We’ve all seen the derogatory “stoner” stereotypes of the “unserious” or “unintelligent” marijuana user, who is usually lazy and unemployed. I was certainly conditioned through my DARE classes that marijuana would destroy brain cells, kill motivation, and cause an immediate addiction to other drugs like heroin and cocaine. So many falsehoods that I was taught eventually faded away with life experience and research.
I remember being so surprised when the comedic movie Road Trip was released in 2000 as the cannabis user in the group of collegiate friends was the smartest among them. [SPOILER ALERT!] The “stoner” friend helped his classmate pass his philosophy final and the ending epilogue sequence revealed that he utilized his scientific knowledge to create a strain that couldn’t be detected by drug tests, earning him High Times “Man of the Year.”
While Road Trip was a rather silly movie that maybe shouldn’t have left such a big impact on me while I was attending the University of Missouri, it is remarkable how that depiction of an intelligent cannabis consumer stuck with me. It certainly resonated with my experience in college.
“’There is no data to support the assertion that cannabis consumers are simply out-of-work stoners,’ said Beau Whitney, an Oregon cannabis economist. ‘The average cannabis consumer makes in excess of $50,000 a year in wages.’
“In addition, Whitney said, cannabis consumers span multiple generations from Generation X to baby boomers.
“Nearly half those surveyed were between 21 and 34 years of age, more than half were female and 54% were college-educated, according to the survey results. Most said they used cannabis to relax and feel calm as the main reason for consuming.”
To those in the cannabis community, these “shattering the stoner stereotype” stories are likely old news as life experience has prevailed, but it’s important to take note of the cultural propaganda that has been unleashed to perpetuate a harmful was waged against our own nonviolent citizens. Just as studies that debunk the myth that legalization causes more kids to use marijuana, are vital in our fight for freedom, so is shining a light on the fact that the cannabis community is comprised of responsible, productive members of society. The Reefer Madness-inspired Drug War has to be combated on all fronts as we move forward, step by step, towards ending prohibition and the greater War on Drugs.
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