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Who Really Uses Cannabis Today? You Might Be Surprised

For the longest time, marijuana users have been stereotyped as languid, apathetic, and good-for-nothing losers who often end up in the most awkward situations or get into trouble for being drug dealers themselves—definitely someone whom a parent wouldn’t want influencing their little kids. Hello, Saul Silver of Pineapple Express (2008) and Thurgood, Brian, and Scarface of Half Baked (1998).

As cannabis use becomes more mainstream, however, stereotypes that have been so prevalently propagated by the media in the past are now slowly fading into the background. These days, there isn’t a shortage of studies that highlight how cannabis users tend to be more successful with their chosen careers, or how they are more satisfied with their lives, in general.

There also isn’t a dearth of highly successful industry titans, media personalities, and sports stars who were—and are—well-known cannabis enthusiasts. Bill Gates, Carl Sagan, The Beatles, Steve Jobs, Michael Phelps, Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg, Jimi Hendrix, Brad Pitt, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Whoopi Goldberg are just some that come top of mind.

The most recent report (2017) by the Cannabis Consumer Coalition on cannabis consumer demographics and consumption habits corroborates earlier findings that marijuana use is no longer just confined within counterculture movements, and that most cannabis users today are actually contributing members of society with significant economic power.

So, what does your average cannabis user really look like? Read on to find out.

Cannabis consumers come from all income levels

As noted by the Cannabis Consumer Coalition report, cannabis consumers occupy the entire spectrum of income levels in the U.S. The majority of them—35.23%—have combined household incomes of between $26,000 and $55,000, while 27.46% have combined household incomes of over $75,000. This means that only a minority of cannabis users fall under the lowest of income categories.

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Cannabis consumers are professionally accomplished

Another 2017 report from the cannabis consumer research firm BDS Analytics sheds light on the professional performance of cannabis users. The researches studied cannabis consumers and compared them to cannabis acceptors (those who don’t use marijuana but are open to the idea) and cannabis rejecters (those who don’t use marijuana and are not open to the idea of consuming it).

What the researchers found out was that, in the state of California, the average household income of cannabis consumers ($93,800) were much higher than either acceptors ($72,800) or rejecters ($75,900). This provides us with another insight into the economic standing of individuals who use marijuana.

A majority of cannabis users are millennials

According to the Cannabis Consumer Coalition report, 40.79% of cannabis users belonged to the 21-35-year-old age group. Another 25.75% belonged to the 36-45 age group, 16.17% to the 46-55 age group, 12.59% to the 56-65 age group, 3.76% to the over 64 age group, and just 0.94% to the 18-20 age group.

These results should come as no surprise, considering that a report from the Pew Research Center also revealed that support for marijuana legalization is strongest among millenials (18-35 age group)—71% of whom support legalization. Among the Generation X (36-51 age group) demographic, 57% supported cannabis legalization, while a slightly lower 56% of Baby Boomers (52-70 age group) said cannabis should be legalized.

All this information has significant political implications since the age groups that support cannabis legalization the most also represent the majority of voters who go to the polls each year.

A majority of cannabis users are women

Further discrediting the male stoner stereotype is the finding by the Cannabis Consumer Coalition that female cannabis consumers (58.35%) outnumber male cannabis users (41.65%).

This information should be promptly taken into consideration by cannabis producers and marketers to ensure that their communication strategies are not alienating to women consumers.

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Cannabis consumers love the outdoors

In addition to having higher average household incomes, cannabis consumers also enjoyed the outdoors better than their rejecter counterparts. According to the BDS Analytics report, 50% of Colorado consumers and 57% of California consumers said they loved outdoor recreational activities. Compare these to 36% of Colorado rejecters and 26% of California rejecters. These figures highlight the fact that a lot of cannabis consumers actually want to spend their time outdoors, disproving the myth that most of them would rather spend their days loafing around indoors.

Hopefully, these statistics provide the general public with a better picture of what cannabis consumers are really like. While marijuana users encompass a broad stroke of people from all walks of life, the characteristics of the majority of them present a picture that is very much opposite to the stereotypes that have been perpetuated by the media for a very long time.