Pot Enters the American Culture
Public and officials struggle to understand impact of marijuana
There are examples all over of how changing attitudes toward pot are permeating society. Here’s one that may be a bit of a surprise: Golf Digest has reinvigorated itself to attract more readers and specifically, younger readers, or so it seems. “Modern golf is losing participants in record numbers,” this article says, and the June issue “contain[ed] articles about smoking marijuana on the course.” Obviously, the magazine must figure that this is the way to attract the younger crowd.
But acceptance of even medical marijuana, let alone recreational marijuana, is not coming easily in all states. Take Connecticut, for example. As late as May, when that article appeared, the state was making it especially hard for people who want to sell medical marijuana, even though it’s legal to do so there.
The article explains as follows: “Among the challenges has been finding dispensing locations acceptable to Connecticut towns and cities. Fairfield and West Haven let applicants for licenses to operate dispensaries know they would not pass zoning muster; other municipalities, including Madison, New Canaan and Westport, have imposed moratoriums of as long as a year while their zoning rules are reviewed; and this month the Bridgeport zoning board turned down a licensee.”
The Denver Symphony Orchestra
Then there’s the article about a highbrow fundraiser in Denver, “sponsored by a cannabis-soil company and a handful of marijuana sellers.” The fundraiser was titled “Classically Cannabis,” and the orchestra did indeed play classical music all night. The trumpet player said, “This is not some big ganja fest. This is very respectable.”
Hold on. This wasn’t a marijuana fundraiser, it was a fundraiser for the Denver symphony orchestra! Sometimes I have to read an article a couple of times to get the full meaning, and this is one of those times. So, let me make sure I understand. Just like Golf Digest is weaving in articles about marijuana, the Denver symphony orchestra is not above appealing to marijuana aficionados to stay afloat. Depending on your perspective, what a long way we’ve come, or what a long, strange trip it’s been, to quote a Grateful Dead album title.
The journalist who wrote this article made sure to note that even in Denver, it’s illegal to smoke pot on the street or in any public space, such as in a park or a bar, and the police are cracking down. So the orchestra had to change its marketing strategy. Initially they sold tickets, but they changed it to a private, invitation-only event to avoid the perception that the group was allowing (or promoting) the public consumption of pot.