Admittedly, I started on this train of thought while I was high. The eating–Doritos–in–bed–alone, binge–watching–"Family Guy"–on–Netflix type of high [ed note: is there another kind?]. The fact that a lot of my peer group (basically my entire peer group) smokes weed is not news. We’re young, we’re in college; much of our lives revolve around putting things in our bodies that make us feel and act differently. I guess what struck me is that there is more to the story than “I’m in college, and my friends and I like to get high a lot.” Perhaps most of our propensity to light up comes from the fact that we’re bored, stressed college students, but I think part of it comes from a larger cultural shift that we’re getting to experience firsthand.
The past few years have been big ones for a particular Schedule I drug. D.A.R.E. has officially dropped pot from its anti–drug curriculum, states seem to be on the verge of legalization left and right (shout out to Washington and Colorado) and, according to Pew Research, 2013 marks the first year when a majority of Americans think that weed should be legal. For those of us on a college campus, where weed culture was alive and well long before the rest of America began to reconsider its stance, this cultural shift might not seem as pronounced. But in the not–so–distant future, cannabis will likely be legally equivalent to alcohol and your mom’s nightcap might start consisting of whiskey and a joint.
There is still a lot of charged nomenclature that comes along with the way in which marijuana has been woven into our social fabric. Words like “stoner” and “pothead” correlate habitual smoking with laziness and delinquency. Yet, I’m finding it near impossible to pinpoint these so–called stoners, instead I'm seeing a growing number of smart, success–craving individuals who also happen to enjoy a lot of pot. It’s no longer, “the stoners” and “everyone else,” separated by a wide gap. I get high a lot—I guess I’m a stoner by definition; I’m also a really involved, extroverted, career-oriented Ivy League student—and these things aren’t mutually exclusive. Maybe that’s why the stereotypical stoner is so absent from my own collegiate milieu; we love our “social Ivy” status, our ability to integrate a vibrant pot culture into a hyper–motivated student body might just come with the territory.
The times they are a–changin’. No, weed on college campuses is not new in the slightest. But maybe the way that we are thinking about it is. It isn’t that we’re smoking more (though we probably are), maybe it’s that weed is just beginning to be regarded in new ways. Is it? Sheesh, I really don’t know. I’m pretty fucking high.