Christmas came to all this year, even to stoners and potheads. In California, where cannabis was recently made legal, the recreational drug made quite a stocking stuffer.
According to Fox News, "some California dispensaries have reported high numbers in the days leading up to Christmas as customers have bought pot products as apparent stocking stuffers."
On Christmas Eve this week, Kysa Butler, the assistant general manager of the Oakland-based Magnolia shop, told KTVU that the store had lines out the door with people eager to purchase some fresh ganja. "From the moment we were open at 9 o’clock we had a line," she said. "We’ve been knocking the lines out quickly but they’ve been steady, too."
Many cannabis dispensaries in California reported having five times as many customers leading up to Christmas.
The reason for this spike in people purchasing marijuana products, Butler said, was a desire to alleviate some of the stress that the Christmas season brings. "People start stocking up. Sometimes you need a little stress reliever from Christmas shopping or sometimes you need a little something when you meet your family," she said.
A 73-year-old woman, identified as Judy, has been smoking grass since the 1960s and wanted to relax on Christmas Eve with a few puffs of the magic dragon. "I just learned about this place a year ago," she said. "I’m doing great now."
Patrons buy various marijuana-infused products like gummies, chocolates, cartridges, and flowers.
Another customer, identified as Christopher, said he treats pot as a special snack, which inadvertently leads to him craving more special snacks.
"It’s definitely unique," Christopher said. "It just feels like you’re having a snack and then later you want more snacks!"
Since California legalized marijuana, the move to make a social scene out of the recreational drug has been ongoing in certain parts of the state, primarily in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. The ultra-liberal town of West Hollywood is vying to become another red light district with Amsterdam-style pot lounges. According to Bloomberg, the city has already begun accepting applications.
"West Hollywood is one of the first cities in the country to introduce these kinds of licenses," reports Bloomberg, "and the winners will be allowed to create the equivalent of alcohol-fueled social bars for cannabis users -- sans booze."
Currently, only eight licenses are available for lounges that offer edible cannabis (pot brownies, cookies). Another eight will go to lounges where people can smoke and vape alongside food and drink. As many as 100 applicants are expected, according to Jackie Rocco, business development manager for the city.
Similar proposals have popped up in San Francisco and Oakland. Since much of the state prohibits pot smoking in public places, the lounges would be an alternative social space.
The marijuana industry has even begun a campaign of political correctness by advising people to stop using the word "pot" when referring to the drug because it's an offensive term. According to Anchorage Daily News, the marijuana industry has grown very self-conscious of the stereotypical image of "the stoner" and wants to clean up the stigma.
"Marijuana still carries a stigma that surfaces with the use of old slang like pot and weed," reports ADN. "For many, the words evoke an image of lazy, not-so-bright people who puff their lives away."
The industry wishes people would start using the more scientifically-minded name "cannabis" instead.
"The image deeply bothers the marijuana industry, which is telling the public — sometimes gently, sometimes curtly — that they should use the word cannabis," ADN continued. "That's the scientific name for the plant from which marijuana is derived."