Listening, learning and loving: what PRIDE means to us

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It’s PRIDE month, and we love showing support for the LGBTQ+ community with rainbows galore. Plus, we’re pumped to be tabling at Pittsburgh PrideFest this weekend--stop by our booth in the Mylan Wellness Village on Saturday and Sunday!

But beyond the swag and festivities lies a significant story often overlooked, and perhaps even unknown to many of our younger patients. In fact, the history of the medical marijuana legalization movement is strongly rooted in the LGBTQ+ community, who fought for access to the medicine throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Many of us remember when news of the AIDS epidemic began to spread in the 1980s and 90s. People were in pain, dying from Wasting Syndrome, and suffering from the side effects of the drugs used to treat it. But LGBTQ+ pioneers like Dennis Peron, Mary Jane “Brownie Mary” Rathbun, and John Entwistle fought for them to access medical marijuana, compassion, and relief from their suffering. Their tireless advocacy culminated in San Francisco’s passage of Proposition P in 1991, followed by Proposition 215 in 1996, making California the first state in the United State to legalize access to medical marijuana.

So what does PRIDE mean to us? The way we see it, inclusion and acceptance are directly connected to our mission towards achieving elevated wellness. We believe cannabis, diversity, PRIDE, and inclusion are critical to and interconnected in the bigger picture of holistic health.

Today, we are honored to continue our journey of listening, learning and loving. Organizations like Prevention Point Pittsburgh, the Positive Health Clinic, Central Outreach Wellness Center and activists like Joey Suarez are fighting for access to healthcare for the LGBTQ+ community, and we are honored to call them our friends and partners.

Happy PRIDE month, Maitri family! Keep sharing your stories with us - we are all on this journey together.