The lucky few individuals that have made big money on domains over the years have seen the cultural changes coming in advance and purchased domain names accordingly. Who would have thought domain names would be so big? The first domain name ever registered, “symbolics.com” was registered in 1985. Don’t you know that the company that purchased it now wishes they’d purchased sex.com instead (it’s sold a couple times already for more than ten million!)?
Now some think another big cultural shift is coming in the drug culture. Marijuana for medical use is now legal in many states and voters in California are being presented with a chance to allow small amounts for recreational use. As goes California, so goes the rest of the states–at least many people think. That would mean that it is only a matter of time before marijuana can be sold nationwide.. So has the time come to buy marijuana domains buy domain name?
Some apparently seem to think so. A recent story in the New York Times told about a number of domainers (individuals who buy and sell domain names) who are betting heavily that marijuana will be legalized and anything with the word marijuana in it will be considered a valuable web business address. They hope California’s Proposition 19 will pass allowing possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational use as opposed to the already allowed use of the drug for medical use.
Some enthusiastic individuals have purchased up to a thousand names at eight to ten bucks a pop. Names like Sandiegomarijuana and marijuanaforever.com. Proposition 19, however, seems to be losing its lead in the poles so you have to wonder if that’s such a good idea; or, at the least, if it is, in fact, an idea whose time has really come. And even if California goes for recreational marijuana the Federal authorities have sworn to continue to prosecute users. You have to think it will be a long time before it’s legal in say, Utah.
Another possible con: Marijuana.com sold a year ago for 1 million. That’s not so great considering sex.com at 13 million, slots.com at 5.5 million and dating.com at 1.75 million. Even zip.com sold recently for more than a million. That means that the ultimate domain name in the marijuana genre is only worth a million; which has to make you wonder if the drop-off to other less perfect domain names, always abrupt and deep, makes buying hundreds of them worthwhile.
So does that mean the rest of us should get into the act. Don’t know. You wonder how many good names can be left after somebody bought 1000 of them. I mean how many times can you say “marijuana” meaningfully. Which brings to mind another question: what is the actual spelling of marijuana? In English it probably should be marihuana with an “h.” If you spell it with an “h” in some word processors you will get a red error line under the word. However, if you spell it with an “h” in Word, the most popular, you don’t get an error message. That spells (no pun intended here) confusion for some American English speakers; and who wants to spend megabucks on a web address that will be misspelled by a significant number of potential customers? Do you suppose the people buying them in the thousands are getting both spellings?