Last month was PRIDE month, a time to celebrate love and progress for the LGBTQ+ community.
Historically, inclusion and intolerance have suppressed this community. Today, positive change is underway. The cannabis community has become a growing haven for social inclusion.
When the HIV/AIDS crisis hit in the 1980s, discrimination of LGBTQ+ patients left many without the necessary medication to manage symptoms and slow the disease’s progress. Cannabis, although illegal, became the go-to alternative. One of the biggest benefits was that it helped relieve the symptoms of wasting syndrome by activating the endocannabinoid system. Many physicians and researchers saw first-hand how much cannabis could help. They tirelessly advocated on behalf of patients. Petitions attempted to reschedule marijuana so that HIV/AIDS patients could obtain legal medical access. But the federal government wouldn’t budge.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community fought for medical cannabis rights in the 1990s when the Bay Area was under siege by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In 1996, Proposition 215 became the nation’s first medical marijuana law.
Today, LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and business leaders are paving the way for inclusion in the cannabis industry.
Cameron Champion, Executive Director at Surterra Wellness, is an inspiring leader in the industry. Cameron sided with cannabis after a change of perception while helping family members battle illness. Cameron is driven by a purpose: to leave the world better than you found it and do things that are bigger than yourself. He strives to create an environment where people not only get to be themselves, but where everyone gets to benefit from experiencing one another’s unique authenticity: “If everyone had to conform or hide part of what makes them great, we wouldn’t be able to have a positive effect.”
Surterra Wellness believes all people should have the opportunity to feel good and live well. Everyone has the right to well-being, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. Embrace your true self, be who you are and live life proud.
Want to learn more about cannabis? Visit surterra.com
Photography by: Surterra Wellness