Culture Lifestyle

As Cannabis Progresses, What are We to Call its Consumers?

Steve Miller called himself a “toker” and a “space cowboy” in his 1973 banger “The Joker.” Dazed and Confused—which was released in 1993, but set in 1976—elevated the identity to a question: “You cool, man?” There are “stoners,” “potheads,” “burnouts,” the old-timey jazz-era “vipers,” “cannabies,” “weeders,” and—to many cannabis consumers—just “friends.”

On the other end of the spectrum, thanks to sweeping cannabis legalization, there are both “patients” and “the occasional edible-partaker.” (Okay, maybe I made that last one up.) So, what do we call someone who consumes cannabis, in its many forms, across a spectrum of use frequency and motivation?

In college, I would often encounter someone on the hunt for like-minded green beans. “Do you smoke?” the first person would ask. If the second person responded “Cigarettes?” chances were good they were cool in the Dazed sense. However, the joints and glass pipes that once marked a niche, oft-underground subculture have been pushed out by mint vaporizers, CBD breath mints in minimalist tins, tinctures infused with gemstone essences, and THC designed to manage anxiety. There are still rolling papers, but they’re decorated in geometric patterns and printed with organic, vegan ink. Not only is smoking not the only way to enjoy the medicinal—and, of course, fun—effects of cannabis, but there’s now room for countless types of enthusiasts.

So, what do we call this type of person? For many, the answer is generational.

“As for this, my suspicion is that other than a few dedicated idiots who are desperate to remain ‘down with the kids,’ most people stay stuck with the slang they met in their teens and 20s,” Jonathon Green, a lexicographer who specializes in slang, says.

That’s a strike against my mission to uncover a term that describes everyone under the cannabis umbrella, regardless of age, cannabis-ingestion methods, and frequency—not to mention whether or not cannabis is an integral part of any of those people’s core personalities. This theory would suggest that if the dude passing you your first spliff in eighth grade remarked, “Now you’re a real cabbagehead,” you’d probably consider anyone who takes the occasional puff or pops an edible every evening a “cabbagehead.” (FWIW, I sincerely hope the term we all end up agreeing on is anything but “cabbagehead.”)

“I sincerely hope the term we all end up agreeing on is anything but ‘cabbagehead.’”

Another hallmark of both slang and historical cannabis culture is stealth. Even though cannabis now enjoys some legality in 29 of the 50 states, that’s still relatively new. As such, former codes like “safety meetings” and “420” live on in a more widely familiar sense. Although the latter’s origin is still up for debate, its ties to herbal refreshment are not—and that’s the reason “420 friendly” acts as code across Tinder profiles, Airbnb listings, and ads soliciting roommates. It’s a phrase that perhaps best blankets all the methods and frequencies in which people grip the green, DOPE Magazine co-owner and chief brand officer David Tran says. Plus, it works because, if you know what “420 friendly” means, you probably are.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Beca Grimm Illustrations by Lan Truong on Good Beer Hunting

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Published: December 05, 2018

Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News

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