For decades, cannabis users were looked down upon as ‘stoners’ or ‘potheads’. Ironically enough, this negative stigma became a golden idea for many 4/20-themed films. From Up in Smoke to Humboldt County, many of these ‘stoner’ movies gained widespread praises from audiences worldwide. These films modified the cannabis industry to what it has become today.
This ‘stoner’ stereotype came as a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing because it came as a redundant joke throughout many 4/20-themed films and tv series. The stereotype is a curse upon the cannabis industry itself because it acts as bad PR that is sending audiences fleeing from cannabis. Like many industries, they always come with good and bad instances.
But these days, cannabis companies are looking to send that ‘stoner’ stereotype up in smoke. Cannabis advocates are pushing to dispel the idea that cannabis consumers typically sit around on the couch and play video games for hours on end in their parents’ basement. They are transforming this cynical future into an optimistic outlook for cannabis users alike.
Some companies are going as far as suggesting to market products that look not only respectable, but also resemble something similar to a fine scotch or bourbon. The main take-away for the cannabis products is better sex and better health. These modern products are designed to look luxurious, but also affordable for the customers.
Rather than completely shedding themselves of the so-called ‘stoner’ stereotypes, companies should embrace the culture of the field they work in. Up in Smoke provided every stoner cliché into one miraculous joint. The idea paid off, ranking in over $44 million in the box office. Almost forty years later and Up in Smoke is still considered a classic among fans. Films like Up in Smoke can continue to do well if they mix it up a bit with the ‘stoner’ culture.
It isn’t just stoner films that were successful in their cannabis image. Many musicians have been utilizing cannabis with their music for decades. Some even incorporate other psychedelics into their work as well (ironically enough, I have String Cheese Incident’s Rhythm of the Road: Vol. 1 playing while writing this piece).
The ‘stoner’ culture comes with a blessing, so we should utilize it to our own advantage. Even as the world changes right before our eyes, we should hold onto our gifted traditions of the past. Cannabis is used by everyone, especially those ‘stoners’ and ‘potheads’ that we hear about every day.
At the end of the day, one thing is for certain – stoner stereotypes die hard.