For decades, cannabis users and the LGBTQ community have had plenty in common. Both are groups that have been marginalized by the general public to varying degrees throughout their history, having to fight for both legal recognition and equality under law as well as social acceptance by their communities.
While there’s been significant crossover between these two communities for decades, this relationship became even stronger and more powerful during the terrifying period of the AIDS epidemic in the late 80s and 90s. As infections grew and expanded at a horrible speed, with no cure in sight, patients and advocates looked for ways to treat their symptoms.
Many LGBTQ people were already aware of the amazing benefits of cannabis for reducing pain. Much like today, when nearly one-third of LGBTQ people report using cannabis in the last year, LGBTQ people in the 80s and 90s used cannabis at a higher rate than the general public.
However, the illegal status of cannabis made accessing it a challenge. But soon, thanks largely to the actions of advocates in the LGBTQ community, that was going to change.