Local Scrabble Champion Outraged: “If Marijuana is Legal, Proper Nouns Should Be Too”


Written by: Gage Tanzman

Moms have been concerned that this scrabble will lead kids to dabble in more complex word games.
Photo by Maria Dhilla

The legalization of marijuana has been making waves all across the country. However, not everyone is reacting to the news positively. Emily Barkminn, San Diego County’s resident Scrabble champion, has been protesting the new legislation with a social media campaign and vandalism to promote her cause.

Barkminn was sighted at an SDSU fraternity party last week, spray painting the bathroom mirror with the phrase, “So you can get high, but I can’t use ‘Thai’?? #WeedLikeToUseProperNouns.” Similar spray painted phrases have appeared all over the downtown San Diego area. Other common phrases include, “Go ahead and smoke, I still can’t play ‘Roanoke,’” and “You can use Mary Jane but I can’t use Mary Jane?!” Barkminn’s hashtag, as a result of her extreme marketing, is the fourth-most trending on Twitter. The “Weed Like To Use Proper Nouns” movement has gained traction with players of Bananagrams and UpWords as well. Players have started boycotting words like “weed,” “bud,” and “edible” from their games in an attempt to raise awareness of the issue. Even the popular Boggle podcast, Boggled Minds, has removed any episodes in which the players are high to show their support.

Not all Scrabble players believe in Barkminn’s crusade. Mila Meshim, a student from the University of San Diego, claimed, “Obviously it’s not the legalization of weed that’s an issue here. The marijuana industry couldn’t care less about what words are legal in Scrabble or not. I don’t know why no one is calling out the real villain. I mean, it’s quite clear what we should really blame: sex before marriage.” Undeterred, Barkminn travelled to Los Angeles earlier this week and carved a message in Seth Rogen’s marijuana crops, declaring “WE ARE PRO-NOUNS. YOUR CANNABIS-NESS IS RUINING LIVES.” Later that day, Rogen tweeted, “Nice. #cannabisness” with a link to his new pronoun-specific five-ounce bags, which are sold out at the time of writing this article.

One local stoner, Rictor Hurlz, offered his take on the issue. “I don’t understand why they’re so upset at us. The legalization of marijuana has literally nothing to do with Scrabble. The internet movement is pretty funny though. ‘If they can use the devil’s grass, we should be able to use ‘Satan.’ Hah.” “I guess, at the end of the day, I appreciate how polite they’re being,” Hurlz continued. “‘Weed Like To Use Proper Nouns,’ or whatever, it’s so nice. Of course, I can’t imagine anyone being aggressive towards people who smoke or anything. That would be like imprisoning people for possession, even though it’s legal now! Hah. Thank gosh that’s not happening either.”

Officially, the National Scrabble Organization has refused to comment on the issue, but repeated donations to Barkminn’s cause have been traced back to them, and authorities’ suspicions are high. Further investigations into the organization are underway.

Assistant Copy Editor and Muir Ambassador at The MQ

When Gage is not pondering time and relativity, she is busy spreading kindness and laughter, not only through sharing sushi with her friends, but also by making fun of the human condition and our shared experiences. In an ideal world, Gage and her cat would be battling mean people and making the world a brighter place.

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