How Vape Pens Have Changed the Weed Smoker's Stigma

How Vape Pens Have Changed the Pot Smoker's Stigma

As marijuana culture increasingly becomes part of the mainstream, people begin to accept it in all of its forms in more and more social situations. I remember when I was walking down the streets of Berkeley as a kid, and I would smell that sweet but skunky odor, not knowing what it was. At that time, marijuana was outside of my scope. It failed to register as something very notable — either for its drug association in one view or general acceptance in others.

Growing older, I began to recognize the smell of weed for what it was — friggin' sweet, and I wanted some. People lighting up in the back parking lot of a pizza place were the cool kids, doing something bad while making themselves seem a bit useless. Before taking the plunge into a weed smoking habit, it was clear that it was treated similarly to tobacco use — relegated to a friend's basement or deserted playground at night. 

Some of that stigma has changed with the times, thankfully. One, we are no longer children. Plus, it helps that it has gained some form of legality. Concentrates have gained a lot of popularity. The efficient and direct use of edibles and oils as medicine has helped that idea. Though, I do not think I can point to one other innovation besides the vaporizer pen that has really pushed acceptance.

The thing about vaping, even tobacco vapes (which I do not endorse), is that they are *so* much more accessible. After getting laid up on my mother's couch, recovering from surgery, a vape pen with a gram of hash oil was the relief I needed during my wean from pills. Later, I was at a gig and could get high right at the bar — no need for a cheeky joint in the middle of a crowd or shuffling to an outside alley smoker’s spot. 

The fact that I was on crutches embellished the idea, but there is no question that lighting a bowl in mom's living room (as cool as mom is) or at the front of a movie theater would be terms for immediate dismissal. Vape pens are so inconspicuous, it is awesome. It's the evolution of cannabis, right in your hand.