Activism is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of cute smoking accessories for women. But beyond giving female weed fans some more variety, smoking accessories like the MISSWEED range can play an important role in the normalization of cannabis.
It’s only a matter of time until the 100-year prohibition of cannabis comes to an end around the world. Support for full legalization is at almost 70% in the United States, and state after state and country after country are decriminalizing and legalizing cannabis. It’s not going to happen overnight, but that doesn’t mean us ladies can’t help get things moving!
Think about stereotypes of cannabis consumers over the past century. For most people, the image of a marijuana user probably evokes hippies, gamers, and drug addicts with a specific aesthetic to match. And this is exactly the vibe that cannabis accessories have followed — tie dye and a Shanti feel, or teenage boy style. But it’s not just about the looks — far from it. An underlying message accompanies these visuals: people who smoke weed are social outcasts, lazy, and even criminals.
Indeed, even as the wheel of legalization gains momentum, these harmful stereotypes still abound. A recent study found that the mainstream media still perpetuates these stereotypes, particularly when it comes to racial minorities, who are often depicted as criminals in illustrative images.
So back to weed accessories. How exactly does a pretty lighter contribute to the cause?
It all comes down to normalization. It’s not exactly dragging yourself out to a demonstration, but it is demonstrating something powerful — something that can really make a difference. People who smoke weed are not sloppy, lazy, or outsiders. Carrying and displaying cannabis accessories that shout class and confidence, and femininity shatters stereotypes that we all know are far from reality. (Plus, you might make some new friends!)
Sure, it’s armchair activism, but it’s accessible to everyone, everyday — and it really can make a difference. This is because the best way to break stereotypes is on a personal level. Let’s say you believe that all people with red hair are criminals. If you make a few new ginger friends who are upstanding citizens, you’re probably (hopefully!) going to start questioning your initial assumptions.
Same goes for weed. As more and more people experience cannabis consumers who don’t fit the stoner culture stereotypes, these classifications will begin to melt away. This has always been true, but the tide of legalization now means that as weed comes out from the shadows so do smoking accessories — giving us another opportunity to contribute to normalization just by doing what we like to do best: sparking one up.
The counter message that needs to spread here is that many functioning, successful members of society also consume cannabis on a regular basis — whether as a medicine, to kick back at the end of a stressful day, or to unwind with friends on the weekend. We’ll know we’ve reached our goal when that end of the day spliff is just as standard as wine o’clock.
But classy smoking accessories aren’t the only way to get this message across. There are many other little things you can do to encourage normalization in your everyday life:
- Talk to young children about cannabis in the same way as you’d talk to them about a glass of wine: “Mummy likes to have a glass of wine with dinner, but it can be harmful for children so it’s just for adults.”
- With older children, education is key. It’s great to speak openly about cannabis use, but make sure that your children also understand moderation and safety.
- Use the word “cannabis” instead of “marijuana,” which was actually a pejorative term adopted from Mexican Spanish at the beginning of the 20th century.
- Talk about cannabis use with more conservative friends and family members. You don’t need to start a massive debate at every gathering, but slipping it in where appropriate can do a lot to break the stigma.
- Avoid the stereotypes yourself! This is a tough one, because when it comes down to it we all grew up being fed the prohibition story, too. Little things to look out for include: joking about the munchies, laziness, and forgetfulness.
The bottom line is: Being out and open about cannabis use is a huge factor in normalizing it for the rest of society. The more we hide, the more we allow negative stereotypes to pervade. The good news is that many of the best ways to do this are just plain fun — or in the case of weed accessories, straight up beautiful.