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Are You Offended By The Word ‘Stoner’?

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stoner homerAs A Marijuana Consumer Are You Offended When Someone Calls You A ‘Stoner’?

When we started The Weed Blog in January 2010, I didn’t think the word ‘stoner’ was that big of a deal. In fact, I thought it was a term of endearment. In my home state of Oregon, people frequently use the word ‘stoner’ to describe me, and I couldn’t be happier about it. In high school growing up, I was the ‘stoner kid,’ which of course has continued into my adult life. I guess I’ve been so far inside the fishbowl that I never gave much thought to using the word.

But that has evolved over the last couple of years that I have been running TWB with Ninjasmoker. I’ve gone outside the fishbowl and talked to activists and political strategists all over the nation that feel the word ‘stoner’ shouldn’t ever be used by marijuana activists. They feel that the word has too many bad stereotypes attached to it, and that it discredits an activist when they use the term. I respect these people’s opinions. Even though I don’t mind the term, I understand why people are hesitant to agree with me, and I don’t expect them to. Out of respect for the movement, I use the word only when talking to friends now, and try to not use the term in articles as often as I did before.

These same activists don’t like the words ‘pothead,’ ‘weed,’ and in some cases even the word ‘marijuana.’ I think the last one is a bit much personally, but if people want to only refer to it as ‘cannabis’ that’s fine with me. I have always felt that there is a need to tailor vocabulary to fit certain audiences, but at the same time, I don’t think people should pass judgment on others that use words that they prefer to communicate their ideas. Just as I’m OK with some people only referring to it as ‘cannabis,’ I’m also OK with people that want to refer to it as ‘pot’ or ‘mj’.

As loyal readers will attest, I have always supported actions over words. I understand the importance of being politically correct, so I try to do so as best I can. But with that being said, it’s been my experience that actions speak louder than words. There are thousands of people that I have met since I have started TWB, from all walks of life, that are blown away by how productive I am despite the fact that I consume marijuana constantly. ‘Usually stoners are lazy, but you get more done in a day than ten people combined!’ is a common phrase that I hear.

I can tell people til I’m blue in the face that I’m a ‘cannabis consumer’ and maybe it changes their minds about reform or maybe it doesn’t. Or I can let non-supporters call me ‘stoner’ with their tongue in their cheek, then run circles around them in a college classroom, or on the campaign trail, or in another arena. They find out real fast that I’m not lazy and I don’t fit any stereotypes that they have in their mind when they think of the word ‘stoner.’ I have found that to be a much more powerful way to go about things than being politically correct, and I know I’m not alone. I have met far more hardworking activists that are proud to be called a stoner than I have met hardworking activists that only refer to themselves as ‘cannabis consumers.’ That’s not to say that there aren’t any, but certainly not as many.

What do readers think? Are you proud to be called stoner? Are you a person that doesn’t care either way? Or are you a person that totally disagrees with me and thinks I’m doing more harm than good when I let people call me a stoner? Do you think it depends on where you’re at? Like I said, in most parts of Oregon the word stoner isn’t a bad thing. But I have been to parts of Colorado and California where people find the word appalling. I look forward to your comments!

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44 Comments

  1. It’s the equivalent of going around calling all drinkers of alcohol “drunks”. It carries a derogatory power, and for this reason I prefer to use the words “stoner” and especially “marijuana” as sparingly as possible. More than anything, I think using words like this,among our crowd (recreational cannabis consumers) indicates a sort of linguistic laziness. We should have been able to think up less demeaning slang terms, and demonstrate a little more basic knowledge by simply using the correct latin name.The reason some of us turn our noses up at words like this is because these are the terms used by the folks who taught us about the “dangers of drugs” when were were kids, words used by the very people who will confuse the properties of heroin, cannabis and ecstasy into a collective sin concept bourne out of an inexcusable level of ignorance and reliance on black-and-white-isms to make sense of the world. To dissociate ourselves from that rhetoric, we want to change our words. We have two ways of going about this- there are folks like me, who say “cannabis” and “consumer”, and then there are the ones who take the (I think overly optimistic) view that we can simply claim terms back, by using them in the senses we would use them, and to hell with those who don’t get it. This is something that the gay movement has demonstrated so elegantly with “queer” and “poof” among many other words I’m sure. Now, I could write another 800 words explaining why I believe this is more to their detriment than their benefit, but honestly who gives a flying fuck, no one is reading this anyway and we all have places to be and weed to smoke.
    facebook.com/cannaphilia89 <i am the sole admin on this page

  2. I don’t care what people call me ,I’m still gonna be me! I use all the lingo for bud, depending on the person

  3. I learned long ago not to let labels bother me. The truth be known, I have even provoked labels from others, just for giggles.

  4. This phrase holds true since I learned it in 1969…… ” Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”

  5. It really depends, when someone says it on a friendly way i just smile but when i know someone says it trying to offend me i just see at them with a disgust expression, they usually get offended by it which is nice.

  6. Eugene Hartslief on

    To me the words weed, pot, pothead, dope and stoner have negative connotations that conjures up mental images of Cheech and Chong type characters who are losers and will never be taken seriously, on the other hand Marijuana, Mary Jane and cannabis are fine. The only reason I haven’t subscribed to ‘The Weed Blog’ is because of the name weed, I’m pretty sure a lot more people would subscribe if it was called ‘The Mary Jane Blog, The Marijuana Blog or The Cannabis Blog for instance.

  7. Richard S. Bank on

    Stoner, etc. is a term for those who use weed to such excess that they are unreliable. I don’t like it because of the hostile undertone. Do drinkers like being called drunks?

  8. I accept the term “stoner” proudly, as I am an avid supporter of everything to do with marijuana. I like being called “pothead”, etc. because it represents what I believe in. As to what to call it, I think the term “cannabis” should be used when in discussion with authority and what not, but otherwise, I love using every nickname possible when talking about sticky green with my homies. It keeps things fresh to call it stuff like “dro” and can be used as an advantage to talk about it around others without raising suspicion. Anyways in the end, the only important thing is that everybody has some coughee to blow on (:

  9. We need to do what it takes to make it legal across the country! I have been smoking cannabis since the 70’s and used to call it pot. Now that I want respect and legalization for my sweet lady I call her by her correct name. I want to see the other 48 states as legal and free as WA and CO.

  10. Beth Frederick on

    I personally don’t care either way, whatever helps people understand our position!! I’ve been called Stoner, Hippie, Gypsy etc. & wear them all proudly. I guess in my experience it’s all in who your audience is.

  11. We have the same debate in Norway (where it’s still illegal) – hashsmoker vs cannabis consumer. As an activist I don’t like the word “hashsmoker/stoner” because it’s implying that you ARE something (all the time), not DOING something (maybe just occasionally). Therefore I’m trying to use the same terms as with alcohol.

  12. I’ve been using the word stoner since 1971 it doesn’t offend me personally. BUT I can understand why activists might prefer ‘cannabis consumer’ to the public. I’ve a 73yr old friend originally from the Bronx he smokes pot I smoke weed or just smoke as does another 70 something friend of mine. She smokes joints like I smoke cigs and her MS has NOT progressed. Anyway I say who cares what you call it it’s the way you live your life and your actions that tell the real story. BTW my Marinol bottle says side affects happy hungry tired

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