The Spectacle Blog

It’s Not So Cool to Be Mile High in Colorado After Legalization

By on 8.8.14 | 7:09PM

We probably could have predicted it: Colorado teens are smoking less pot now that it is legalized, reports the Washington Examiner. After all, what’s cool about smoking weed when everyone is doing it? While it is still illegal for teens to smoke marijuana in Colorado—the legal age is 21—it puts a serious damper on the drug’s mystique when tourists are flocking into the state to light up a blunt or nosh on pot brownies.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment statement on the subject focuses on the fact that teenagers in the mile-high state think using cannabis is less dangerous than they used to, but it does admit that teen use is down two percent since legalization. Nationwide, teen marijuana use is up, which is what makes the Colorado findings so intriguing.

Tobacco smoking among teens is down in Colorado, too. America, despite pandemic obesity, worships health just as much as the Greeks. And cigarettes are increasingly associated with not just sickness but with poverty — the opposite of cool.

While concern about health doesn’t seem to be obviously at play in teen rejection of getting high on hemp, its new mundaneness in states that have loosened their marijuana policies might remove the hip from the hippies’ leaf of choice. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to GQ, which published a piece back in 2010 — when the liberalization movement was gaining steam — with this subhead: “Potheads always thought the world would be a better place if everyone just loosened up and got high. Then they did. And guess what happened? Smoking pot got lame.” 

The illicitness of marijuana was what fanned the flame of and made it culturally cool. Now, it’s a thing grandmothers do sitting alone in their bedrooms to ease their arthritis. Talk about uncool.

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