Responses To 'Stoned'

Two weeks ago, the Free Weekly ran a cover story titled “Stoned,” a whimsical look at places with great views if you happen to be … well, stoned, in the opinion of the writer.
It was a lark, not meant to be taken seriously. More of a continuing jab in the eye of laws that allow the consumption, regulation and taxation of alcohol while taking a hard-line stance against par-tokers of cannabis.
The cover featured a whopping big marijuana leaf. Here’s some of the responses to that from our website:

Unpleasantly Displeased

Jennifer: This is inappropriate for a free publication. My 7-year-old son and I were walking on the square, when he saw a huge picture of a marijuana leaf on the front of the “Freekly”, as you now call it, and asked what it was. That should not happen. I understand what you’re trying to do here. In fact, I know quite a few people who smoke marijuana. However, this shouldn’t be on display every where in town. Couldn’t you just call it “The Most Relaxing Places” or something? Obviously, you have the right to freedom of free speech and the press, but I can only ask that you would consider respecting the wishes of me and other parents by not publishing this sort of material in this particular publication. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate for a different magazine or newspaper? TFW is free and (I thought) family-oriented. If this paper continues to print this sort of thing, I will then ask local businesses to stop distributing it.
Drew: I’m disappointed at this attempt to be “edgy.” Why would you not only publish an article of this sort in a free paper, but name businesses that cater to children as the best places to go in an altered state? On top of this it’s the cover story during Bikes and Blues — meaning thousands of people from out of town will read it. I guess you wanted to loose all credibility and advertising with local businesses.

Not, These Aren’t From My Mother

Jane: Are people so out of touch with reality as to think that The Free Weekly is a family oriented newspaper? Seriously? And the next time one of your children asks what a marijuana leaf is and you don’t want to explain to them that it’s the leaf of a medicinal herb, you can tell them it’s a hemp leaf and that it’s used to make clothing and lip balm and body lotion.
Lighten up people. The Free Weekly is a newspaper that’s aimed at the college age and above crowd. And what does it being free have to do with anything?
Maybe for next week’s paper, the cover needs to be a plain brown wrapper.
Michael: Everyone knows Fayetteville is a stoner town to some degree (even those upstanding visitors on bikes). We passed an ordinance a couple of years ago regarding marijuana priority. I say roll up, light up, lighten up, have a Saturday wake and bake. Embrace it. Most of us do this now and then. If you don’t … too bad, so sad! Thank you Freekly for a few good ideas. Now it’s back to work we go. It’s all good.

Just a couple of quick points:
1) The Free Weekly is not family-oriented or family-hostile. Some content is appropriate for all ages. Some is … less so. Generally speaking, I think you’ll find most alternative weeklies are tuned to a decidedly adult audience.
2) I’ve heard it called the Freekly for years and just assumed that’s what everyone called it. I know that’s been its nickname for some time among newspaper people. Thoughts on that? Do you like the nickname? Hate it?

Categories: Commentary