On the heels of our recent Twitter conversation where we subsequently brought you 5 Frustrating Misconceptions About Cannabis, we once again turned to our Twitter audience and asked the following question:
— Leafly (@Leafly) May 27, 2014
At Leafly our goal is to educate the public about cannabis and to show the world that there’s more to this plant than just blazin’ up and gettin’ high. A wide variety of people consume cannabis for a number of reasons, from the elderly medical marijuana patient to the successful executive who wants to relax and unwind after work. Yet the “all cannabis users are dumb, lazy stoners with no ambition” stereotype persists like an itchy bug bite that won’t go away.
We wanted to give our followers an opportunity to share how they defy this stereotype and demonstrate to the masses their balance of cannabis and a lifestyle most people may find unexpected. The result are these 7 Ways to Defy the “Stoner” Stereotype.
1. Be a Great Parent
Twitter user @HighDeeHere, in addition to “always smiling” and “[being] kind to people,” says that she is “an amazing mother.” Too often people think that if you consume cannabis, you’re a terrible parent because you must be high out of your mind all the time and neglecting your children. It’s a battle many parents, especially mothers, have to face (as we previously highlighted in our Moms for Marijuana article). By showing everyone that you balance being a caring, loving, responsible parent with responsible cannabis consumption, you’re destroying the notion that anyone who’s a parent and so much as touches the plant should have his or her children taken away.
2. Be Educated
I don’t mean you have to hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, but rather that you’re always striving to better yourself through learning. It’s an important tool in the cannabis community’s arsenal, and Twitter users @linajoe77, @artofdawn, and @BiancaSativa agree. Whether you get good grades, are pursuing a college degree or post-graduate studies, or you simply enjoy reading and researching various topics on your own, if you keep yourself educated, you’re taking great strides in showing the greater public that smart, thoughtful, enlightened people are cannabis consumers, too.
3. Be Successful
Maybe you own your own business, or you have a good job, or you juggle a family and a mortgage and are a responsible member of society. Whatever your success may be, own it like @HighDeeHere, who chimed in once again to say that though she loves her medicine, she’s also “successful by society standards.” It’s hard to criticize someone for being a loser when he or she is winning at life.
4. Ignore the Haters
Tune out the critics by marching to the beat of your own drum and being confident in your personal decisions. That’s what @landrewlcldeanl believes, that we should “ignore people who put labels on other people.” Twitter user @th3crung3 shared similar advice, saying, “people are mindlessly judged into various stereotypes daily. As far as I can see, I’m free and they’re not.” Confidence and love are important aspects of this cannabis movement — prove the haters wrong by having confidence in yourself and loving who you are.
5. Be Productive
Oh, so you’re not fused to your couch in a stoned stupor 24/7? @FranklinGin said, “Be productive as always. Everyone has forms of relaxation but when you let that take over your productivity [that’s] where it all stems.” I couldn’t agree more — if you want to dissolve the “lazy stoner” stereotype, don’t be lazy. Enjoy your downtime, yes, but fill your life with other activities and show people that cannabis is a part of your life but it isn’t the only thing that defines you as a person. You go to work, pay your bills, keep your place tidy, don’t flake out on plans with friends — you’re living a healthy, productive lifestyle that people will have difficulty judging.
6. Be Active
Piggybacking on the “Be Productive” point, be active. @SconsinGuy likes to go for walks. I enjoy training for endurance sports like marathons and Ironman-distance triathlons. I know an occasional cannabis consumer who posted a personal record at the Boston Marathon two months ago with a 2:51 finish time. Cannabis is not synonymous with an unhealthy lifestyle; rather, many of us exercise, eat healthy foods, and care about our bodies. A lot of people don’t think that cannabis and exercise belong together, but I know plenty of active, healthy people who are also cannabis-friendly.
7. Embrace the Lifestyle
Twitter user @thatjohnnygreen opted to go another route and embrace the stereotype: “I embrace the word Stoner, and dominate everything I do to the bets of my ability. It changes minds.” By saying, “Yeah, I’m a stoner, what of it?” and having your actions and your positive lifestyle speak for themselves, you’re actively contributing to redefining what being a “stoner” means. And that, to me, is a beautiful thing — we’re taking ownership of this word that has negative connotations and reshaping it to something that encompasses a wide variety of backgrounds, lifestyles, and meanings. That’s what the cannabis movement is all about.
What other ways do you defy the “stoner” stereotype? Share your stories with us!