Written by: The Kush Kronicles
It’s difficult to say what the culture surrounding cannabis would be like if it were always legal, or if it would even exist. However, we can only imagine that maybe its cultural and societal role would have been like alcohol.
Alcohol is widely accepted and available on every street corner. In some countries and cultures, it’s socially acceptable to consume alcohol at a young age and/or daily. Without the stigma and legal restrictions that have been plaguing cannabis over the past century, it’s possible that cultural and social norms would reflect this and that cannabis would be much more integrated into mainstream society than it is today.
The counterculture movement of the 1960s and 1970s, which popularized cannabis as a symbol of rebellion against the establishment, might not have happened. Prohibition in the 1970s with Richard Nixon would never have taken place. NORML the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws would have nothing to legalize. Massive protests against the prohibition of a plant would never have occurred.
With mainstream cannabis, it’s possible that the culture could have grown into that of bars and pubs. After all, cannabis consumption clubs were popular in the 1920s in the United States during prohibition. Cannabis use was legal since alcohol wasn’t. Teapads were typically clubs in urban areas where jazz music was performed and listened to while consuming cannabis.
Unfortunately, the popularity of these clubs ended when cannabis became illegal. However, it’s interesting to consider what may have happened if the war against cannabis never started. It’s possible that cannabis consumption clubs would have continued to be popular social gathering spots, much like a bar is today.
Bars have always been a social hub where people gather to relax, unwind and socialize with friends. However, if you’ve ever been to a bar, you may have noticed that there appears to be a group of regulars who appear to be at the center of the action. These regulars may have their own table, their own drinks, and their own jokes.
Instead of one giant cannabis community like the present day, there may have been a group of regulars at a cannabis lounge or café. These regulars could have formed their own social circle around a shared interest in cannabis and may have even had their own inside jokes and social norms, much like bars do today.
As cannabis gains acceptance in society and becomes more and more mainstream, the cannabis community appears to be doing the same. Some may argue that the prohibition of cannabis has brought the community together. It’s clear that each passing year brings further fragmentation. Nowadays, every cannabis event or gathering seems to attract its own group of regulars, creating distinct cliques within the community.
With it becoming increasingly harder to put a name to everyone’s face at events, cannabis is becoming less counterculture and more and more contemporary. In 5 to 10 years, the struggles, the stereotypes, and attitudes towards cannabis will have totally shifted and the community that surrounds it as well.