- The Weed Blog https://www.theweedblog.com

Are You Offended By The Word ‘Stoner’?


stoner homerAs A Marijuana Consumer Are You Offended When Someone Calls You A ‘Stoner’?

When we started The Weed Blog in January 2010, I didn’t think the word ‘stoner’ was that big of a deal. In fact, I thought it was a term of endearment. In my home state of Oregon, people frequently use the word ‘stoner’ to describe me, and I couldn’t be happier about it. In high school growing up, I was the ‘stoner kid,’ which of course has continued into my adult life. I guess I’ve been so far inside the fishbowl that I never gave much thought to using the word.

But that has evolved over the last couple of years that I have been running TWB with Ninjasmoker. I’ve gone outside the fishbowl and talked to activists and political strategists all over the nation that feel the word ‘stoner’ shouldn’t ever be used by marijuana activists. They feel that the word has too many bad stereotypes attached to it, and that it discredits an activist when they use the term. I respect these people’s opinions. Even though I don’t mind the term, I understand why people are hesitant to agree with me, and I don’t expect them to. Out of respect for the movement, I use the word only when talking to friends now, and try to not use the term in articles as often as I did before.

These same activists don’t like the words ‘pothead,’ ‘weed,’ and in some cases even the word ‘marijuana.’ I think the last one is a bit much personally, but if people want to only refer to it as ‘cannabis’ that’s fine with me. I have always felt that there is a need to tailor vocabulary to fit certain audiences, but at the same time, I don’t think people should pass judgment on others that use words that they prefer to communicate their ideas. Just as I’m OK with some people only referring to it as ‘cannabis,’ I’m also OK with people that want to refer to it as ‘pot’ or ‘mj’.

As loyal readers will attest, I have always supported actions over words. I understand the importance of being politically correct, so I try to do so as best I can. But with that being said, it’s been my experience that actions speak louder than words. There are thousands of people that I have met since I have started TWB, from all walks of life, that are blown away by how productive I am despite the fact that I consume marijuana constantly. ‘Usually stoners are lazy, but you get more done in a day than ten people combined!’ is a common phrase that I hear.

I can tell people til I’m blue in the face that I’m a ‘cannabis consumer’ and maybe it changes their minds about reform or maybe it doesn’t. Or I can let non-supporters call me ‘stoner’ with their tongue in their cheek, then run circles around them in a college classroom, or on the campaign trail, or in another arena. They find out real fast that I’m not lazy and I don’t fit any stereotypes that they have in their mind when they think of the word ‘stoner.’ I have found that to be a much more powerful way to go about things than being politically correct, and I know I’m not alone. I have met far more hardworking activists that are proud to be called a stoner than I have met hardworking activists that only refer to themselves as ‘cannabis consumers.’ That’s not to say that there aren’t any, but certainly not as many.

What do readers think? Are you proud to be called stoner? Are you a person that doesn’t care either way? Or are you a person that totally disagrees with me and thinks I’m doing more harm than good when I let people call me a stoner? Do you think it depends on where you’re at? Like I said, in most parts of Oregon the word stoner isn’t a bad thing. But I have been to parts of Colorado and California where people find the word appalling. I look forward to your comments!


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. It’s the equivalent of going around calling all drinkers of alcohol “drunks”. It carries a derogatory power, and for this reason I prefer to use the words “stoner” and especially “marijuana” as sparingly as possible. More than anything, I think using words like this,among our crowd (recreational cannabis consumers) indicates a sort of linguistic laziness. We should have been able to think up less demeaning slang terms, and demonstrate a little more basic knowledge by simply using the correct latin name.The reason some of us turn our noses up at words like this is because these are the terms used by the folks who taught us about the “dangers of drugs” when were were kids, words used by the very people who will confuse the properties of heroin, cannabis and ecstasy into a collective sin concept bourne out of an inexcusable level of ignorance and reliance on black-and-white-isms to make sense of the world. To dissociate ourselves from that rhetoric, we want to change our words. We have two ways of going about this- there are folks like me, who say “cannabis” and “consumer”, and then there are the ones who take the (I think overly optimistic) view that we can simply claim terms back, by using them in the senses we would use them, and to hell with those who don’t get it. This is something that the gay movement has demonstrated so elegantly with “queer” and “poof” among many other words I’m sure. Now, I could write another 800 words explaining why I believe this is more to their detriment than their benefit, but honestly who gives a flying fuck, no one is reading this anyway and we all have places to be and weed to smoke.
    facebook.com/cannaphilia89 <i am the sole admin on this page

