As cannabis continues moving into the mainstream, the stereotypes about marijuana users are starting to fall apart. The more that marijuana becomes a common thing, the more it becomes apparent that it’s utterly impossible to define cannabis users as any single group. Cannabis consumers come from all walks of life, represent all demographics, and use weed for a wide variety of reasons.
Here are the 5 biggest stereotypes about cannabis consumers and why those stereotypes just don’t hold up:
1. Marijuana users are worthless bums
One of the classic stereotypes of marijuana users is that they’re so high all the time they’re utterly incapable of succeeding at anything other than ordering a pizza and packing another bowl.
A quick look at the Marijuana Policy Project’s list of the Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Consumers will put a quick end to that stereotype.
Some notable names on that list include Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, George Soros, Morgan Freeman, Martha Stewart, Tom Brokaw, and much, much more.
2. Cannabis consumers are mostly guys
A massive list of outspoken women weed enthusiasts is putting this stereotype to rest for good.
For starters, the legal cannabis industry is led by scores of women. In fact, there are significantly more women executives in the marijuana sector than in any other industry. Women hold 36% of leadership positions in the marijuana industry and only 22% everywhere else.
And thanks to pop-cultural figures like Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson, Rihanna, and Miley Cyrus, women who smoke weed are filling our TVs, computers, and airwaves.
Social media has been another place where images of women smoking weed are helping break down the idea that only guys smoke pot.
3. People who use cannabis are only trying to get stoned
That is the case for a lot of marijuana users. But a huge number of people use marijuana for very important medical reasons.
There are currently somewhere around 1.2 million legal medical marijuana patients. And patients living in states where it’s legal are using it to treat a broad range of conditions including cancer, epilepsy, PTSD, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and much more.
4. Only lazy people smoke cannabis
This is another of the all-time classic stoner stereotypes that are rapidly being torn down.
You’ll find highly successful marijuana users working in pretty much every field and industry imaginable. And anyone who thinks marijuana smokers are all a bunch of lazy stoners needs to talk to Richard Branson.
The mega-millionaire is one of the world’s most popular weed enthusiasts. And judging by what he’s done with his Virgin empire, “lazy stoner” is not the way to describe him.
5. Cannabis users are addicted, potheads
This stereotype is still thrown around all the time.
Toward the end of last year, a study that said there was a massive increase in the number of people addicted to marijuana was published. It got a lot of attention in the media, as people cited it as proof that cannabis is scary and dangerous.
More recent research has largely refuted that study, however. Dr. Richard Grucza of Washington University in St. Louis did some investigating. He found that the original study had used research methods that could produce flawed results.
His research found that the ratio of people using marijuana at a problematic level has gone down in recent years. So, are all marijuana users addicted stoners? According to Dr. Grucza, not.