What are the kids calling Marijuana these days?

February 22, 2010

Marijuana, weed, reefer, grass, Mary Jane, doobie, dope, hooch, and pot are just a few names.  Depending on your generation one or more of these names sounds familiar or even dated.  I grew up in the eighties so weed or grass is what I knew.   That is not an admission to ever doing the drug.  Whether you smoked it or not, you knew the names. 

So what the heck does this have to do with writing?

I have a character that smokes weed and I ‘m not sure if by calling it “weed” that makes me, as the author sound…old.  Yes, I realize the title to my post makes me sound old anyway but…I am.  Ancient if you ask a teen I’m sure.  Most of the time I avoid using “cool” trendy teen lingo that can date my book or me.  The last thing you want to do is write a YA novel and use a term or phrase that your target audience can’t relate too.   

I remember in high school watching this black and white movie on television late one night about “Reefer Addicts.”  It was a 1950’s serious attempt at creating a movie to discourage teens from smoking marijuana.  Now I agree, smoking marijuana is not good for you but they depicted the “reefer addict” to look like a strung out woman on never ending acid trip.  My best friend and I laughed so hard we peed our pants.  I don’t want my readers to look at my book as a joke.

But there are some cases in my writing that if I could use a relatable term, it would really round out my scene.  It will be a few years before my boys become teenagers (I’m scared) and let’s hope by then I’m published. So asking my kids is out. So how do I find out these words?  What do you do when you have a groovy whack scene you want pimp out with sweet verbiage, man?  Oh that’s just sad, yo.

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  1. the teens who I know call it "smokin' up"

  2. This is way I don't like to write contemporary YA - I'm so not hip. I wasn't even hip when I was a teenager.

  3. I think "weed" or especially "pot" is going to be safe for quite some time.

  4. I've heard pot the most. Though more often I hear something like, "I'm getting baked this weekend."

  5. I'd say pot. I'm 6 years out of high school now.. So it might have changed since then but pretty everyone called it pot then. It is surely locational too. They call it pot in VA. I don't know about the rest of the US.

  6. I don't know if it's even the same thing, but I've heard it called chronic.

    That movie you watched sounds like Reefer Madness, from 1933. Every so often it shows up on AMC and it's the funniest thing on.

  7. I think it's safe to use "pot" .

    Matt! I looked it up on the net and that is totally the movie. Here's what the imdb.com had as the plot synopsis:

    "Cautionary tale features a fictionalized and highly exaggerated take on the use of marijuana. A trio of drug dealers lead innocent teenagers to become addicted to "reefer" cigarettes by holding wild parties with jazz music"

    Oh man, that EVIL jazz! lol, thanks for telling me the title.

  8. I'd say 'pot' is probably the safest, but weed isn't a bad way to go. I've heard Brits call it 'cannibas' during regular conversation, but that's not so common in the US.

    For a lot of slang, try Urban Dictionary.

  9. I'm pretty sure most people even today still just call it weed. Kids don't actually call it pot - that's pretty much entirely reserved for upset parents and anyone who's anti-marijuana in general.

    "Oh my god, YOU'VE BEEN SMOKING POT!"

    It's pretty much a pejorative for marijuana at this point.

  10. Wacky backy was my favourite, bongs were also called billy's!

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