HSU’s 4/20 Fame


Exaggerating stereotypes of Humboldt and it’s cannabis culture

By|Domanique Crawford

“Are you going to Humboldt just so you can smoke weed?”

My friend- who for none-embarrassment purposes we will just call Jane- asked me when I announced what school I was transferring to.

Jane’s reaction wasn’t surprising or even uncommon. Anyone I mentioned my school choice to immediately connected HSU with the thriving cannabis industry in Humboldt County. This became an annoying phenomenon, to say the least.

Some people where even scandalized by my choice of schools, and would jokingly [I’m pretty sure] say that I had to be careful or else I will stumble across a weed farm in the Redwood forest and get shot. My friends and family members, had dramatic interpretations of the HSU student and community lifestyle assuming that anyone in the county is either involved in the weed industry or is a pothead.

Before I started to attend, I carried some of those crazy misconceptions about HSU being all about cannabis with me. Outside of Humboldt County smoking marijuana was this taboo thing that you did behind closed doors. I was a little ashamed to mention that I was attending HSU just because of all of the stoner stereotypes that captivate HSU image and the quickness people immediately associated HSU to marijuana.

I don’t know if it’s because of the 21 century’s obsession with legalizing weed, or the fact that HSU is within the Emerald Triangle, but HSU’s 420 friendly attitude pushes to pass the university’s green initiatives and its well-celebrated environmental science programs. People were not interested to hear that I was attending HSU because of its affordability and I respect the strong student force of social activism. Everyone felt the need to reduce HSU cannabis industry that surrounds HSU and not on what makes HSU a great university.

Being inside of the Humboldt community brings on a new understanding of the marijuana industry located here. Residency of the community isn’t only a collection of people consumed with running marijuana organizations. In fact, marijuana is medicinal staple product, like talking about aspirin.

Despite what people may believe, the county isn’t overrun with homeless stoners trying to sell weed. The industry is taken very seriously and enacted in a professional manner.  You have to get a doctor’s recommendation and everything.

There is the occasional trimmigrant who will stop you on the street to ask you if you want to buy marijuana, but a simple no will have them moving on their way. Students shouldn’t feel ashamed of attending HSU and when someone attempts to reduce our university  to nothing but cannabis culture, correct them with whatever motivates you to attend HSU.


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