By Roland Sebestyén
While there are a lot of stereotypes around cannabis users, the results of a new survey suggest that most of them are “false”. Despite the long-standing unfavourable media coverage, the survey finds that “stoners” are generally young, well-educated and creative people.
The Register-Guard reports that the co-founders of Dutchie, an online cannabis marketplace platform, Ross Lipson and his brother Zach Lipson surveyed 5,000 cannabis users a few months ago.
Ross Lipson, the CEO of the company, said: “We wanted to understand who our consumers are. If we know who they are, then we have a better shot at understanding how to reach them. We found that the stigma of cannabis is false.
“We debunked the myth of cannabis. Cannabis consumers are not lazy or lower economic status. Cannabis consumers can be Olympic athletes, professional athletes and are very educated, very productive people.”
According to the survey results, nearly half those surveyed were between the age of 21 and 34; more than half of them were female and 54% were college-educated.
Most importantly, the vast majority claimed that they used cannabis to relax and feel calm as the main reason for consuming.
Beau Whitney, an Oregon cannabis economist, added: “There is no data to support the assertion that cannabis consumers are simply out-of-work stoners.
“The average cannabis consumer makes in excess of $50,000 a year in wages.”
In the UK, the same stigma is affecting even those wanting to get access to medical cannabis – a medicine that is, according to some studies, could and would help millions of people in the country.
However, the stigma is still here. Because of this, just the other week, Drug Science started a campaign to end the stigma around (medical) cannabis use among the youth.
As a poll showed that an astonishing, two-thirds of people aged 18-24 show support for full cannabis legalisation in the UK and 36% of the same group reported that they believed cannabis use to be was “not very harmful,” the organisation wants to reach out to the students in universities.
Mags Houston, Head of Project Twenty21 at Drug Science, said: “We’re not even three years into the legalisation of medical cannabis [in the UK], so it’s unsurprising that the vast majority of cannabis use for medicinal purposes is still via the illicit market.
“We need people to know that cannabis is now a legal medicine in the UK, that the beneficial evidence is growing and we’re trying to make medical cannabis more affordable for those who need it most.
“Students and young people can play a key role in helping us get the word out there by talking to friends and family, putting posters up around their university campuses and ensuring that any healthcare student peers, in particular, are aware of the latest research.”