If you’re at a Pink Floyd light show, the odds are the person next to you is high. But what about when you are at a grocery store, or waiting in a procession for your college diploma, or in a voting booth?
Marijuana users come in all forms. They don’t all look the same, especially in today’s world where cannabis is much less associated with its burnout stigma that clung to it during the War On Drugs era.
In fact, there really is no “type” of marijuana user, at least not according to most recent studies. Usage is up in many categories, from baby boomers to young women. With many states and companies loosening laws and policies on drug testing at work, the odds that your co-worker is a cannabis enthusiast may have gone up significantly as well.
As this landscape of marijuana users continues to shift, here are some interesting findings as to exactly who is smoking marijuana these days.
No, Cannabis Users Aren’t Lazy Stoners
The idea that cannabis users are unmotivated high school dropouts is a stereotype that is disappearing, mostly due to the fact that it simply is not true. According to the most recent Gallup Poll, both college graduates and those without a college degree enjoy smoking weed in similar numbers. According to the poll, 12% of college graduates say they consume marijuana while 18% of non-graduates say they consume.
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The authors of a June 2021 study wrote that, “Marijuana users are equal to or more likely to exercise than non-users,” adding that, “the commonly held perception that marijuana users are largely sedentary is not supported by these data on young and middle-aged adults.”
So the idea that cannabis makes you lose your ambition is not exactly a sound argument.
Democrats Are More Green Than Republicans, for Now
According to the same Gallup poll, 20% of Democrats smoke marijuana, while only 12% of Republicans say they indulge (with independent voters coming in between the two at 17%). This statistic alone is likely not all that surprising, seeing how historically Democrats in power have historically been more supportive of cannabis legalization.
However, Republicans and Republican lawmakers are starting to come around to the idea of cannabis legalization, suggesting that perhaps in the not too distant future Republicans may use, or at least support, marijuana as much as Democrats.
Several studies, including one poll we recently reported on, suggest that support for cannabis legalization within the Republican party is on the rise. Republican candidates are even currently supporting and drafting cannabis legislation. This means that in some states, people can vote for a Republican and vote for cannabis legalization at the same time. Times have changed.
Baby Boomer Pot Use Is Booming
It may have taken several decades, legalization and a change in the general societal view of marijuana, but it seems as though Baby Boomers are finally starting to embrace cannabis use in their golden years.
“Consider that not even 10 years ago 0.4% of adults 65 and older said they had used marijuana in the past year, and now it’s 10 times that at 4%,” Benjamin Han, a NYU School of Medicine professor told Reuters in 2020. Han was also the lead author of a study conducted by JAMA Internal Medicine, which discovered this increased cannabis usage he mentioned. While this group still does not consume marijuana nearly as much as younger generations, this increase means that there is perhaps less of a wall between generations when it comes to marijuana use as some might think.
The Future of Cannabis Is Female
While many demographics have shown an increase in cannabis use, none have shot up recently as much as Generation Z women. “Year-over-year sales for Gen Z women, defined as those born in 1997 or later, grew the fastest in 2020 compared to any other cohort, at 151%,” reported NBC News.
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There are many possible reasons for this large spike. Some reasons include the ease and inviting atmosphere of cannabis retail facilities, and also the growing interest to use low doses of marijuana to treat anxiety and other conditions instead of prescriptions. “The future of cannabis is female,” said Bethany Gomez, managing director at Brightfield Group.