. We’ve been fighting the war on people, we mean the war on drugs for decades. Anyhow during the AIDS epidemic there were thousands drowning in judgment, hatred and fear across the country. People were being brutalized, criticized, thrown out of their communities, their homes, being disowned by the ones they loved, their parents, their children. Sound familiar stoners?
But you know what? Marijuana brought those people together. It gave many a vehicle to heal, to find solace, understanding and compassion in a community of acceptance. Marijuana provided not only much needed relief from the pains associated with AIDS but the pains associated with living in a society that feared AIDS as much as it did homosexuals.
“The entire medical cannabis movement owes a direct debt to the gay community of San Francisco”Steve DeAngelo continued in our post. “It came out of the personal relationship of two gay men and the commitment of those people to each other. There’s a very, very direct line of debt there.”