CANNABIS CULTURE: WHEN WEED MEETS POP CULTURE
Photography: Amber Asaly / Model: Page Ruth (LOOK) / Story: John Johnston
It’s been three years since I last saw my college roommate Mark*, owing to our travels, but here we are outside a pub on Kingsland Road in east London, wishing for snow to fall while he smokes a roll-up filled with weed. I have a smirk on my face, as Mark’s visit to London is ridiculously fortunate for me. The editor of WeTheUrban has commissioned me to write a piece about marijuana and its growing presence in pop culture.
“It’s always been there,” opines Mark after I ask him why he smokes and about the article I’ve been asked to write. “It just doesn’t have the hang-ups it once did. Last time this stuff was really popular was back in the 60s with Woodstock and all that. That must have felt to parents and those in power like the world was about to end. Rock music, free love, drugs - everything was dangerous to them, even though it wasn’t really. When people get scared, they panic and try to demonize things.”
For a weed smoker, Mark has always had an ability to talk sense, but then that’s not really surprising because Mark isn’t your stereotype of a weed smoker. He doesn’t sit at home all day, baked, playing computer games, anesthetized to the world. He’s a 25 year old executive working in a government role, owning his own apartment and generally being a model citizen. Weed to him, as it has been to others in the past, isn’t his identity, it’s a part of his lifestyle.