Stoner Stereotypes

The responses I get when I say I’m a Cannabis advocate/consumer

I’ve officially been working in the Cannabis industry for a little over six months (started in February)! And it’s been a super amazing ride so far! Thanks to the amazing people in the industry and everything I’m learning along the way!

I think the best part about it is the reactions I get when I come out and say what it is that I do now and what industry I work in. These responses definitely vary depending on the person I am communicating with. Many of them are very supportive and intrigued since the reputation of the cannabis industry definitely precedes itself.

“WHY?! When did you start smoking?”

This is a response I get from those that have known me for a few years and know that my previous education was in fashion and apparel. Their main concern was really about the fact that I so-called ‘quit’ an industry that I barely got started in. Not to mention these are the ones that are more conservative in their lifestyles and are against anything to do with drugs and alcohol. Hence their strong and alarming response; I always get shook at how shook they are.

My response

I give them an idea of approximately when I smoked my first J, but in terms of why I started to work in the industry. That really depends on whether or not the person wants to hear it, if I feel that it will get argumentative then I drop it, cold. If they do want to know then I explain to them in detail about the positive work the industry is doing to help people and hopefully it will educate them. The response is usually a nonchalant “ok” with a disbelieving tone. [insert *shrug emoji*].

“I was not expecting that…”

Usually a response I get from those that don’t know me at all who I probably met at a networking event that’s non-cannabis related. I’ve gotten this a couple of times here and there but I know it comes from a good place where they are pleasantly surprised. And don’t get me wrong I’m never offended when someone says that. It just goes to show that you can never judge a book by its cover and there are industry business types of all kinds.

My Response

I laugh it off and nod in agreement, although I do always wonder what it was they were expecting. 

“You don’t look like a pothead…?”

This one actually bugs me a little and goes to show how far societal typecasting has gone when it comes to stereotyping potheads and stoners. It’s true, I don’t look like those typecasts. In some instances, it also comes off a little bit like hazing or bullying within the cannabis space, like there’s a certain look in order to be included in the club.

My Response

I laugh it off even though everything inside of me is asking me to educate this person. I mean if you had to describe my look (I actually don’t know how tho describe my look so I asked my best girlfriend to describe my style). She told me that I’m a little bit of a “…J.Crew chic-prep kid with an edge – the girl who looks put together but you best believe she would have an undercut”. So to those who think I don’t look the part. Well… I’m staying. Besides some of the most successful stoners we know of like Seth Rogen and Bob Marley, they are stoners of their own types, and besides their cannabis consumption, they have literally nothing visually in common. So who’s to say what a so-called ‘pothead’ should look like.

Within in the cannabis space, I am a minority within a minority. However, I feel like this gives me an edge and a niche offering to the industry; a perspective that isn’t really recognized, a voice that has yet to be heard. This is also doing the cannabis space a plus as I’m helping with destigmatizing the plant and the people that consume it. It’s a win-win. Although it’s still a slight uphill battle, it’s still an amazing journey to share and document the responses.

Be Blunt, Be B.A.E., just B.

Jess