  2. I don’t care what people call me ,I’m still gonna be me! I use all the lingo for bud, depending on the person

  3. I learned long ago not to let labels bother me. The truth be known, I have even provoked labels from others, just for giggles.

  4. This phrase holds true since I learned it in 1969…… ” Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”

  5. It really depends, when someone says it on a friendly way i just smile but when i know someone says it trying to offend me i just see at them with a disgust expression, they usually get offended by it which is nice.

  6. Eugene Hartslief on

    To me the words weed, pot, pothead, dope and stoner have negative connotations that conjures up mental images of Cheech and Chong type characters who are losers and will never be taken seriously, on the other hand Marijuana, Mary Jane and cannabis are fine. The only reason I haven’t subscribed to ‘The Weed Blog’ is because of the name weed, I’m pretty sure a lot more people would subscribe if it was called ‘The Mary Jane Blog, The Marijuana Blog or The Cannabis Blog for instance.

  7. Richard S. Bank on

    Stoner, etc. is a term for those who use weed to such excess that they are unreliable. I don’t like it because of the hostile undertone. Do drinkers like being called drunks?

  8. I accept the term “stoner” proudly, as I am an avid supporter of everything to do with marijuana. I like being called “pothead”, etc. because it represents what I believe in. As to what to call it, I think the term “cannabis” should be used when in discussion with authority and what not, but otherwise, I love using every nickname possible when talking about sticky green with my homies. It keeps things fresh to call it stuff like “dro” and can be used as an advantage to talk about it around others without raising suspicion. Anyways in the end, the only important thing is that everybody has some coughee to blow on (:

  9. We need to do what it takes to make it legal across the country! I have been smoking cannabis since the 70’s and used to call it pot. Now that I want respect and legalization for my sweet lady I call her by her correct name. I want to see the other 48 states as legal and free as WA and CO.

  10. Beth Frederick on

    I personally don’t care either way, whatever helps people understand our position!! I’ve been called Stoner, Hippie, Gypsy etc. & wear them all proudly. I guess in my experience it’s all in who your audience is.

  11. We have the same debate in Norway (where it’s still illegal) – hashsmoker vs cannabis consumer. As an activist I don’t like the word “hashsmoker/stoner” because it’s implying that you ARE something (all the time), not DOING something (maybe just occasionally). Therefore I’m trying to use the same terms as with alcohol.

  12. I’ve been using the word stoner since 1971 it doesn’t offend me personally. BUT I can understand why activists might prefer ‘cannabis consumer’ to the public. I’ve a 73yr old friend originally from the Bronx he smokes pot I smoke weed or just smoke as does another 70 something friend of mine. She smokes joints like I smoke cigs and her MS has NOT progressed. Anyway I say who cares what you call it it’s the way you live your life and your actions that tell the real story. BTW my Marinol bottle says side affects happy hungry tired

  13. Stoner is a word for teenagers. It is a bit patronizing, kinda like when someone younger refers to me as ‘bud’. Hey little buddy are you a ‘stoner’? I don’t like it.

  14. I literally just had this conversation the other day! I prefer stoner because Im used to hearing pothead which makes me feel stupid. Being a stoner is something Im proud of :D!!!

  15. You took the words right outta my head and I didn’t even realize I do the exact same thing. Depends who I am talking to as to how I refer to it…. Couldn’t have said it better!

