There are some pretty extraordinarily stupid myths and conspiracy theories surrounding both homosexuality and marijuana. Does Marijuana Causes Homosexuality? Specific individuals ‘blame’ an attraction to the same sex on things such as junk food, soy, the United Nations, and the movie, Frozen. I am not making this up!
As for marijuana, the idiocy probably doesn’t stretch as far back, but we can trace many people’s aversion to weed back to the hatchet job called Reefer Madness, a crime against art congealed in a gutter in 1936. In this anti-marijuana propaganda film, a group of high-school students uses weed. They end up committing a variety of crimes and atrocities including attempted rape, vehicular homicide, and murder. Some students also commit suicide.
Even today, more than 80 years after the worst movie ever made appeared (even crappier than Double Team and White Chicks), there are still a few peculiar myths associated with the herb. Millions of people, including prominent politicians, believe in the debunked ‘gateway drug’ theory. Others associate marijuana with laziness, sloth, and a lack of motivation.
You have probably heard of most ridiculous anti-cannabis myths. However, did you know that a few crackpots believe weed causes homosexuality? It makes sense to compare two unrelated things, especially when it is usually the same type of mindset that finds fault with both. Let’s explore this ridiculous falsehood in more detail, and look at the real links between LGBT+ and cannabis.
When in Doubt, Blame Those Who Come Out (And Get High)
Like many nations around the world, American politicians like to shift the focus away from the real issues when the truth contradicts the narrative. It is fair to say that in modern politicians, things make as much sense as a barrelful of screaming monkeys desperately fighting for an exit.
Our politicians have a long and proud history of making up nonsense to protect their interests. Take the gun control issue, for example. Data from 2017 show that almost 40,000 people died from injuries caused by a firearm. Over 14,500 of these deaths were homicides. There are dozens of mass shootings each year, and a tragically high number of school massacres (one is too many).
Logic dictates that it is much harder to kill 30 people without a gun (or an assault rifle) than with one. America has an enormous number of firearms. We hold 46% of the world’s civilian guns despite having little more than 4% of the world’s population. However, only an estimated 36% of Americans own a firearm. There are plenty of people who own multiple guns and an awful lot of people who have none and never want one.
‘Gays, & Weed, Not Guns, Are to Blame’
The above is the opinion of more than a few people and too many American politicians. Reducing access to guns with enormous bullet capacities would help. No one is realistically suggesting that we give up all weapons. If you live in a ‘dangerous’ area, having a gun probably enables you to sleep better at night. Also, merely removing guns won’t eliminate the problem of firearm homicides. We could delve even more in-depth but it would move us further away from the topic of the article!
According to Candice Keller, the Republican Party’s Ohio State Representative, homosexuality is the cause of mass shootings. She claims that “the breakdown of the traditional American family” is one of the primary reasons for the number of gun deaths. Even her party called on her to resign, but at the time of writing, Keller is holding firm.
Meanwhile, FOX News star, and the man most likely to have his hair cut with a bowl by mommy, Tucker Carlson, blames marijuana for mass shootings. Carlson often likes to talk without bothering to fact check or analyze the context of things. After the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Carlson told viewers that the Dayton shooter was a long-term user of marijuana. He pondered aloud whether there was a connection. He admitted that the killer also had traces of cocaine and Xanax in his system, but focused on cannabis.
Carlson went above and beyond by inviting the author of a discredited anti-marijuana book, Alex Berenson, on to the show. The former journalist for the New York Times (yes, really) claims that “marijuana causes psychosis.” For reference, 75 of the country’s best doctors and scholars wrote an open letter which said that Berenson’s book was “based on a deeply inaccurate misreading of science.”
By now, you’ll note that the various myths surrounding marijuana and homosexuality are not based on a reasoned analysis of empirical evidence. Should we expect the apparent links between weed and same-gender attraction to have a different slant? What do you think?
Marijuana & Homosexuality – Deconstructing the Myth
If we go back a few years, there was an online discussion on whether typically heterosexual people feel an attraction to the same gender after a few tokes. The term used is “Highsexuality,” and it generated quite a lot of publicity. However, Vice magazine claims it tracked down the entire ‘movement’ to a single Reddit thread where a user claimed he was “very attracted to girls and not at all to men when sober.”
However, as soon as he gets high, he suddenly desires sexual relations with men. He went on to ask others whether they felt the same way. According to Vice, the thread had a few suspicious similarities with discussions about LSD and cocaine. Can you imagine a situation where a single troll manages to freak out a vast amount of people online? Sarcasm alert.
Are Only Black Men Affected?
‘Yes,’ according to the Nation of Islam’s Dr. Wesley Muhammad. In case you are wondering, he is a doctor of Islamic Studies, not medicine. Muhammad asserted that the American government introduced ‘weaponized,’ ‘chemically-treated’ weed into black communities as a means of feminizing the men.
He believes that this special weed blocks or diverts masculinization of the nervous system. Why does it only affect black men? Muhammad answers that the government uses an anti-androgen that bonds to black tissue. The result is poison released into the bodies of black people for life. Those with basic knowledge of science can pick holes in this theory, so we won’t bother.
Don’t Believe Everything You Read
As fun as it is to mock those peddling such rubbish, we must also take care to avoid believing everything we read. For instance, one story claimed that Michele Leonhart, the former Administrator of the DEA, believed in a type of ‘gay weed’ called Homo Kush 69. According to this tale, Leonhart claimed that a single ‘snort’ of this ‘evil drug’ turned straight kids into gay, perverted demons.
