Let's be clear, for the purposes of this article when we are talking about vintage marijuana collectibles we are not talking about collecting actual buds. But if you are one of those people who just loves to collect things, the wonderful world of weed offers lots of options.
No matter where you find yourself on the budgetary spectrum, from dead broke and living on a fixed income to mega-rich, there are interesting marijuana themed items for you to collect.
Since we are living through the end of marijuana prohibition, in other words historic times, in a generation or two kids will find it difficult to believe people were ever arrested and incarcerated, sometimes for life without parole, over this plant.
Likewise, today’s political promotional and propaganda pieces are tomorrow’s collectibles.
A collection of these items will also make a great way teach future generations about the time when it was against the law to use marijuana. You might even want to make a scrapbook!
Consider these marijuana collectibles, in increasing order of financial cost (some are free):
Anti Prohibition Propaganda – The buttons, brochures, postcards, and other materials put out by organizations like NORML, the Marijuana Policy Project, Drug Policy Alliance and others will someday be looked at the same way anti alcohol temperance propaganda is now looked upon.
Stickers –- Attend any cannabis expo and you will encounter vendor after vendor giving away stickers, from commercial product sellers to nonprofit organizations, to cannabis celebrities. Where you put those stickers is up to you but you could go crazy trying to collect them all.
Promotional Swag – Marijuana expos and trade shows will also present the opportunity to collect a variety of promotional items – lighters, shopping bags, grinders, rolling papers, hemp wicks, and all kinds of other marijuana themed promotional goodies are there for the taking. Those interested in cultivation will especially want to collect promotional posters and catalogs from various seed companies. Beyond their potential collectible appeal, these can be great practical references.
Rolling Papers – I have friends with rolling paper collections that go back 4 decades. Even today the variety produced boggles the mind, but go back in time and you can find some wonderful vintage brands and packaging that present a nostalgic stoner snapshot into the past.
T-Shirts/Clothing – Most of the marijuana themed clothing you will find will be t-shirts, but you can occasionally find other items. Within the former category the variety is endless, from promotional items, to political statements, to stoner humor.
Lighters/Ashtrays – Tobacco smokers of the 50s collected elegant ashtrays and lighters, and those vintage smoking accessories can also serve marijuana smoker’s well. Add a little class to your next 420 party by seeking out antiques or their modern counterparts.
Pipes – Because there are so many different types of pipes you might choose to collect one (or more) of each type or specialize in a particular type. For instance, I have an affinity for stealth pipes that can be left in the open without anyone knowing they actually are pipes.
Photos/Art – Mary Jane has been the muse for many fine artists and photographers. Most popular in this category is undoubtedly “bud porn” -- ultra close up images of marijuana flowers and their trichomes. The internet is filled with websites dedicated to this photography subgenre, but framed prints look beautiful on walls too.
Reefer Madness Propaganda – Vintage books and pulp novels screaming the evils of the demon weed make for kitschy collectibles. If you can afford the real thing, plenty of reproductions are available.
Vintage Medical Cannabis Items – Prior to prohibition, cannabis medicine could be found in nearly every American medicine cabinet, and those in a lot of the rest of the world too. Nonetheless the bottles and tins that held these concoctions can now be quite difficult to find. It only makes sense, when was the last you saved an empty aspirin bottle? In addition to the containers, vintage ads touting the benefits of cannabis medicines command collectible value.
Glassware – The increased used of marijuana has ushered in a huge renaissance in the American art glass movement. Glass artists are finding employment and people to buy their work like never before. Some make practical workhorse pipes, bongs, and dabbing rigs; others make elaborate pieces of art costing tens of thousands of dollars and more. While you could technically smoke from these art glass pipes, you probably wouldn’t want to. But they do make for the ultimate stoner status symbols.