To the folks who use them, bongs and pipes are as much of a household items as frying pans and towels. To everyone else, they represent either props in the movies or stuff that gets hauled out of a row house on COPS. As time passes, and casual drug use loses its stigma of criminality, one finds marijuana based sundries seeping into the popular culture like never before.
All Manner of Swag
A quick browse through eBay gives one a sense of just how many different items are influenced by the counter-culture’s favorite smoking devices. Jewelry alone – bong pendants, pot leaf earrings, and so forth – makes for a good chunk of sales, but there are also T-shirts, hats, key-chains, posters, coffee mugs, glassware, refrigerator magnets, stickers… The list goes on and on. If one looks hard enough, one can even find a “stoner chess set”, which features pot leaves as pawns and various shapes of bongs for the other pieces.
More Purposeful Items
Beyond the dime-store stuff, there are even fruit-flavored additives on the market that can be added to bong water to bring a little variety to the everyday after-work party. There is also no shortage of books and manuals that can guide the novice bong-builder through the process of creating one for himself. For a real dive into Americana, one can still find plenty of Cheech and Chong merchandise, from apparel to dolls.
Americans have had a love affair with cannabis since before the American Revolution. It has only grown over time. The increasing number of head shops proves this, and so does the presence of bongs as the subject of mass merchandising. Big business knows a good deal when it inhales it.