If Hollywood plans to capitalize on the average cannabis consumer, a new survey finds that it needs to abandon the use of stoner stereotypes in its productions.
It seems that marijuana users, the same market targeted with the recently canceled Netflix series ‘Disjointed’, are no longer okay with being represented on screen as burned out, lazy and absent minded. These folks, many of which are gainfully employed and have families, want the television and motion picture industry to get up with the times, toss the Cheech and Chong script template into the trash and show the cannabis culture in a more accurate light. If not, the success of future productions could be in jeopardy.
The survey, which was released on Wednesday by New York strategic research agency Miner and Company, shows the cannabis community wants Hollywood producers and writers to help change the perception surrounding people who use marijuana. They feel that as long as the “dumb stoner” character is being portrayed in the mainstream media, it will be more challenging getting society to embrace the scene without the prejudices that have infected it for the past several decades.
“Media has played an incredibly important role in the societal acceptance of cannabis consumption, but there’s still work to do,” Robert Miner, president of Miner & Co. Studio, said in a statement. “The same recognizable trope of the harmless silly stoner that drove normalization has now become an impediment to acceptance for productive and engaged consumers of cannabis.”
Consumers in both the recreational and medical marijuana sectors want to see change.
“Recreational consumers feel concern that non-consumers of cannabis will take them less seriously and question their judgment,” Miner added. “And consumers of medical marijuana too often find that they need to be careful discussing their use with some peers or employers who may see them as unreliable or lazy based on ingrained stereotypes of cannabis use – even for medical needs.”
Hollywood executives might want to take notice.
Seventy-seven percent of the cannabis consumers polled in the latest survey earn a salary of more than $75,000 per year. These people are professionals, who not only have the discretionary income to buy cannabis products, but also to go the movies and pay the subscription fees for streaming services. So while it might be a lot more fun to show stoners and potheads getting ripped out their minds on weed and bungling their lives, a more accurate account of the cannabis culture would be better received.
“TV and media in general have played a role in reinforcing these perceptions,” Miner said. “When a character on a show drinks a beer or a glass of wine, they aren’t presented as an out of control drunk or an alcoholic – but consumption of cannabis in any amount far too consistently turns that character into a zoned out bumbling stoner.
“The creative community has an opportunity to recognize the impact of these representations and present cannabis consumption in a more positive light to help overcome the stoner stereotype that casts a stigma on key members of their audience,” he added.