Last month, April, was cannabis awareness month. So, what better way to celebrate than to discuss the culture and stigma of weed in the music industry. It seems that weed advocating artists come from across all genres of music, not just reggae and rap. Of course, the most famous is Bob Marley, but genres like country, pop, alternative, folk, indie, and even jazz are home to artists that openly smoke weed and claim that it helps their creative process.
In addition, there have been tons of songs written about weed. These are mostly by rap artists like Snoop Dogg, Rihanna, Chance the Rapper, and Kanye West, but even famous artists like The Beatles, Nirvana, Sublime, Amy Winehouse, and Bob Dylan reference marijuana in their music. However, for some reason, despite some of the most talented people in the music industry being advocates for it, many people still preserve weed’s negative stigma, usually on false pretenses. While weed is a mind altering substance, it’s still a completely natural plant, and has proven to be much safer than drugs such as caffeine, alcohol, and prescription pain killers.
Especially with today’s modern technology, it’s easy to see how weed could enhance one’s writing or performing abilities. Since weed is recreationally legal in eight states, thousands of weed stores, bakeries, coffee shops, and even restaurants have popped up around the country. Weed is no longer an underground, illegally sold drug. Because of our new ability to research different strains and effects, scientists and cannabis connoisseurs alike have been developing new strains that can make people more creative, productive, and less anxious. These new strains have and will be positively affecting the minds of musicians.
Weed culture has been present in music for the last century; but, what’s so interesting to think about is how it could affect the future of the music industry. People may have already been smoking weed at Grateful Dead concerts in the ‘70s, but now actual marijuana festivals with live bands have been popping up, creating a legal and safe environment for people to enjoy weed and music together. It’s time that we reevaluate the negative stigma around weed and remember that it’s not only used by infamous rappers like Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa. Once we accept that weed could be the future of creativity, arts, and music we can use it to our advantage. So, happy cannabis awareness month and remember to be open-minded about marijuana, especially in the music industry, because it’s the future.