For decades the media have routinely propagated a solitary stoner archetype, the dishevelled, red-eyed toker arising out of a haze to inquire about their lost effects or screaming appetite. Stereotypes arise for a reason and some smokers do exhibit these characteristics, however, the public is rarely provided representation of another marijuana enthusiast, the functional stoner.
These individuals indulge in the plant to stimulate higher thought and productivity, alleviating the conscious from the mundane and offering wings to soar. The functional stoner is a rare breed compared to the classic pothead, yet, the herb impacts everyone differently and it appears disingenuous to only highlight one type of smoker. Since the war on drugs started cannabis has been intensely disparaged and many of its positive affects gone under examined, perhaps, with its stature as a schedule one drug being questioned, it’s time for an alternate archetype to be provided for public consumption.
The Cliché Stoner
The clichéd stoner resembles a gauche individual with no apparent aspirations, yet, aptly talented at draining deep from the bowl. Locomotion is lagged to sloth-like, speech elongated as if a small ball is inhibiting articulation and an attention deficiency guaranteeing they’re never fully present. This cocktail of characteristics assures them as the ideal candidate for imprudence, a mishap never too distant from bloodshot eyes.
Although passionate about particular topics they rarely make it past the idea, raising big notions but their lack of motivation and self-discipline yields limited or unlikely accomplishment. In film, the stoned protagonist must confront a series of obscure scenarios to reach the final destination, habitually misconstruing reality and taking a wrong turn to arrive where they need to be. Consider Shaggy and Scooby-Doo; always hungry, always paranoid, yet, somehow, are able to fall over their feet and catch the villain.
Auspiciously the cliché stoner is never hated. Frequently conveyed convivially, a voice on trivial concepts accompanies their bonhomie demeanour. Some appear to be at relative equanimity with the world, their happy-go-lucky nature makes their presence pleasant, but not necessarily someone people want dating their offspring. Others display a lack of reality acceptance, despair ushered in as minor events fall out of favour and frantic delusions drawn from innocuous occurrences, although, it’s not too long before they’re back at their dazed equilibrium.
By being repeatedly exposed to this trite cliché those without cannabis experience typically perceive all stoners analogously, however, the herb’s effect differs from person to person and some individuals cannot be categorized amongst these stereotypes.
The Functional Stoner
In the media there is scarce vision of the functional stoner, as the conventional signs are unapparent they float through society with little attention. Converse to the uncouth cliché, the functional stoner is a budding polymath who finds contentment in discussing life’s intricacies; a deep thinker, they astutely observe situations with an inspector’s eye. Whilst under the influence their open-mindedness replaces the portion of lost attentiveness, partialities quelled for objective opinion. They are often found indifferent to trivialities, opting to use their time seeking more interesting conversation.
Terrence McKenna said he was an inveterate cannabis user, not being who he is without it. Along with his psychedelic work, weed provided him a tool to go deeper into his mind and raise questions about life and his interaction with it. The writer of “Fingerprints of the Gods”, Graham Hancock, wrote his best-seller whilst spending most of the day under the influence of cannabis; “But I thought stoners were lazy?”
Smoking cannabis can help expand the mind and heighten focus when engaged in activities, in particularly, it’s a prime stimulant for those involved with artistic endeavours. The functional stoner often observes themselves as their own best friend, they may have a plethora of compadres but are most content being alone with their thoughts.
There are potential hazards to living with a substance predilection and fondness regularly ensues overindulgence, deep rumination morphing into dead-headedness. Moderation is essential for harnessing the benefits of marijuana, becoming cognizant of when, where and how much to smoke, along with due diligence in maintaining a balance ensures optimal effects.
Although appreciated differently across the globe, cannabis has had a predominantly negative connotation attached to it. Now, in the age of information, the public has figures like Joe Rogan communicating its benefits to millions of people. With copious amounts of material online people can examine and create their own opinion instead of following the narrative of “All drugs are bad, except the ones the government say are O.K.”
Having a solitary stereotype for one of the most commonly used substances does not give the public an assorted view, however, it does shape the interpretation of those with limited exposure. The cliché stoner has arisen for reason and resembles many users, yet, this isn’t necessarily the fault of the plant but rather the individuals. Perhaps with the positive shift towards the plant people are eager for the unveiling of a seldom-sighted archetype; the functional stoner, a herbalist seeking answers through slightly altering reality’s perception.
Image source: thehempmag.com