Dumping Booze for Weed in 2020?
Image Credit: Cannabis Culture
Are West Seattleites Dumping Booze for Weed During Anxiety-Ridden 2020?
I’m not going to ask if you voted too. That would be too politically inquisitive for my style. And honestly, that topic was two grams of P91 ago – 48 hours of hazey Halloweeny blinders gone by baby. That being said, on election day and we faced a stressful, uncertain world. The political process was really hard for me to watch. It is ugly. Add to it the harsh realities of living in a Coronavirus pandemic world and the resulting stress, or better yet anxiety, only increases. For example I did, but then I didn’t want to know that the day before there were 567 new COVID-19 cases in the state of Washington and that 22 residents had passed away.
Hazey blinders? Yes please. In fact, in one breath I prevented my mother in law from having a heart attack while calmly reminding my daughter it was time for class, thanks to a text from a friend who knows I needed the text. After running downstairs to the house and reminding my daughter she just gave me the, ‘no duh daddy’ look, and so I instead tried to help scrape my MIL off the ceiling by calmly pointing out that the election data she was reviewing on the telly (CNN) and freaking out about was from the 2016 election; not the current day. She had been two clicks from hitting ‘post’ on Facebook with some fake news when I arrived. Boom! Social dilemma averted.
Meanwhile, mini raindrops had been pelting my home’s metal roof in steady waves all morning and little rivers were forming in my driveway. It sounded like a million pins falling from the sky while outside Fall literally washed itself out to sea. The garage, where my office sat under a quiet and calming roof was just twenty steps away and near a stash of Golden Pineapple. From down below in the midst of the storm it seems like a Hawaiian vacation. So I headed back to paradise for a few more hours…
Since the state of Washington was locked down by the Coronavirus in March of 2020 its residents have been forced into a complete sea change in terms of lifestyle. A life once lived outside in wild, untamed society by a good majority of us is now a life spent socializing with those we live with, working in front of them and in the case of parents, helping them through school. All of it is an emotional challenge and an emotional drain. I suspect it is the reason weed sales spiked in March, continued through August and might now start to level off.
I don’t have data to prove or disprove this theory of mine, but I definitely think that marijuana, in one form or another, has replaced alcohol for a large number of stress-relief seeking Washintonians since last March. Like I said, I don’t have hard data, but 90% of my friends that qualified as a “social drinkers” and a “social pot smokers”, pre-pandemic, have dropped the alcohol altogether. This could be a trend limited to just my group of friends, our ages and demographics, etc., but it is definitely a trend I haven’t witnessed before.
Why the shift away from booze? Like I said, I don’t have hard data, but I do have anecdotal evidence, which starts with Johnny.
Johnny Black – Last year, Johnny was brewing a keg of Pumpkin IPA, for Fall and for himself. This year, Johnny is 30 pounds lighter, rides his mountain bike on dirt, single track every single day, works from home as an engineer for a huge company, is more present for his wife and kids and when it comes time to check out, now does so exclusively with edibles. He loves the Doozies sativa gummies because they allow him to stay focused, but relaxed, and don’t cause him to pass out on the couch at 8 p.m.
Johnny went from this guy:
To this guy, in short order:
Some of us, myself included, have simply increased their THC intake since last March while maintaining an alcohol-free lifestyle. For example:
Angela Panko – Last year Angela, a non-drinker along with her husband, was smoking about a ¼ oz of good bud per month. Today, Angela is smoking a ¼ oz per week. Her new life is a tag-team, multi-task effort each morning as she and her husband try to get their six-year old son ready for online school on a platform that sometimes stumps even her, though she works on a computer most of the day. Her own work days start at 9:30 or 10 now (fortunately she is the boss) and she tries to roll into the office with a fresh face, but as Panko says, “the minute I open Twitter and complete one scroll I’m stressed out and ready for some good indica. It settles my mind and lets me block out the noise and get to my designing.”
After a puff, she’s like:
I could go on detailing a long list of similar stories of friends (ask me in the comments about our quest to make the perfect Arnold Palmer) The latest data on pot’s impact on alcohol, quite honestly, is murky. According to cannabis analytics firm BDSA 68% of those who smoke pot also drink alcohol and that number isn’t trending down, though that same report concludes that, “Cannabis represents a long-term risk to alcohol sales that producers and retailers must address effectively and aggressively.”
Ha! Good luck. In my neck of the woods in the West Seattle area the weed is knocking out the booze in big numbers, data be damned.