I was talking with a colleague the other day about the advent of legal recreational marijuana in Illinois when out of my mouth came words that horrified me the minute they emerged.
“I’ve never really liked dope,” I said.
I wasn’t horrified to admit I don’t like dope — I’m not embarrassed to say I prefer other paths to an altered state — but I cringed to hear myself call it that.
Did saying “dope” make me look old?
The minute I said it, I knew it did. It was like wearing a halter top, flowered bell-bottoms, a string of love beads and a middle part in my hair. All of which, I regret to say, I used to do, even though I’ve never really liked dope — or whatever it’s cool to call it now.
Is it still cool to say “cool?”
Whatever the word — marijuana? cannabis? weed? pot? — everybody’s talking about it these days, but as we talk, the question grows more urgent: What are we supposed to call this stuff?
Some of the groovy old words for it seem as outdated as…