Stoner stereotypes have been around for decades, since the days of the classic ‘Cheech and Chong’ flicks, and even before. A new study conducted by New York-based strategic research agency Miner and Company indicates that legal cannabis users are ready to see various forms of the entertainment they consume shred the tired pothead trope.
Of the 800 participants in the survey, 77% of them are employed full-time and earn an annual salary of $75,000. About three quarters of the participants were either married or in a long-term relationship, and also had children. These figures are obviously a small sample size, but clearly an indication that Hollywood and other entertainment behemoths need to get with the times, and stop portraying cannabis consumers as losers and buffoons, baked out of their minds, too incompetent to function in the real world. Netflix recently canceled its series ‘Disjointed’, which was chock full of stoner stereotypes, with a few positive industry characters sprinkled in. It’s not clear if this is the reason why Netflix canceled the series, but it wouldn’t be much of a surprise.
“Media has played an incredibly important role in the societal acceptance of cannabis consumption, but there’s still work to do,” Robert Miner, president of Miner & Co. Studio, said in a statement. “The same recognizable trope of the harmless silly stoner that drove normalization has now become an impediment to acceptance for productive and engaged consumers of cannabis.”
Of the 800 survey participants, about 8 out of 10 feel that cannabis consumption in TV shows should be no different than seeing a character consume an alcoholic beverage.
“TV and media in general have played a role in reinforcing these perceptions,” Miner said. “When a character on a show drinks, they aren’t presented as an out of control drunk – but consumption of cannabis in any amount far too consistently turns that character into a zoned out, bumbling stoner.”
Because of this outdated stigma still placed on cannabis consumers, many of those who don’t partake might still place similar judgments on those who responsibly enjoy the plant medicine.
“Recreational consumers feel concern that non-consumers of cannabis will take them less seriously and question their judgment,” Miner added.
One show that comes to mind that actually tended to break the mold of the age-old stoner stereotype was the Showtime series ‘Weeds’, which spanned 8 seasons from 2005-2012. While the show had its share of other stereotypes, at least it portrayed some cannabis users as wealthy professionals who happened to have a goofy side – my personal favorite of which being Councilman Doug, played by Kevin Nealon.
What are some shows or movies that you appreciate for their more accurate portrayal of responsible cannabis consumers? Let us know in the comments.