Some etymologies are less exciting than others, but we don’t know that until we find them:<2013 “The Justice Department’s decision is ‘the first profound crack in the federal edifice of drug prohibition since President Nixon declared war on drugs in 1971,’ and may accelerate the decisions of the six other states that are moving toward referendums on legalizing weed: Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, and Nevada. ‘It is without doubt good news for the stoner set,’. . .”—The Week, 13 September, page 21>
CASSELL’S DICTIONARY OF SLANG
STONE verb [1940s and still in use]: 1) (drugs) (also stone up) To render intoxicated with a drug, usually marijuana or hashish. 2) In figurative use, to create the same effect without drugs. [the image of being knocked over by a rock] [[And that’s it – the thrilling derivation! (>:)]]
STONED: (out) adjective) [1950s and still in use]: 1) Drunk. 2) intoxicated with some form of drug; thus stoned out of one’s brain/gourd/head/mind/skull, very intoxicated on drink or, more usually, drugs.
STONER noun 1) [1970s and still in use] A drug user, specifically of marijuana. 2) [1990s and still in use] (U.S. teen) A delinquent [stoned (out), see adjective (2)]
OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY
9) STONE verb
a) : To become intoxicated with drink or drugs (with out, to the point of unconsciousness).
b) Transitive: To render intoxicated or (figurative) ecstatic. Also reflexive Chiefly as (participle) a. slang (originally U.S.).
7) STONED adjective
a) : Drunk, extremely intoxicated. Frequently with on. Chiefly predicate, especially in phrase to get stoned (originally U.S.).
b) : In a state of drug-induced euphoria, ‘high’; also, incapacitated or stimulated by drugs, drugged (originally U.S.).
[[I don’t recall ever hearing ‘stone/stoned’ being used in reference to drunkenness, even in the old days. But, that shows what I know.]]
STONER noun (slang) : A habitual drug user, especially a heavy marijuana user; (hence) a person with a lifestyle considered typical of a heavy marijuana user, characterized as aimless or indolent (originally U.S.).
Seems odd, but I don’t ever remember hearing ‘stone/stoned’ being used in reference to drunkenness, even in the old days.
The following quotes are from the Oxford English Dictionary and archived sources:
_________________________<1952 “Like boiled snails, bop jokes certainly are not everybody's dish, but those who acquire the taste for them feel cool, gone, crazy and stoned.”—Life Magazine, 29 September, page 67/2> [[drunk]]
<1956 “You're an H-man . . . . and we know you copped three decks a little while back. Are you stoned now, or can you read me?”—Cop Hater (1958) by E. McBain, ix. page 85> [[drugs]]
<1961 “Planned to stone himself with vodka.”—Webster’s 3rd International Dictionary of the English Language (at cited word), Truman Capote>
<1969 “We are, by any definition, stoned on liberty, smashed by self-fulfilment; the real need now is for silence and what used to be called classical restraint—and irony.”—The Listener (BBC London), 17 July, page 88/3> [[used figuratively]]
<1971 “They're all lying around in there wearing beads and stoned out of their skulls on French Blues [[amphetamines]].”—Dolly and the Doctor Bird by D. Halliday, x. page 129>
<1979 “They were careless. Stoners usually are.”—Castles in Fire (1983) by A. Lyons, page 179>
<1991 “. . . and by William Hurt and Keanu Reeves as the stoned hit men . . .”—Boston Globe (Massachusetts), 6 April>
< 2003 “ My boyfriend is a real stoner and it's driving me mad. He just wants to stay in and get stoned with his friends and when we do go out he's so dopey, it's pointless.”—Company Magazine (U.K), June, page 178/2>
<2013 . . . stoner-comedy duo Cheech and Chong will yuk it up on Oct. 24.”—Washington Post (D.C.), 4 September> [[I’ll never forget Up in Smoke, their hilarious, weed-fueled, 1978 movie.]]
Ken G – September 12, 2013