Marijuana has long suffered defamation and image assassination. The plant has previously been portrayed as a gateway drug as well as a substance used that contributes to crime.
The plant has been associated with laziness and failure. Consumers of the plant are therefore scorned and ridiculed. The stereotype is so bad that in some parts of the world, people who use the plant cannot even tell their close associates that they are users.
However, a new study conducted by a US-based market research company, BDS Analytics, has revealed that the negative stereotype about marijuana is after all, not true. The study proved that marijuana users are in fact the most satisfied and successful, compared to that of non-users in our society.
BDS Analytics said it surveyed users of marijuana and non-users across a wide variety of mental, social and financial factors. These included life satisfaction levels, attitudes towards parenting and employment data. The study was conducted in two US states, California and Colorado, where marijuana sale and use is legal.
In California, the study discovered that 20 percent of marijuana users had graduated with a master’s degree while just 12 percent of non-users had a master’s degree. This means the stereotype of low motivation and under-achievement associated with marijuana users is incorrect.
Regarding household income, the study showed that those who use marijuana are able to make around $93,800 while non-users of the plant could make $70,000. This clearly shows that marijuana users are richer than non-users.
In Colorado, it was found out that 64 percent of marijuana users had full-time jobs. On the other hand, 54 percent of non-users had the same full-time jobs.
The study also proved that marijuana users are responsible. In California, it was discovered that 64 percent of respondents who are marijuana users had started a family. But for non-users, their figure stood at 55 percent.
In terms of life satisfaction, nearly five in ten Colorado consumers agreed that they are more satisfied with life today than they were a year ago, compared to about four in ten among those who avoid marijuana, the study revealed.
The study also shed light on health habits and social activity among users and non-users of marijuana. In Colorado, 36 percent of consumers described themselves as “very social people,” whereas only 28 percent of marijuana avoiders said the same.
In both Colorado and California, consumers of marijuana told the researchers that they enjoyed outdoor recreation at significantly higher rates, but non-users had a lower outdoor recreational habit.
When it comes to helping people too, it was discovered that users of marijuana have a more compassionate heart than non-users. 38 percent of users were found to be volunteering their time to help people who need it. As for non-users of the plant, 25 percent of them offer their time to help others.
Head of the Consumer Research Division at BDS, Linda Gilbert lauded the study. She said in a press statement: “Cannabis consumers are far removed from the caricatures historically used to describe them.”
Public support for marijuana is at an unprecedented level in the United States. More and more studies of the medicinal qualities of marijuana are being published on a more regular basis. But the US federal government has refused to delist the plant from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act.