Let’s be honest, one of the leading stereotypes of the average marijuana smoker isn’t that flattering. Ask someone to close their eyes and tell you what they envision when they hear those words — marijuana smoker — and there's a strong chance they'll paint a verbal picture of some squinty eyed party bro whose major contributions to society revolve around frat parties, frisbee and hacky sack skills, and some acoustic guitar riffing.
Alas, friends, that’s sadly what we’re up against image-wise in many places across the country. And until we’re able to show that it’s not just those stoner dudes who regularly consume cannabis (nothing against the stoner dudes — we freaking love stoner dudes!), we’ll be fighting an uphill PR battle.
That’s the bad news.
But there is some heartening news developing on the messaging front to combat those old stoner stereotypes. More frequently, survey and poll results are coming out showing that there is much more to the marijuana smoker (and general consumer) base than once was thought.
Our friends over at Eaze recently released customer survey data revealing — among other factoids — that 51 percent of their patrons hold a college or postgraduate degree, 91 percent of them hold down full-time employment, and 49 percent have a household income of at least $75,000 per year (that’ over $15,000 more than the 2016 national average, fyi).
The picture painted by those Eaze statistics is that many marijuana smokers are more highbrow than some stereotypes suggest.
What’s more, a survey recently conducted in Colorado shows that — again, contrary to popular misconceptions — your typical marijuana smoker typically doesn’t partake to par-tay.
A group called Consumer Research Around Cannabis (CRAC) polled more than 1,200 marijuana consumers in and around Denver, Colorado, on why they use marijuana.
Here’s what they found:
- 47.2 percent said they use cannabis to fall asleep
- 45.7 percent claim they use cannabis to stem anxiety and/or depression
- 47.2 percent reported they use cannabis to fight pain
So, what about users embodying the old stoner stereotypes? Well, they’re not as numerous as you might think. Only 28.5 percent said they used marijuana to have a good time (read: partying), while just 32.8 percent used it to get “creative” or deep in thought (yeah, deep thoughts, man).
As unexciting as such findings sound, they might actually be good for the cannabis industry. Why?
For the industry to reach its full potential, the old stigmas associated with marijuana need to be dismantled, and the more the substance is shown to be a help with widespread everyday (read: normal) circumstances, the better its appeal might be to those who continue to view it ithrough an age old lens.
Time will tell, but it just might be that tame is good for the cannabis world.