THE CHANGING AESTHETIC OF CANNABIS
There is a time and a place for everything, as they say, and with the normalization of Cannabis throughout America, this could not be more true of our present day. Alternately, 2017 has shaped up to be a tepid year for Cannabis legislation toward legalization, as compared to 2016. However, 2018, it is set to fire it up once again as it is an election year, a time where voters can approve initiatives. Legalization, both medicinally and recreationally already spans across many states and the heavy normalization of its use shifts a once illicit substance into the mainstream spotlight.
Social acceptance of Cannabis use is well underway, with therapeutic health benefits being touted in everything from skin care to anxiety. We are being accustomed to it in some unavoidable ways as well, as the ever-present green leaf symbol pops up in at least one storefront per neighborhood. Celebrities endorse it, athletes and patients of all types, speak up about its helpful properties with chronic pain and many other ailments. The fashion world has claimed it as its new rebel darling, and the business of marijuana related products is already a pretty big deal.
Designers are flocking to create products that elevate the aesthetic of Cannabis from its old, stereotypical idea of a head shop full of stoners to something upscale, modern and minimalist. Everything from ceramic and porcelain pipes in stylish geometric shapes to wearable roach clips dipped in gold, that you can plunk into a potted plant. Some of these products are getting into high end boutiques and are ven getting mentioned on influential (and very mainstream) websites such as GOOP. This change is necessary not only to appeal to the large female consumer base but also the mainstream in general. As the stigma lifts surrounding the use of Cannabis, it is changing along with its consumer. Nowadays, people are more apt to admit to their marijuana use or even simply their interest in it.
The facts are in, according to Yahoo News/Marist College survey conducted in April 2017, more than half of Americans have tried marijuana at least once in their lives while 22 percent are ‘current users’ (once or twice a year) and 35 million people are ‘regular users’ (once or twice a month). Most Americans (and average of 70 percent) believe marijuana is not as risky as alcohol, opiates or tobacco use but as it is still a drug do not believe that it is ‘safe’ either. In terms of who is smoking it, you find that 54 percent are parents with children under the age of 18. Interestingly, 52 percent are millennials who prefer to smoke socially with others, while older users enjoy lighting up alone. This could be a significant reason for the rising aesthetic of cannabis, as the millennials generation does not seem to find anything out of the ordinary about the culture of cannabis.
There are many television shows that center around the cannabis lifestyle these days, there are shops that carry related products and dispensaries could soon be commonplace. There is perhaps, most importantly, a shift in consciousness about it, once perceived by some as a dark world of seedy and criminal activity, cannabis is now accessible, beneficial to many, non-threatening and trendier than ever.
Larissa Gomes is originally from Toronto, now turned Angeleno, she has worked in roles from writer, actor and producer for well over a decade. In that time, she’s developed concepts, film and television screenplays/pilots, along with contributed published short stories, articles, blogs, marketing content, copywriting and editing work. She is also a breast cancer survivor and single mom to her spirited toddler boy