I read recently that leaders of the legal cannabis industry in the U.S. wants to eliminate certain terms from public use to make cannabis seem classier. They specifically want to eliminate the dominant term used in that country: marijuana. They claim the word became popular as a way of slurring individuals from Mexico, where the name started.
I am not interested in making cannabis sound classy. I am willing to stop using the term marijuana, but I want to keep using amusing terms, such as loco weed, laughing grass, and devil’s lettuce. Also, I like rocker Tom Petty’s lyrical name for cannabis: Mary Jane.
I also plan to cling to interesting terms for cocaine. These include California cornflakes, blow, toot, and sniff.
Heroin has its own descriptive names: hard candy, dead on arrival, horse. I investigated whether the hit song A Horse With No Name was about heroin. It was not, according to America band member Dewey Bunnell, who wrote the song. It is about his riding a horse to a peaceful place in a desert. The horse had no name that Dewey could remember.
MDMA has its slick nicknames: ecstasy, skittles, molly, love doctor. Molly supposedly is short for molecular because the stuff naturally is a powder, not a pill. I don’t understand that explanation, but drug users do not always make sense.
Krokodil is my favourite drug name. It refers to an unbelievably dangerous opioid related to codeine. Krokodil is caustic, so when a person injects it, skin and blood vessels die and gangrene can set in. Some people call it Russian Magic. Russian Roulette might be a more apt name.
Speaking of magic, here is another fun(gus) name for a drug: magic mushrooms. They contain psilocybin, an hallucinogenic drug that can send you into space, psychologically speaking. Users may call them shrooms, buttons, or pizza toppings. Wouldn’t you be surprised to get some on an actual pizza?
I cannot leave out nicknames for alcohol, the most popular drug around. I like these names: Hooch, brewski (for a beer), goon (for cheap wine), liquid courage, firewater, booze. Whenever I hear the term booze, I think of Bing Crosby and pals singing the song Mister Booze in the movie Robin and the 7 Hoods
Writing about all these drugs is safe. Using them is not. But some people will use them. Psychoactive drugs and their nicknames are part of our culture.