On my short drive to school the other day I turned on the radio. It was just like any other day but it quickly changed to something very different. The song “Roses” by The Chainsmokers was playing. It seemed perfectly fine and I even danced around in my seat a little bit while waiting at a red light.
While driving I noticed that the lyrics suddenly cut out but the music was still playing. At first I thought that maybe it was just me not paying attention to the music that was playing but when I listened more closely it was clearly intentional. The lyrics of the song had been removed. Having heard the song before I knew that the words had something to do with weed. Not only was it not just a word or phrase that had been edited out it had been multiple lines of the song. It was enough to make the song sound strange and make me very aware that something was missing. At first I just thought it was strange and but didn’t really think anything of it until later on in the week when I was once again driving to school. This time listening to another station, the same song came on and the part that had been edited out before was left completely alone. The lyrics “Smoke a little weed on the couch in the back room” was very much audible and the song continued as normal.
A few days later I had the radio on in the car again and was singing along to Alessia Cara’s song “Here”. Having listened to the song many times before, I noticed when the word “marijuana” was edited out of her song. I quickly checked the station to see which one it was and it was 92.3 AMP Radio, the same station that had also edited out entire phrase about weed in The Chainsmokers’s song “Roses”.
This raised a few questions for me. Why was a line about weed being edited out of a song when played on the radio? Why was it also only being edited out on only some stations and not all stations? Do people really have a problem with hearing about people smoking weed? Artists have been singing and rapping about doing drugs for years and never had I heard a song being edited to refrain from explaining some sort of drug use. What happened four or so years ago when it seemed like everyone was singing about “Molly”? That is still a controlled substance and it wasn’t edited out of songs. Yes, it may sound like a cute little girls name but it doesn’t cover up the fact that it is a name for MDMA/Ecstasy. Just because “Molly” doesn’t sound as bad “weed” or “Marijuana” coming out of a child in a sing song voice does not mean that it should be edited out of a song. It is a far more accepted drug than Molly.
Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Washington D.C. have all fully legalized marijuana for recreational use while, 19 other states have laws that legalize the drug in some form states Governing Magazine, a magazine that writes about current politics, policy, as well as state and local government laws and leaders. So why is it that a drug that has been legalized in our nations capital can’t even be referenced on some of our radio stations? I find it absolutely ridiculous. “Weed” and “Marijuana” are clearly not curse words which are most often edited out of songs. They aren’t offensive words but apparently some would disagree with me.