  16. I’m a 51 year old activist, as well as a stoner ,and at times a weed smoker and other times a cannabis user , as well as a herb smoker and I can’t wait for the n ed ctrl reggae / 420 festival in Austin , Texas. And looking forward to being N active consumer in the state of Washington and walking the streets as a smoker. Refer to yourself as you desire, as long as I am allowed the freedom to use my miracle drug when needed and recreational herb when I want and am in the mood to sit back , relax , and enjoy my highness , being able to enjoy myself inside my head….Up close and personal ;-)))

    Plus as a mom of a medical user , I can relate to doing what is needed for my baby,s well being. The heAlth of a,loved one is more important than people’s hang up over a descriptive word

  17. I had this conversation with my cousin and told him how would he like it if I call him a drunk just because he drinks beer, silence followed. The whole name calling and generalizing people has got to end if you want to move forward.

  18. It doesn’t offend me but when someone who drinks a lot calls me like that trying to offend i just call them alcoholics, they usually don’t appreciate it.

  19. Oldsmoothiebot59 on

    i beleive that the pro marijuana movement needs to move with the times. if users want to be taken seriously, dialogue matters. it is perceptions that count in this movement. it is time for “us” to take the lead, and change with the times. we want respect first and foremost, yet conjur to words like stoner. if we want to be seen as serious, words do matter, just as in this media, words are all we have, its kinda like, you dont get a second chance to make a first impression.  i say, break the mould, and move forward, as the country has. get with the times, so to speak.  stoner, hippie and alike are derogatory terms used by the anit-crowd to label us, in a negative way. i dont like it, and never have. my main argument is, sadly as things are, we need to change our image in general to be taken seriously.  for an example in a related field; i sure wish the names of cannibus had been from their start, considerably more professional. the current names are offensive to the american public. so, accomodate them a little, and start to change perspective from them, and use words, in a proper and businesslike way. it is the small things that add up, and count, i mean, “watermelon” is hardly a marketable name to the general public, and many names are more offensive, and the movement is laughed at because of it. sad but true, perceptions matter if we want to seriously move towards a broader voice in our quest.  i know it sounds like cowtowing to them, but sometimes, u just have to bite the bullet and play the game within the acceptable bounds.  after all, compromise is ultimately the avenue to our goal, complete legalization, in all forms. peace

  20. I do not find it offensive and if you do find it offensive, clean up your act, stop using illicit recreational substances and get your life in order. Also you’re a sad, petty individual who lets other peoples opinions dictate your mood. 

  21. I’m no more offended than I am by ‘gamer’ or ‘gardener’ – except when someone who knows nothing about my use, personal habits, physical constraints, or ethics uses it to make me twins with the habitually over-medicated.  I outgrew the search for the (ultimate, perpetual, whatever) high years ago,  but I’d be in far worse shape if I’d listen to the doctors, who insist that steroids and painkillers are the answer. 

  22. Is “crafty word play” really what you took from my comments?  It is all about putting our best for forward.

  23. Strangevoyager1974 on

    I think the goal is to educate people and encourage tolerance, not brainwash people with crafty word play.

  24. Apparently, smoking impairs your ability to use proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation.  If we want to be taken seriously, we have to get the basics right. :)

  25. Troycazares on

    I have been smoking marajuna for 35 years and yes i am proud to be called a stoner to very honest I really dont care, people will pass judgement on me anyway so what. I am a single DAD with two teenage kids and i have educated them on the benifits of marajuna verses prescription drugs. I dont think your doing anythhing to hurt the cause.  People need to get self educated about marajuna and not watch stupid mobvies like refer maddness i mean really have you ever been high like they were in that movie. I get mello and become a happier me and i am not lazy, i volunteer i am on the school PTA for both of my kids, in the summer we teach underprivlegde children who to swim, i go to a retirement home 1 a week and read and help out. So i do more in a day than most non smokers do in a  week.  I an secure in who i am and in what and why i smoke so i just dont care what others think of me.  I always make sure people know

