The term “weed” has been a linguistic staple in stoner culture, but lately it has been, well, weeded out. In a time where political opinion and scientific research are being leveraged in the name of marijuana, we find ourselves drifting away from slang terms that promote certain stereotypes or misconceptions. Adults in America are in a transition period where marijuana acceptance in both medical and recreational realms is increasing. This adult acceptance is leading to more sophisticated, proper language surrounding the topic of cannabis and the word “weed” has no place in it.
Rebellious Teens Have Grown Up
Teenagers will always be rolling messy joints, eating junk food and doing a whole lot of nothing when they begin to discover cannabis. However, the generation that grew up in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s when cannabis was incredibly stigmatized are now transitioning to becoming the leading generation on the topic. They’re now the young parents and working men and women who are moving this great country forward when it comes to marijuana reform. By influencing this new teenage generation, they have found ways to systematically reduce stigma, relax marijuana laws and reduce punishment for minimal possession charges. This is not to say that this progress has been made all over America; it’s just that using cannabis is now less about “being cool” and more about basic rights of medication and responsible use.
Slang in Politics Doesn’t Work
Political progress can’t be made with the constant use of slang. Those representing advocacy groups have had to eliminate words associated with the stoner community and focus on terminology that is consistent with the medical and legal sectors. It’s not that the stoner generation is made up of politically inactive marijuana users, but it’s important to disassociate cannabis from the hyperbolic stereotypes seen in popular movies. By presenting marijuana in a way that's understood and accepted for what it is rather than what people perceive when hearing the terms "weed" or "stoner", progress can be made.
It's a Legitimate Medical Treatment
Sure, the medical benefits of cannabis have always been touted, but with more and more research, it's clear that cannabis isn't just for hippies. The herb is for children with seizures, terminally ill cancer patients and those suffering from the most devastating illnesses. With science on its side, the word "weed" just doesn't speak to these new audiences. Take a cue from Europe, where the term "weed" is almost never used as the responsible consumption and medical usage have always usurped the stoner stereotypes.
As the generation that grew up at the pinnacle of the War on Drugs takes on a leadership role, marijuana culture is maturing with them. It’s not that this maturity and progressive normalization is taking the fun out of cannabis; it’s still very much enjoyed recreationally. Instead, there is widened acceptance towards the use of the plant by individuals who are shifting the dialogue around the plant to fit a progressive, responsible lifestyle.