Thoughts of a Smoker: Weeding Out The Stereotypes
There are many stereotypes in this world. Stereotypes dealing with race, religion, physical characteristics, and even hobbies. The specific stereotypes I would like to address in this Hub, naturally, is the stereotype of "stoners." This stereotypes is given for people who use marijuana. As one of those people, and as an author of Hubs relating to this topic, I've witnessed this ignorant behavior firsthand. So, as my third installment of this series, I'd like to identify and discuss the stereotypes surrounding marijuana and its users.
Certainly, many stereotypes exist for good reasons. And, yes, anecdotes contrary to those stereotypes can have some significance in the discussion. But is it necessarily wise to assume, over such a distorted medium of communication as the internet, that someone who uses marijuana fits the stereotypes to a T? How much can you tell about a person who has a single thing in common with another? Specifically concerning marijuana users, are they all high school drop-outs who have nothing intellectual to say or productive to do?
As you might suppose based on the title of this series, I am a smoker. And while, at least, in my eyes, I don't match the stereotype of a lazy of stupid stoner, does marijuana use lead to that effect on the majority of its users? I think it can certainly be said that the set perception many people have of marijuana smokers is grossly inaccurate, but to what extent? A huge part of the problem is that marijuana has an entire world of affects. It can energize, calm, excite, depress, elevate, or confuse you. It can make you incapable of driving, inspire you to write (this I know from experience!), incapacitate your motor functions, stimulate your senses, and do many other things.
So, as society notes a major misapplication of this plant, which is its use by teens who don't have the highest worth, it also makes the mistake in thinking that this cause to the effect of marijuana is inherent and unavoidable. I've had a Hubber respond (in hub form, not actually commenting or placing me under the impression they were open for logical discussion of any kind) to this series in a Colbert-like manner that seems characteristic of many ignorant people.
It's important to consider: should we hold these people accountable for their mixed up perception as we do with racists? Isn't being raised in a white neighborhood with a C.S.A flag in your yard and being taught that blacks are inferior and useless akin to being indoctrinated in a religious and conservative household and taught that marijuana is evil and its users are the same, and even more useless?
Conclusion and Reflection
When it comes to stereotypes, education and enlightenment are key. People take their cues from society; if your parents are racist, you might be raised in that environment. How does one rid oneself, or others, of these inaccurate mental portrayals of groups of people? Education through discussion and research.
More TOAS Hubs
- Thoughts of a Smoker: Is Marijuana Addictive?
A discussion of how addictive marijuana is compared to other abused substances. Comments encouraged!
- Thoughts of a Smoker: Is Marijuana Immoral?
My first Hub in the series, "Thoughts of a Smoker," which examines and discusses topics relating to marijuana through the eyes of a frequent user.
- Spice - A Cautionary Tale
A story warning of the dangers of the harmful chemicals used in synthetic cannabis.