Pride Month can be a time of many triumphs; it is supposed to help shine a spotlight on the leaders, innovators, and advocates who are making the world more inclusive and accepting of all gender and sexual identities.
But, to quote some of our fellow media professionals, "to celebrate Pride in America in 2022 is to be on edge and alarmed." This year has seen increasingly prevalent attacks on LGBTQIA+ communities, as well as on numerous personal freedoms. In March alone, five states passed anti-LGBTQIA+ laws including Florida's infamous "Don't Say Gay" legislation. When the Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade in its ruling on June 24, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his opinion that he thought reversing the LGBTQIA+ community's marriage rights should be considered next.
LGBTQIA+ Communities And Cannabis
And what about the cannabis community, which shares integral parts of its history with LGBTQIA+ communities? One might have expected openness, but instead there seem only to have been openings for more hatred. Read on to learn more about this shared history and how one cannabis entrepreneur is confronting these attacks.
An Apology To The Homophobic Stoners
By Ken Ahbus
Dear homophobic stoner,
High! How are you doing? June was a tough month, right? It must be so hard to see rainbows and gay people holding hands. Are you okay? Do you need a safe space? I’m really sorry you had to go through a whole month of gay shit.
I’m also sorry that the people who fought for your right to smoke weed were gay. Big fucking homos like Dennis Peron, and Harvey Milk fought for your bigoted ass to smoke a joint. In fact, their gay DNA is infused with every cannabis plant, which means you’ve had a gay person in you. I’m sorry about that.
Here’s a little history lesson. In the 1970s a gay man named Harvey Milk ran and won to be part of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He was the first gay man to be elected to public office in California, but that isn’t what is important here. What’s important is that his gay ass supported Prop W, a huge deal at the time. Prop W was a proposal that encouraged the San Francisco DA to not prosecute the growing, selling, cultivating, and using of cannabis. The measure passed and was one of the first of its kind. Undoubtedly Prop W paved the way for the kind of legalization many states enjoy today.
One of Milk’s friends, Dennis Peron, also did a lot of good shit for the industry. A former member of the Air Force, Peron moved to San Francisco and grew and distributed a ton of cannabis, particularly in The Castro, a famously gay neighborhood. He viewed all cannabis as medicine and he saw how his friends and his partner greatly benefited from cannabis when they were AIDS patients. In 1991 Peron organized Proposition P, a resolution for the state to permit medical cannabis to pass. Peron also co-authored Proposition 215 in 1996, which passed, allowing California to have a medical program despite federal oversight.
Peron even opened up the first public cannabis dispensary in 1991. I’m sorry that he did so much to make your life better. Maybe he shouldn’t have because you know, you’re a big bigot and you don’t deserve nice things.
I’m also sorry that you lost your collective shit when High Times Magazine posted an article about 5 cannabis companies giving back this Pride. You got a little triggered there. I thought weed was supposed to mellow you out.
Let’s go through some of my favorite things you said…
Well, smurfdog. For starters, the LGBTQ community were the pioneers of the cannabis legalization movement. I’m pretty proud of that.
Guys, I know. A whole month for gay people is terrible. I’m so sorry we ruined an entire month for you. Good thing there are 11 other months.
Hey, no one is forcing you to buy anything gay. I wouldn’t want you to catch something from us. I’m sorry that you are missing out on some really cool products and brands that just so happen to be founded by an LGBTQ person or even just give a shit about them.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you’ve probably ingested something that was made by a gay person. Part of the gay agenda is to get you to smoke. Sorry to be the one to tell you.
I have so many favorite ones too where they use throwup emojis and call me a pedo, but I think my favorite-upon-favorite thing that was said was…
I just love how you threatened to kill someone from your official company account. I love that you threatened violence over a post about companies donating their time or money to LGBTQIA+ folks. I’m sorry that you are completely unhinged.
I’m sorry that we won’t be holding hands singing “Kumbaya” together anytime soon. I guess the stereotype about stoners being a loving group of people is built on a throne of lies. Out of the hundreds of comments in the famous High Times Instagram post, over 2/3rds were negative, much like the ones I mentioned above. Comments did not pass the vibe check.
Finally, I’m sorry I’m being absurd in this letter, but being a homophobic stoner is even more absurd. I truly feel sorry for you.
P.S. To the High Times social media team– shame on you for letting threats of violence happen on your page.
How Can You Support LGBTQIA+ Communities In Cannabis?
Wondering how you can support LGBTQIA+ communities in cannabis and LGBTQIA+-owned cannabis brands? Check out the entrepreneurs profiled in our Trailblazers' Authentic Voices series - many of whom include information about LGBTQIA+ nonprofits and community-driven projects they support as well - and look out for news about these awesome brands amplifying queer talent and culture.
Ken Ahbus is a New Yorker that loves cannabis and the drama of the industry. He sells clothing sometimes.
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Featured image: Cannabis icon Dennis Peron; photo originally published by Jane Street Media.