Is weed beneficial for LGBT people? We’re going to say yes. Here are the different ways cannabis legalization helps the LGBT community.
What are the ways cannabis legalization helps the LGBT community? While it’s safe to say that weed can help many people, cannabis use has a variety of benefits that can be particularly helpful for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender. Here’s how Mary Jane is an ally.
People who identify as LGBT are three times as likely as heterosexual and/or cisgender people to experience major depression. LGBT youths are four times as likely to attempt suicide or engage in acts of self-harm. Worldwide, between 32% and 50% of transgender people attempt suicide.
These high rates are mostly due to the discrimination and violence that LGBT people face every day. Especially after they come out. The most logical step to combat this would be to implement country-wide measures to protect these LGBT people, especially transgender people. But policy change requires an administration that genuinely cares about them.
In the meantime, cannabis has been shown to help alleviate depression. Although weed won’t eliminate anti-LGBT discrimination and violence, it can help people cope with the ramifications without being pushed to suicide.
2. Anxiety and Stress
In addition to depression, LGBT people are more likely to have anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder. This is exacerbated by the stress of coming out. It’s made even worse by the threats of rejection, violence, and discrimination that often follow coming out.
As with depression, cannabis use can relieve anxiety and stress. Don’t want to reach for your vape every time a politician challenges your human rights?
New studies show that daily use helps reduce stress even when you’re sober. By legalizing cannabis, everyone would be able to have access to it, with or without a prescription.
3. Physical Health
Cannabis doesn’t only help people cope with mental health issues. One of the other ways cannabis legalization helps the LGBT community is by making it available to everyone suffering from physical health problems.
Because LGBT people are, well, people, they are vulnerable to the same physical health risks that straight and cisgender people are. A prevalent health problem in the United States is obesity and the myriad complications associated with it.
Incidentally, studies seem to show that lesbian and bisexual women are more likely to be overweight or obese than their straight counterparts. While obesity is a complex issue, studies show that weed can help.
4. Substance Abuse
Unsurprisingly, the LGBT population is disproportionately affected by addiction and substance abuse. Even worse, there are very few treatment programs that are particularly welcoming or helpful to them.
While everyone’s journey to recovery is different, recent research suggests that cannabis can help curb drug addiction.
When these studies become more accepted in the mainstream and legalization follows suit, it will become one of the ways cannabis legalization helps the LGBT community.
Finally, one of the ways cannabis legalization helps the LGBT community is by giving HIV/AIDS patients access to weed. While by itself cannabis is not a treatment for HIV, it can help treat some of the symptoms that come with the virus. Cannabis can help alleviate HIV-associated ailments like decreased appetite, neuropathic pain, and insomnia. While HIV/AIDS can affect anyone, regardless of gender, sex, or sexual orientation, the LGBT population is especially at risk. Much of the elevated risk is due to discrimination, stigma, and lack of adequate healthcare.
Although HIV is not curable, it is treatable. It can be prevented by practicing safe sex, not sharing syringes, and getting tested regularly. There is also the option of PrEP or pre-exposure prophylaxis. This involves taking the daily medication TRUVADA.
Final Hit: The Ways Cannabis Legalization Helps The LGBT Community
The LGBT community has unique health issues and concerns. Cannabis won’t cure the root causes of the problems, which are violence and discrimination. But consuming cannabis can help. Using weed as an aid to cope with the health issues isn’t harmful like using other substances or actions, like opioids or self-harm. And while smoking cannabis can help many people, it’s not right for absolutely everyone. It’s all about making the right choice for you.