Reaching for the reefer, celebrating 4/20 or lighting up a little 'hay' is no longer a secret in Colorado.
It’s been legal to buy weed here for nine months now, and the drug’s movement into the mainstream may not just be changing how people consume the substance, it might also be shifting our vocabulary.
Words and metaphors people use to talk about marijuana have made the drug sound innocent and innocuous (mary jane, grass, herb) and transgressive and underground (chronic, dope, Don Juan). Since the drug has historically been used in the shadows, it’s bred a lot of inventive language. Take the word pot, for example, says Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguist at UC Berkeley and NPR "Fresh Air" contributor.
Read more and hear Nunberg's take on Colorado Public Radio.
(Photo below courtesy of Kathleen Miller)