We never heard of “smoking out” or “smoking up” anyone. It was “getting high with”, “turning on”, “smoking grass with”. We called it “grass” among ourselves; “pot” was something parents or news media said. Nobody ever said “marijuana” unless they were talking to an authority figure or were being cute. “Turn on”, of course, was part of the phrase that Timothy Leary made famous, and it was instantly used for everything from LSD to weed (which is another word we never used back then) to sex (“You Turn Me On“) to hobbies (“I turned my friend on to playing guitar”).
We never had this generation’s terrifically descriptive word “hotboxing” (if we even had a word for that, I forget), or “nugs” or “buds”…because they didn’t exist then (see last week’s column).
Here’s another big one: nobody used the word “sober” to describe “not being high”. I literally never heard that until last year. It was always “straight”. And nobody confused that with “straight” as opposed to “gay”…we had context (and gay people) back then too!
In the Sixties, even though the word “pot” itself was uncool, the word “pothead” was pretty quickly made universal, but it was often used to put people down, like “stoner” is today. So we called each other “heads”, to show we were too cool to say “pot”. If I remember correctly, the Monkees, a “plastic” (i.e. manufactured) pop band came out with an album called “Head”, which suddenly made them seem controversial and edgy.
There was a lot of hand-wringing about drug references in music back then. Songs were often banned from radio, especially in more conservative areas, if people heard anything they didn’t want their kids to hear. The hit “Eight Miles High” by the Byrds is a good example of this hysteria; many stations refused to play it, even though it’s clearly about a trip…in an airplane. Even more ridiculous, “The Pusher” by Steppenwolf was banned in many places because it was about drugs…even though it’s clearly against drugs!
While I’m talking about songs, I just remembered a very obscure bit of hipsterism. For about 6 months, the word “number” was very hot slang for a joint (it was in use for about two years total IIRC). Just at its peak, the Doors song “Five To One” came out with a line that was suddenly quite double ENTendre: “They got the guns, but we got the numbers.”
Jim Morrison was always tuned in and turned on. RIP Jim (died just over 40 years ago).
Old Hippie is a MMJ patient living somewhere in the wilds of California whose only link with the real world is a 420 MHz radio. He blogs on BeyondChronic.com and vapes on Sour Diesel.
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