What are your opinions on the weed smoking culture that’s sweeping through bmx?
It’s weird, right? I often think about how when I was a kid a huge percentage of pros were either Straight Edge or just didn’t really drink much and definitely didn’t promote it. The trickle down effect was obvious. A ton of the dudes I grew up riding with didn’t drink until they were in their 20′s. I’m part of that, I didn’t really drink until I was 21 and that was hugely influenced by the fact that a lot of the riders I looked up to were sober so it just seemed cool to not drink.
Now, not so much. I can’t say that every pro gets wasted and smokes weed now but the VAST majority do both. The other day I was thinking about a “Straight Edge Week” on TCU where we interviewed a different pro each day who is drug free. I was seriously having a hard time thinking of 5. A bunch of pros in their late 20′s who were drug free for years have started getting fucked up over the past year or two. I could probably (vague name drop coming, ready?) tell you at least 5 riders who I’ve smoked a blunt with that you’d be shocked by.
I’m not really sure how we got to this point. In the late 90′s and early 2000′s BMX videos were largely edited to hardcore, metal and emo songs, none of which celebrated drug use. Now BMX videos are largely edited to weed smoking rap anthems and indie rock coke head dance music. I think really, it’s a societal thing not a BMX thing. Drugs are just so much more mainstream now. I hear rappers rap about snorting coke, snorting Xanax, snorting MDMA and snorting pills ALL THE TIME now, where that thing was pretty much completely taboo just a couple years ago. Doing drugs just seems so much more accepted and normal now. Of course I’m 28 now and when I was a 17 year old kid reading magazines, it’s not like I’d know how many dudes were getting fucked up anyway. Now it’s a lot more obvious, both because of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, as well as the fact that people just drink and smoke in web videos all the time.
Sometimes I wonder when/if we’ll see some dramatic shift in how BMX presents drug use. Like what if a couple beloved pros OD, will everyone start acting differently? Obviously I’m not innocent here since I’m sure everyone knows/assumes that almost everyone on the OSS team parties (besides our 2 notable Straight Edge exceptions, Devin and Scotty) and we’ve gone as far as to print shirts with the word “marijuana” on them, but we also made the conscious decision not to include any weed smoking footage in Denver Nugs despite the fact that almost the entire team smokes weed pretty much constantly. I’ve always been of the opinion that we’re just representing our own lifestyle for better or for worse but sometimes it comes across better when you are less explicit.