Does legalized, mainstream marijuana mean the end of stoner culture around the cannabis plant?
As we’re ending 2021 and entering into the third year of a pandemic, the trend of global cannabis legalization is only gaining traction. While I may have mis predicted that cannabis was going to be legalized in North America during 2021 – the truth of the matter is that it’s probably going to happen sometime in 2022. Congress in the US said that they will be taking up the matter in the spring of 2022, and further down south, the Mexican Senate is also going to be taking a vote in the first quarter of the year.
With all of these changes happening on a legal level – one can only wonder what will happen to the culture that helped impulse the movement of cannabis legalization. I’m talking about Stoner Culture – that currently still exists, but might fade away in the near future. Perhaps, it might not fade in its entirety but it may evolve into something completely different. In today’s article we’ll be taking a closer look at how stoner culture has evolved over the years and how it may be fading away in the near future – that is of course, unless a few good stoners remain loyal to their core.
The Dawn of Stoner Culture
Stoner culture is the counterculture. The counterculture was birthed out of the opposition of drug prohibition and only really “took off” during the 1960s & 1970s. It came as a response to aggressive anti-drug rhetoric that was sponsored by the government in which those who were smoking cannabis were dubbed as “stoners”.
Originally, a “Stoner” was a reference to boozehounds, but during the 1960s and 1970s when cannabis became the drug of choice for the counterculture – the term was translated to this subculture. These people were typically seen as “outsiders”, “slackers”, and essentially the non-desirables of the time. The ostracization of this demographic was intended to make those who partake feel like “second-hand citizens” and was designed to appeal to the patriotic ideals of the masses.
Unfortunately, the PSAs were so ridiculous and the government propaganda grossly exaggerated the effects of marijuana that when people who did smoke weed saw these things, they identified with it instead of being “repulsed” by the ostracization. As a result, the term “stoner” gained grounds and eventually you’d see the concept creep into the counterculture.
“Sticking it to the man” became as simple as smoking a joint and thus, smoking cannabis was a revolutionary action. Furthermore, with people like Jack Herer, High Times, and other counterculture magazines of the time – it gave a unified voice to the people. Given the therapeutic benefits of cannabis and that it helped some people where pharmaceuticals failed – the “cause” became more than just sticking it to the man, it became a matter of human rights, health, and medicine.
Published: January 05, 2021
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News