  26. Stoner4Life on

    i am proud to be a stoner..ive been actively partaking in this pastime for over 10yrs and it does not bother me one bit to be called a stoner. i am a mother, wife, and friend and being a “stoner” doesnt prevent me forom doing anything in my life. as a matter of fact, it makes me a bomb ass cook and a more patiernt mother and wife..so if being  stoner is a bad thing..i guess millions of us are screwed

  27. Perception often defines reality…especially for those outside of our culture. I believe we should be deliberate about the perceptions we reinforce by choosing language that supports the image of responsible use.  Terms like “stoner” don’t help in this regard.  Either does “marijuana” – it has a negative connotation for many people (in fact, that is how / why the term marijuana was created).  The cannabis culture was born underground – if we want to legitimize it, we should should make it look and sound legitimate.  I don’t use the term “marijuana” anymore.  I call it “cannabis”…which O “enjoy” or “consume”.

    There is a reason “garbanzo beans” are most commonly referred to as “chick peas”.  This is because the latter has a better connotation and fosters greater acceptance. (Words matter)   Isn’t that our goal?

  28. It’s a word/phrase and peoples who think just by wht we r called “stoners ” then think they need ta get a grip. People will look at us and call us wht they want but when u act like ta b call a stoner is bad then thts wht make stereotypes. B proud ta b a STONER!! I AM!!(& I’m medical myself too!!)

  29. Not offended at all. Words do not offend me one bit.

    On the other hand, being in the presence of morons who live up to the stereotype typified by the word “stoner” lowers the quality of my life considerably. They also give all responsible medicinal / recreational users of cannabis, as well as the plant itself, a bad name.

  30. I’ve learned at this point that no matter the term used, some folks just aren’t over the divide yet. I am well-educated, and work hard every day. But, I know If I admit to smoking weed daily, some people will snicker no matter how I phrase it. These are the pains of activism, and heralding a counterculture. I agree with you: actions speak louder than words. That said, the pen is mightier than the sword, so the war over words is an important one. I like the freedom of an unrestrained vocabulary–stoner stays for me. 

  31. I’m proud to be called a stoner but I have to keep that on the down low cuz where I live weed is illegal and if I get caught there goes my financial aid. I have chronic migraines (runs in the family) and smoke all the time, whenever I need to relieve my headache or when I need to get somethin done. For some reason weed also seems to help with my ADHD issue. It calms me to the point where I can focus easier and acomplish more in a smaller amount of time.

  32. I never really thought about this issue in depth but I’m from central Cali and usually I only hear non cannabis users refering to users as stoners. Except I sometimes call myself a stoner when I forget something, but usually its used in a negative way I wouldn’t greet my toker friends by saying hey stoners!

  33. Lindseyrinehart on

    You make a lot of good points on the connotation.  I haven’t ever minded the term ‘stoner’, but I think it could be a geographical preference i.e. Bag vs. Sack, Pop vs. Soda, Shwag vs. Merch, etc. Or even what decade a person is stuck in.
    The actual terminology of other words is what interested me the most.  I don’t care for the word marijuana.  I think you know that?  It’s a racist term frm the past used to invoke fear from the Hispanic Community in white people.  I did just learn that recently so it’s easy for me to understand why people would use the word when it’s indoctrinated into our society.  I was using it, and sometimes it still comes out.
    I also use the word ‘weed’, but I think it’s my minds throw back to the 90’s (along with Stoner)!  All of that being said, for Medical Cannabis Activists I feel it is more appropriate that we use the word cannabis.  We need to get away from the negative connotation.  I asked a lady if she thought that medical cannabis should be legal and it’s like a light bulb went on in her head.  She started to ask what it was.. but then she got it, on her own.  And then signed the petition.  Then again, I’m in Idaho.  

  34. I came up with a word for those people who want to degrade us with words like stoner, pothead, etc. They’re no different than racists, age-ists, and other such prejudice and bigotry. Our oppressors go so far as to single us out for having dreadlocks or deadhead stickers on our cars, and then illegally search us. I call these ignoramouses cannabists. Join me in making that word as powerful as labeling someone a racist or misogynist is!

Leave A Reply