If I Use Marijuana Will You Hold It Against Me?

Posted on 07 May 2016

 

Marijuana:  It's Not Just For Hippies Anymore

I hope you enjoy this article I wrote for the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) website!

Someone, someday is going to demonstrate their disapproval of you by choosing a distinguishing characteristic and labeling you with it. Like horse face. Or eagle beak. Or pothead stoner.

It’s called stigma, and it’s a form of prejudice that is especially fascinating to me because I’m one of the cadre of professionals who wants to bring cannabis out of the alley and onto Wall Street.

I am the co-founder of AnnaBís, a company making fashionable, functional and odor-controlled accessories to carry cannabis. We’re dedicated to helping women feel free and sophisticated when carrying their medicine, recreational supplies or both.

So we asked Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) to ask a nationally representative sample of 800 Americans, 18+ about their attitudes toward people who consume marijuana, alcohol and cigarettes. We wanted to know: Who is most judgmental? Against whom? For what?

Here’s what we learned:

  • More than half of people surveyed either don’t care or are favorably disposed about marijuana usage among their friends, co-workers and family members.
  • Nearly 50% are neutral or favorably disposed about the marijuana usage of teachers, elected officials, doctors and police officers. Though all respondents were most judgmental of police officers who consume cannabis, even in this group more than 4 in 10 either don’t care, or are favorably disposed.
  • Alcohol remains less of a stigma, but cigarettes are pretty close to cannabis when you consider they’re a legal product.

The overarching question we asked was:

“How would your opinion of each of the following people change if you knew they were a responsible consumer of marijuana / alcohol / cigarettes? (Much more favorable, somewhat more favorable, no more or less favorable, somewhat less favorable, much less favorable)

Table 1: Showing % much more favorable + somewhat more favorable + no more or less favorable among all respondents

 

Showing % much more favorable + somewhat more favorable + no more or less favorable among All

Marijuana

Alcohol

Cigarettes

Friend

61

88

66

Co-worker

59

86

67

Family Member

57

87

62

Teacher

48

82

59

Elected official

46

81

65

Doctor

45

79

51

Police officer

43

81

65

 

We also learned that Republicans are the most judgmental about marijuana consumption, particularly when it involves police officers, doctors and elected officials. And the majority of Democrats say they are either more favorable or no more or less favorable towards people who are responsible consumers of marijuana across the board:

Table 2: Showing % much + somewhat more favorable + no more or less favorable / % somewhat less + much less favorable by political affiliation (shading indicates majority say either more favorable or no more or less favorable)

 

Showing %, ranked by total more + no more or less favorable

All

Republican

Democrat

Independent

Total favorable + no more of less fav / Total unfavorable

Total favorable + no more of less fav / Total unfavorable

Total favorable + no more of less fav / Total unfavorable

Total favorable + no more of less fav / Total unfavorable

Friend

61/39

40/60

76/23

62/38

Co-worker

59/41

38/63

75/24

60/40

Family Member

57/43

39/61

71/29

58/41

Teacher

48/52

32/68

66/34

46/55

Elected official

46/55

30/71

62/37

42/58

Doctor

45/55

29/71

62/38

41/58

Police officer

43/57

29/71

57/43

40/60

 

Based on 61 percent of Americans being in favor of marijuana legalization (according to AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research) and our data reflecting positive or neutral attitudes about responsible consumption among key community members, we think we’re experiencing a tipping point in favor of tolerance and choice. Additional findings are coming soon, and this will serve as a benchmark to see how things have changed in a few months. We’ll keep you posted!

 

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