To say it’s been a big year for cannabis in North America would be a serious understatement.

From the doubling of America’s recreationally legal states to the recent unveiling of Canada’s own nationwide cannabis legislation, the legalization movement has experienced more than a few critical gains since last 420.

That said, certain outdated and harmful stereotypes about cannabis - most recently touted by a certain U.S. Attorney General who bizarrely deemed cannabis “only slightly less awful” than heroin - persist.

That’s why data like that gathered from our 2017 Cannabis Culture Poll is more essential than ever.

In our survey of 1,600 cannabis-consuming and non-consuming North American adults – conducted in partnership with PSB – we uncovered further evidence that many of the stale, still-circulating stereotypes about cannabis consumers couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

Among our most illuminating findings is the fact that - contrary to the popular belief that cannabis consumers and couch potatoes are one and the same - cannabis users often get more physical exercise on average than non-users.  The results revealed that 28 percent of American cannabis users work out an average of 1-2 times a week, compared to 22 percent of American non-users. In Canada, 33 percent of cannabis users said they worked out once or twice a week, compared to 29 percent of Canadian non-users. 

And when they’re not hitting the gym, cannabis users are often more likely than non-users to have active social lives. For example, while 19 percent of U.S. cannabis users attended a concert or music festival in the last three months, only 10 percent of non-users in the U.S. did the same. The data was similarly encouraging in Canada, with 19 percent of cannabis users getting out of the house to enjoy some tunes compared to 11 percent of non-users.

Healthy & Active Life

While these findings may differ largely from the public perception of cannabis users, they validate what Civilized is all about - defying the conventional wisdom and clichés surrounding cannabis use; that, and enjoying a healthy and balanced lifestyle - the kind that, for countless people in North America, includes cannabis.

This poll tells us that opinions are indeed shifting - with roughly 79 percent of Americans and 81 percent of Canadians supporting legalization in some form. When asked about which substance has the worst long-term effect, cannabis consistently ranked the lowest among those surveyed, with fewer than two percent of North Americans fearing marijuana more than alcohol, tobacco, opiates, stimulants and hallucinogens.

All this said, there’s still a lot of work to be done in the ever-evolving cannabis world. We aren’t shying away from that work, and we encourage you to follow along. 

Derek Riedle is the publisher of Civilized.

Civilized partnered with PSB to conduct a survey of more than 1,600 North American adults to explore modern cannabis culture. PSB is a world renowned global strategic communications advisory based in Washington D.C. With roots in innovative political campaign strategy, PSB is a full-service research and insights agency engaging blue-chip organizations across all sectors.

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