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'Tinder for tokers:' app connects cannabis lovers

'Tinder for tokers:' app connects cannabis lovers (ABC7)

These days, there are dating websites for Christian, Jewish and African-American singles. Even farmers can find industry-specific love online. There are also several sites for marijuana consumers. There's an app for that too, promoted as the "Tinder for tokers."

D.C. area native Darren Roberts created High There! which is proximity-based like Tinder and Grindr.

“[App users are meeting other singles] really judgement free without stigma,” Roberts said.

New users can simply connect through a Facebook profile or use another name if they want to be more discreet. They then upload photos after indicating their pot preferences and other interests.

“Whether they like movies, culture, food, athletics,” Roberts said.

“Well, I was actually in the Georgetown area,” 28-year old Jean-Paul Zephir said. “I was looking for a place to smoke.”

Zephir recently downloaded the app. Searching for his next high, he found love too.

“I had weed. She had some blunts,” Zephir said, laughing.

Zephir works at a local marijuana dispensary. Before meeting his girlfriend through High There!, he used other apps and dating sites. He said he'd often get rejected on first dates after revealing his job or his smoking habits.

“It kind of turns people away after matching with me,” Zephir said.

Roberts said his app has users around the world. Domestically, he said the biggest markets are located in states that have legalized recreational or medicinal marijuana consumption. He said California, Colorado and New York have the most users.

“There's over 70 million people living in an area where there's some form of legalization that's taking place right now,” he said.

There are critics of High There! who warn about the health impacts of consuming marijuana and skeptics who think relationships should not revolve around drug use. There is also the fact that many users live in states where pot is not legal.

Roberts said it comes down to using common sense.

“You don't want to do anything illegal on any platform whatsoever,” he said.

It should be noted that High There! is not the only “420-friendly” dating app or site. Cannabis lovers can also meet through 420 Singles and My420Mate.

But two years since High There! launched, Roberts said the app is now approaching 500,000 users on both iPhone and Android devices. They are mostly millennials and male; he said about 35 percent of users are female.

While High There! is mostly marketed as a dating app, many pot smokers use it to meet or make friends. Some said they use the app when they travel to a different city or when they are seeking a safe, private place to light up.

In Georgetown that day, Jean-Paul Zephir was only looking for platonic pot smoking; he never expected to find a girlfriend. But a few weeks later, he's still feeling euphoric.

“It's nice right now. Very nice. I smoke a lot. And it's nice to have someone who does too,” he said.

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