WEED, Calif. — When they see the signs for Weed, carloads of curious travelers veer off the freeway to stop and gawk. They file into gift shops that sell “Weed Is So Dope” refrigerator magnets and sweatshirts advertising a fictional University of Weed: “A Place of Higher Learning.”
For decades, the residents of Weed, a California lumber town an hour from the Oregon border, have felt like the butt of jokes, exasperated from the repetition of the Daily Explanation: No, the town is not named for marijuana but a local 19th-century timber baron, Abner Weed. For years, the town rejected proposals to leverage the name and allow the sale of marijuana.
“I did not want a bunch of potheads sitting out in front of the store smoking doobies on a bench,” said Sue Tavalero, a former hairdresser who is now mayor.
spring water that gurgles from the ground just outside of town, the same water that is sold under the brand name Crystal Geyser.
There are still members of the community who believe that marijuana is the “devil’s lettuce,” Mr. Strack said. But they are increasingly hard to find.
Donna Winger, a former member of the planning commission, counts herself as one of the converts to the notion that cannabis could help lift the city’s fortunes, even though she still harbors hope that the city can find a more “healthy and family-oriented” way to market itself.