The DEA’s Emoji Medication Guide Made Us Realize How Bad Weed Emojis Are


The DEA is plugged into your weed talk emoji, so watch out.

With the help of federal investigators, the Drug Enforcement Administration has compiled a list of emojis that reflect common examples of drugs. The majority of the guide focuses on emojis, which the DEA says represent prescription drugs like Adderall, Oxycodone, and Percocet. Symbols for heroin, methamphetamine and “mollies” are also included. The one for mushrooms seems pretty self-explanatory when you look through your phone’s emoji keyboard and see this: 🍄

Some highlights from the DEA’s emoji guide include a puffer fish for cocaine, a chocolate chip cookie representing a “jackpot” of anything, and a red maple leaf symbolizing all drugs (sorry, Canada), but most emojis look pretty close. You know, from what other people have told us…

Other than a palm tree, most of the cannabis-related emojis — a puff of smoke, a flame, a Christmas tree, and a clover — are pretty common to talk about pot, though the DEA missed a few. If anything, we were disappointed with the accuracy (especially when you look at the DEA’s guide to cannabis street slang from a few years ago), which only reminded us of the lack of choice that cannabis consumers have in the emoji section.

What will it take for the icon of a joint, a bong or a simple marijuana leaf to appear on the keyboard? Some of the yellow face emojis come close to Mr. Nice Guy’s smiley face logo in half cookedbut none of them are perfect.

Seriously. It may be time. Not only are our current code emojis no longer cool now that the feds know about them, but this is just another example of marijuana abuse. Beer mugs, champagne, wine, martinis, whiskey, and tropical cocktails all have emojis. We also have emoticons representing cigarettes, gambling, middle fingers and fucking poo. And we all love them! Also give us a Cheech, Chong or Snoop Dogg emoji.

Our sudden request for potmojis led to an important question: who controls emojis, anyway?

It turns out that the Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit technology organization in Silicon Valley, is responsible for creating and regulating thousands of keyboard characters in multiple languages, including emojis. Unicode actually accepts user submissions for emojis, and according to a 2021 article from GreenState, a handful of cannabis-centric emojis have been submitted over the years.

However, these submissions take a lot more time and work than filling out a contact box, and all six cannabis submissions have so far been rejected. One of the reasons Unicode cited for rejecting a cannabis leaf emoji was that it was too close to other leaf emojis.

Unicode’s strict standards aren’t the only hurdles facing proposed potmojis, as major softphone providers Apple and Google have both taken a stand against apps and emojis that sell illegal substances.

Hemp is no longer illegal, however, and the two leaves look very similar. Almost the same, some would say.


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