Most Americans who don't consume cannabis are more worried about stigmas than the potential health risks or legal ramifications surrounding marijuana use, according to the 2018 Civilized Culture Poll.
Civilized has partnered with PSB to conduct a survey of over 1,600 North American adults to explore modern cannabis culture. One thing we wanted to find out was why people are opposed to consuming cannabis. Most respondents told us that it's not the plant itself but the politics surrounding it that has turned them off of marijuana.
Our poll looked at three different kinds of stigmas.
- Being labeled as a 'pothead' or a 'stoner': These terms come with all sorts of negative connotations, such as laziness, being dimwitted and even having questionable morals. Of course we don't believe any of these things to be true for the majority of cannabis consumers, but these stereotypes persist. In fact, 16 percent of people who don't use marijuana said these labels influenced their decision to abstain from marijuana.
- Being a 'bad influence': Considering all of the negative stereotypes associated with marijuana use, it's no wonder that people are afraid of being labelled a bad influence. The fact of the matter is that plenty of people who use cannabis products lead perfectly healthy and happy lives, maybe even more so. Nevertheless, 16 percent of people who don't use marijuana said they were worried that weed might ruin their reputation.
- Being judged: Anyone who participates in a culture that is so actively demonized is liable to get some nasty looks from disapproving friends, family and acquaintances who buy into the misinformation floating around about marijuana (we're looking at you, 'gateway drug' theory). So it's no wonder that 8 percent of people who don't use marijuana said this was why they abstain.
In total, 40 percent of people who don't use cannabis say it's because of stigmas and stereotypes. That's almost double the amount that say they're worried about health risks (24 percent).
The legalization movement has made a lot of gains over the years in terms of changing perceptions of marijuana, but it's clear that we still have a long way to go before society stops looking down on cannabis consumers.
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Read more from our series of stories on The 2018 Civilized Cannabis Culture Poll:
- 70 Percent Of Americans Who Don’t Use Marijuana Agree That It Has Medical Benefits
- Apple Bongs and Other Improvised Pipes Are More Common than Dabs and Topicals
- 1 in 3 Non-Consumers Are Curious About Trying Cannabis in the United States
- From Driving to Sex, Most Consumers Don't Think Cannabis Impairs Their Performance
- Meet the Average Canadian Marijuana Smoker
- Meet the Average American Marijuana Smoker
- Less Than 1 In 5 Americans Oppose Marijuana Reform
- Most Cannabis Consumers Spend More On Charity Donations Than Marijuana Every Year
- The Market For Cannabis Topicals Is Set To Explode
- 3 Out of 4 Americans Believe Marijuana Has Medical Benefits