Why Legal Weed Is Shaking the Stoner Stereotype

Why Legal Weed Is Shaking the Stoner Stereotype

America’s recreational and medicinal pot business is now worth billions. But there’s a troubling stereotype that continues to weigh down the industry: the lazy, unmotivated, worshipers of the “wake and bake” themselves — the stoners. But how is this stereotype affecting legit businesses and what can companies do to break free?

In movies and on television, it seems every ensemble cast features some sort of lovable stoner. Chill, but lacking in motivation and general wherewithal, we all know the type. But now that weed is legal in some capacity in 30 states, the idea of the video game-loving, fast-food devouring stoner is proving bad for business.

Dispelling the Stigma

Across the country, marijuana companies are seeking out new and creative ways to shake off the stoner stereotype and present cannabis as the ticket to pain relief and recreation for people of all walks of life.

For some companies, this comes across in more effective branding and marketing techniques — leveraging billboards and ads portraying nurses, doctors, grandparents, and more as responsible cannabis users instead of stoners. Other brands have set their sights on product design to add a more refined air to their weed products — ridding packaging of pot leaves in favor of sleek, modern designs.

These techniques have already shown some benefit, but the naysayers remain, arguing that these marketing tactics merely gloss over marijuana’s darker side.

What’s Next?

Thanks in large part to decades of criminalization, cannabis still has a reputation of the drug of choice for characters on the fringes of society, especially in movies and on television. Cheech and Chong brought the house down with their THC-infused brand of humor but didn’t really do any favors for low-key users aiming to avoid the stoner stereotype.

Fast forward a few decades, and TV shows and movies are starting to show pot users in a more realistic light. There’s less of an emphasis on smokers glued to their couches eating junk food, and a more down-to-earth representation of cannabis users enjoying pot for practical or medical reasons, from chronic pain to anxiety and beyond.

As the image of the half-baked, goofy stoner are replaced with real-world representations of weed users, the tide of common opinion is sure to change.