In our series we have discussed the hardships the LGBTQ and Cannabis communities have faced as well as their perseverance. In our previous post we explored the gains made starting in 1990's, the momentum from those wins have only intensified and continued until today as we have entered an era of acceptance and legalization.
For the LGBTQ community domestic partnership laws and civil unions, as well as adoption by same-sex couples was recognized in several states and countries. Equal marriage (or same-sex marriage) was legalized in several jurisdictions as well. By 2010 7 countries and 8 States/capital regions would recognize equal marriage: the Netherlands (2001), Belgium (2003), Spain (2005), Canada (2005, though British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario legalized in 2003), South Africa (2006), Norway (2008), Sweden (2009), Massachusetts (2004), California (2008, though would later be over turned by Proposition 8), Connecticut (2008), Iowa (2009), Vermont (2009), New Hampshire (2009), Washington D.C. (2009), and Mexico City (2009).
As the LGBTQ community was making gains so too was cannabis. Medical marijuana was legalized in Canada, Austria, Hawaii, Nevada (which also decriminalized recreational use), Colorado, Vermont, Montana, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Michigan, and Massachusetts. Several countries would also decriminalize including Luxembourg, Portugal, Belgium, Chile, Brazil, Mexico (possession under 5g), and Argentina.
The stigma the communities once faced only was truly eroding. LGBTQ people became common place in television programs and pop culture, people began to open up about enjoying cannabis, the damage that was done to both communities through much of the 20th century started to melt away as more open minded generations began to enter office and outnumber the "old boys" era.
Today equal marriage (same-sex marriage) is performed or recognized in 28 countries and recreational use of marijuana is decriminalized or legal in 35 countries (legal or decriminalized at state level in 27 U.S. jurisdictions).
There is much work to be done though, recreational use of Cannabis is still illegal in an number of U.S. states and federally, Canada only recently passed its legalization bill, and homosexuality is still illegal in over 70 countries, Trans people continue to face discriminatory laws and unacceptable levels of violence. The future is bright though and we remain optimistic. Bills and ballot measures to legalize cannabis for recreational and medical use are making there way through several States, as are measures to include gender expression into anti-discrimination policies. The majority of the world continues to move forward on equal rights for LGBTQ people, and where they are not activists are speaking up and fighting back to effect change.
This brave new world allows us at Accoutrements, and others seeking to elevate and de-stigmatize cannabis, to exist. Cannabis can and should be sexy, luxurious, and beautiful. This is where we we have arrived today, while we should revel and take pride in this we cannot forget where we have come from, the people who fought so hard to get us here, and continue the march forward.
Whether you are gay or bi or straight, cis or trans or gender queer, we invite you to own your truth, live luxuriously, and as always spark and consume responsibly.