Recreational legalization of cannabis consumption in 37 states, the District of Columbia, and three US territories has led to a wide variety of people feeling more comfortable with using the plant due to the laws legalizing THC products that have been passed in their jurisdictions. Gone are the days of the stigmatizing stoner stereotype, as many successful people have used cannabis products in their day-to-day lives either before or after legalization.
It is time for a new perspective on cannabis consumption and those who choose to partake in what THC offers them. Let’s drop the old stoner stereotype and focus on the individual behind the plant!
What is the Typical Stoner Stereotype?
The outdated stoner stereotype isn’t a flattering one and can end up putting people into a box they don’t belong. This is the nature of stereotypes in general and a big part of why they should be avoided. Nobody likes to be given an unfair label just because of a societal, systemic, or human need to make a correlation between an individual and a group.
The typical stoner stereotype is a person who might be lazy, unproductive, unkept, out of shape, stagnant, always hungry (hello munchies), a hippie, and the list continues. In the past, people who weren’t fond of cannabis have associated these attributes with cannabis consumption.
These associations were made and arguably woven into United States culture at the start of our government’s war on drugs. Let’s not forget the ridiculous campaign dubbed reefer madness. Plenty of people who consume cannabis are not any of these stereotypes, and if nobody knew they used THC products they’d never be accused of them. It’s important to understand the individual behind the plant and all the hard work they’ve put into their success. And, perhaps, how cannabis fueled productivity. Hopefully, with time the stoner stereotype will fade into the background as it becomes more of the social norm nationwide.
Why is the Typical Stoner Stereotype Unfair?
Just like most stereotypes, if not all, in some part, the stoner stereotype reduces the individual down to their use of cannabis in their day-to-day life. People are so much more than their cannabis consumption, and it is incredibly unfair to associate attributes that carry negative connotations without getting to know the person first. As a society, we must hold onto the capacity to see beyond a disagreement in choice.
Seeing a person solely for their use of cannabis products isn’t doing the world a service. It holds onto an outdated and unfair perception perpetuating its poison into further generations as another unwelcomed stereotype. There are too many productive members of society who consume cannabis to deny them space to be an individual beyond their interest in cannabis products.
Who Uses Cannabis?
Plenty of successful and contributing members of society consume cannabis products on a daily basis. Some of them may even grow their own weed. This is the problem with the stoner stereotype and the box it creates to put people in. There are doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, engineers, artists, and musicians that use cannabis as part of their daily routines, and the list goes on!
Every person that consumes cannabis deserves to be an individual. Deeming people who consume cannabis to be a certain way just because of their use of THC is an unfair approach to human interaction. There are creatives and intellectuals that consume some form of THC, all while remaining present and able to perform at a high level and produce creative, thoughtful work in the world.
Nobody would deny a doctor’s or lawyer’s contributions to society if they consumed cannabis on their personal time. Status or profession shouldn’t be the prerequisite for a pass on cannabis consumption, yet successful and contributing people are still looked down on for their use of THC products. It’s time society dropped outdated stereotypes and chose to see individuals for who they are.
As time passes, and hopefully after federal legalization of cannabis eventually comes to pass, we may have our space to be more than the plant we consume. Until then, as a society, we need to continue to practice not basing the judgment of a person on a sole aspect of their life.
Do They Fit the Typical Stoner Stereotype?
If a doctor or a lawyer doesn’t fit the typical stoner stereotype, why have it? Plus, it’s not anybody’s call to make. There are plenty of people living their lives who don’t fit the bill either. Nobody deserves an unfair label thrust upon them, forced to wear it as some unspoken badge of shame. Taking the time to get to know someone before passing any kind of judgment must be standard practice at this point of our evolution as humans.
It is crucial to look beyond things you may personally disagree with in order to see an individual for how they truly go about their life. We need to think twice before we associate people with the typical stoner stereotype, because the odds are they don’t fit into that box.