As the marijuana industry becomes widespread and modernized, and more morally accepted within the general populace, the clichés and stereotypes of the average cannabis user are also shifting.
Long gone is the archetypal Spicoli stoner, ensconced in tie-dye with eyes so bloodshot it looks like a medical emergency. Of course, that head still exists—but, at least as portrayed in the media, the range of depicted stoner breeds is ever expanding.
The sect of new archetypes takes cues straight from the actual industry.
As the imprints of technology and advertising make their marks within the legal marijuana world, every Joe and Jane is getting in on it. You've got New Age mystics, weed for moms, feminist entrepreneurs, techie nerds, classic business bros, media moguls, entertainers, and on and on and on.
It's not only skateboarding teenagers anymore. Every walk of life is kinder to the bud. The facades are changing, from Grateful Dead t-shirts to J. Crew-sporting vapers, but certain tenants of weed culture still connect us all. Some are bad, some are good, and they will define tomorrow's heads.
So, no matter what style of stoner you are, it is imperative that you focus on being The Good Stoner.
And who is The Good Stoner?
Firstly, The Good Stoner is not in the weed industry solely for the money. Seems pretty obvious, right? It's not that the marijuana community is against business or profit, but a passion for the culture should run in tandem with these ventures. Blindered people pulling self-serving profits from single-focus bottom lines are toxic for the community.
The Good Stoner is absolutely not pretentious.
Most of us don't have to worry about this. We're consumers rather than producers. But ethical trade practices are an important distinction to be made when dealing with the supply side.
Look for companies and brands that work to further access to medical marijuana for the right reasons and support a community and culture that prides a better quality of life over cashing in.
The Good Stoner is educated about the product. They know which strains do which. They're curious about grow practices and the industry—especially when questions of industry value systems come into play. Good Stoners are not weed rocket scientists, but they check out business profiles and don't offer their patronage to shady dispensaries.
With that being said, The Good Stoner is absolutely not pretentious. This product knowledge is for their own sake, their own wonder. They don't shit on another weed smoker who might be -- it hurts to even think this way -- "less evolved."
Within the weed community, there are many different strokes for many different strokers. The Good Stoner is not a snob. The Good Stoner may have learned enough to prefer vaporizing extract, but doesn't look down on benighted souls who still prefer flower. [Note: I still prefer flower!]
Weed is here to make things better. It's just one tool in the kit of living.
The Good Stoner doesn't judge or force an agenda upon those atavistic beings who are Against The Cause.
Weed isn't for everyone, and The Good Stoner understands that. In the political realm, the proliferation of legalized marijuana is for the greater good of society, of course, but when it comes to personal preference, Good Stoners adhere only to their own moral compass and have no need to correct the misinformed, misguided, or simply corrupt point of view.
If someone turns down a passed joint at a party, The Good Stoner will not pressure that person to partake nor grill said person about their motivations for not smoking. This same rule applies to wet blankets who do not drink, and many other unfathomable people who indulge in backward and limiting practices. Leave those sufferers to their misery.
Mostly, a lot of these suggestions come down to one bottom line: Don't be a dick.
The Good Stoner, even the most immersed head, uses the plant for enhancement over self-definition. Marijuana is a part of life, ubiquitously so for some of us, that daily enhances our experience of being on this planet breathing in and out.
Whether it's ameliorating muscle pains and enhancing the taste of a meal or increasing the experience of watching a film, weed is here to make things better. But it's just one tool in the kit of living.
Clothes enhance us, relationships enhance us, art enhances us — marijuana is just one piece of the pie. Because it is only a fraction of our lives, The Good Stoner doesn't walk around wielding a personality defined by the weed leaf.
Are these rules all hard and fast? Of course not. The world has never been black and white. But as marijuana becomes more and more mainstream, it's up to the old guard to set a good example so that the world doesn't make “weed” and “loser burnout” synonymous.
Like I said, the bottom line is: Don't be a dick. Shouldn't be too hard for a bunch of stoners, right? We'll see.