Leonhart is very much anti-marijuana. In her role, she openly criticized then-President Barack Obama over his softer stance on the herb. Cannabis activists and congressmen called for her resignation due to her position on weed. Even so, the origin of the infamous Homo Kush 69 story is exceptionally dubious and almost certainly falls into the ‘fiction’ camp itself.
Is There a Link Between Homosexuality & Marijuana?
Yes, there is, but not in the “smoke a joint and you suddenly become gay” way. Certainly, the two seemingly unrelated things have one thing in common. Both weed and LGBT rights were outside legal and social approval. There were both on society’s fringes and required tremendous advocacy and patience to improve matters.
Eventually, advocacy combined for several reasons. During the beginning of the AIDS crisis in the early 1980s, there were no pharmaceutical treatment options. As a result, sufferers of the condition often sought out cannabis as a means of getting relief. At that time, LGBT+ individuals were disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. As a consequence, the community needed access to weed, so protests for LGBT rights overlapped with the quest to legalize pot.
The LGBT community’s marijuana activism took the form of organized clubs or networks where people with weed gave it to those who had HIV/AIDS. By 1990, the herb was used for palliative care amongst those with the disease. The likes of Dennis Peron and Harvey Milk proposed legislation in San Francisco to legalize marijuana to benefit the LGBT community and others.
Marijuana Lowers Inhibitions
It isn’t a case of cannabis ‘causing’ homosexuality or bisexuality. As Jason Tantra of Tantra 4 Gay Men points out, human sexuality is seldom something we can put in a neat box. As is the case with any intoxicating substance, cannabis potentially removes the protections and filters we use to ‘conform.’
When high, you are more likely to explore who you really are than when sober. If you secretly harbor feelings for a person of the same gender, the act of getting stoned could lift your repression and ‘out’ you. As those with working brain cells can ascertain, there is a big difference between this, and marijuana ‘turning’ you gay.
Interestingly, there is an entire market dedicated to heightening the sexual experience using weed. For an increasing number of people, the combination of marijuana and sex offers something ‘better’ than ever. There are also THC and CBD-infused lubricants.
This phenomenon has some merit. Marijuana potentially intensifies the state you are in, and senses such as touch, taste, and sight. Of course, adverse effects include enhanced paranoia and anxiety. If weed heightens emotions and feelings, why wouldn’t it have a significant impact on sex drive?
Do More LGBT People Use Marijuana?
Remarkably, some studies say ‘yes.’ Trocki et al. published a study in the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors journal in December 2010. The researchers examined tobacco, cannabis, and sensation-seeking behaviors across heterosexual, lesbian, gay, and bisexual groups. According to the study’s findings, heterosexual women used weed at significantly higher rates than non-heterosexual women. It was the same story in men.
A study by Philbin et al., published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal in August 2019, reached a similar conclusion. The team found that the rate of daily cannabis use was seven times higher among bisexual women than their strictly heterosexual counterparts. It was a large data sample as the team analyzed responses from over 126,000 American adults across two years.
Overall, only 10% of heterosexual women admitted consuming medical marijuana at some point during the previous year. Compare this figure to the 26% of gay women and 40% of bisexual women who made the same admission. Meanwhile, 17% of ‘straight’ men said they used MMJ during the year, compared to 29% of homosexual men and 30% of bisexual men.
For the record, only 1.5% of heterosexual women smoked weed daily, compared to 6% of lesbians, and 10% of bisexuals. Oddly enough, the gap between routine Mary Jane use was smaller in men. 4% of heterosexual men used MMJ daily, compared to 7% gay, and 9% bisexual males. In both genders, those who identify as bisexual use cannabis most often.
Why Does This Happen?
No one has a definitive answer as to why more LGBT people use weed. Morgan Philbin, who authored the 2019 study, suspects it is due to a higher stress level. As you may know, those who identify as LGBT endure significantly more discrimination and harassment than heterosexuals, even in today’s apparently ‘enlightened’ society. LGBT youths face higher rates of bullying at school and homelessness, trauma which carries into adulthood.
LGB youth commit suicide 200% more often than their heterosexual counterparts. Up to 40% of transgender or non-binary adolescents have attempted suicide at least once. It is also a sad fact that hate crimes against the LGBT+ community have increased significantly in the last five years in 30 American cities.
Philbin says that bisexual women have a ‘higher health burden’ than their ‘straight’ counterparts. They are twice as likely to have recurring mental health or substance use disorders. Sadly, their level of contact with service providers is far too small.
Final Thoughts on Marijuana & Homosexuality
In conclusion, there IS a link between weed and being part of the LGBT+ community, but grass does not turn someone gay. Indeed, the entire notion that a person can be ‘turned’ into a homosexual is a backward way of thinking that belongs in a bygone era. There is no scientific evidence to back up this outrageous claim, and the only people who persist in flogging this dead horse are the type of individuals you would cross the street to avoid.
It seems far more likely that cannabis lowers your inhibitions. If you have gay, bisexual, or transgender leanings, getting high could bring them to the fore. To be clear, these are feelings you already hold but are repressed when sober. Therefore, if David gets stoned and fancies Steve, it has nothing to do with marijuana. All it has done is give David insight into his true self.
Marijuana may also enhance the sexual experience, something worth exploring regardless of your persuasion! Finally, research suggests that LGBT+ individuals are more likely to use the herb. A possible reason, though not confirmed, is that they suffer more stress due to harassment. It begs the question: We have a relatively short time to live, and never know when it will end – why can’t we be kinder to one another?