Straight edge is a movement that was born out of the early ‘80s punk movement and the loss of several in the community due to various vices. Such losses included punk musicians Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols and The Germs’ Darby Crash.
In response, many in the emerging hardcore punk scene created an offshoot that extends beyond music. Their anti-consumption lifestyle and art would go on to be dubbed straight edge.
Minor Threat frontman Ian MacKaye is credited with coining the phrase from a 46-second anti-vice song. The band also receive credit for setting up the rules in their song “Out of Step.” The track’s lyrics include “I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t fuck.”
The lifestyle continues to this day as a genre of music, art and life in general. Vice‘s i-D platform noted back in 2017 that the movement was back on the rise.
Back in the 80s, cannabis was still widely demonized by communities of numerous kinds. The plant was deemed a drug is now too is on its way back to being a medicinal option.
So, how does a community steeped in anti-consumption feel about a plant both used in therapeutic and recreational uses?
Dimitri Oster grew up as a teen in the ’90s heavily involved in New York City’s straight edge hardcore scene, continuing to today. He is also a credentialed addictions counselor, licensed clinical social worker and serves as the Program Director of a Brooklyn-based outpatient treatment program.
He explained that straight edge is much more than being drug-free. “It starts there, but goes much further,” Oster said. “Straight edge has always been about challenging the dominant and popular cultural stereotypes, that mainly serve to reinforce the order of our increasingly dysfunctional society.”
Several reasons convince Oster …
Author: Andrew Ward / High Times