Social Question

jackm's avatar

What stereotypes do you have about weed smokers?

Asked by jackm (6188 points ) February 10th, 2010

I think many people think drugs make a person bad, or that its a bad decision to smoke.

What do you think?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

57 Answers

phoebusg's avatar

They usually tend to defend the drug – as better than other drugs. If one must do it, I’d recommend a full literature review as to the long list of harmful effects, neuropsychological and medical.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Not bad so much as…slooooooooooooooooow reaction time….at least this is what I have noticed with a few of my weed -puffing friends.Noticeable difference from the time I met them,until now.Woooo

Cruiser's avatar

Usually quite harmless, laid back no biggie really. Sure beats drunks.

Seek's avatar

They have red eyes for a while and they smell bad. Sometimes they get the munchies and eat the last of my Cheetos.

That’s about it.

Beats the hell out of tobacco smokers, that’s for sure.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Buncha smelly Bob Marley listenin’ hackey sack playin’ dopes~

The_Inquisitor's avatar

I still think it’s a bad decision to do weed, but it doesn’t mean that the person is bad.

Blackberry's avatar

Damn liberal punks with their oh-so-cool, laid back mannerisms and colorful smoking apparatus’........lol.

life_after_2012's avatar

A long time ago in a land far way, i would think Cha-ching!$!$!$

Syger's avatar

I don’t stereotype people who smoke weed into one lump, I dilute it a bit further.
Without going too far into my opinions of those who take part in it, I first divide it into two categories; those who do it for their own philosophical enlightenment and those that do it because of social reasons.
I have little to no respect for those who do it for social reasons.
“Weed culture” is retarded.

nicobanks's avatar

Some people think that smoking pot makes you “bad” because it is antisocial behaviour, illicit, illegal! I mean, some people think that doing anything illegal makes you “bad.” That’s fine if that’s their opinion… squeaky-clean, vanilla, I’d even say a tad unrealistic, but fine. To each their own, right? Not my kind of people, but I don’t need (or want) to be friends with everyone, after all.

My public opinion on marijuana is that it is a drug and, like any drug (legal and illegal), it has benefits and drawbacks that must be seriously considered before it is taken; also it is an illegal activity and carries a certain risk because of that which must be seriously weighed. For me, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks and the legal risk is minimal enough that I find marijuana to be a worthwhile drug to take, but everyone has to make that decision on their own, based on their own circumstances. I don’t believe, however, there is any justification for marijuana being illegal, let alone criminal. I think it should be a legal, government-controlled substance.

My personal opinion on marijuana is that it’s one of my favourite things in the world. I first smoked marijuana in grade 8, smoked it casually in High School, and for the past 8 years or so I’ve smoke it daily.

Hobbes's avatar

@phoebusg – The only harmful effects of smoking marijuana I know of are those that come from inhaling dead plant matter, and these can be mitigated by using a vaporizer.

lilikoi's avatar

I have no stereotype. People of all types have done it or are doing it. There are medical benefits as well. If our bodies can withstand being surrounded by known carcinogens like formaldehyde on a daily basis, surely they can withstand a little marijuana. Even ice cream is bad for you if not consumed in moderation.

Hobbes's avatar

LIES! ICE CREAM IS OUR SAVIOR AND THE ETERNAL GLORY OF MANKIND. ITS WORKS ARE MIGHTY AND IT CAN DO NO WRONG. BOW BEFORE IT!

tinyfaery's avatar

None. But I have a few ideas about those who judge pot smokers.

Trillian's avatar

Hehehehe, I’ve heard that people who part their hair down the middle smoke pot. Maybe that’s just because I went to high school in the 70’s and we parted our hair down the middle. Never mind who “we” is. Are. Whatever.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I think of Jeff Spicoli, don’t you?

YARNLADY's avatar

Smoking ‘weed’ is illegal, and people who do it show a lack of respect for the law, and themselves. I would like to see the law changed, but breaking the law is not the best way to do that. Medicinal use is allowed in places, but is still very chancy.

Polluting your lungs and the environment is not a choice I would make, but they are entitled to their own choices, as long as they keep it confined to their own space. I hate the smell of smoke of any kind, including the barbecue, coming into my house.

jonsblond's avatar

Stereotypes? They are usually the nicest people that I know.

Symbeline's avatar

I’ve known, and know, way too many different people who smoke weed, so it’s kinda hard to try and categorize em.

Blackberry's avatar

@Seek Kohlinar Thanks lol, oops.

TehRoflMobile's avatar

The stoners I know, are extremely chill, and tend to be pretty nice. Stuff just doesn’t seem to bug them. They are fun to hang out with, especially if they don’t push you to smoke.

For some reason they get a bad rap by schools, and the government. I personally see alcohol, cigarettes, and McDonalds worse things to consume then weed.

mass_pike4's avatar

i do not have a problem with it, but I do not like individuals who smoke all the time. Here and there is fine by me, but when you live and die for the next fix, it takes the fun out of it

Sampson's avatar

The people I know that smoke weed on a regular basis are infinitely friendlier than those I know that drink on a regular basis.

I doubt it’s the drugs themselves, though. More like what personalities lend themselves to the drug better.

nikipedia's avatar

@Hobbes: What about effects on cognition and mood?

”...heavy marijuana use is associated with residual neuropsychological effects even after a day of abstinence from the drug.” JAMA

”...long-term heavy cannabis users show impairments in memory and attention that endure beyond the period of intoxication and worsen with increasing years of regular cannabis use.” Also JAMA.

“Heavy cannabis use and depression are associated and evidence from longitudinal studies suggests that heavy cannabis use may increase depressive symptoms among some users.” Addiction

“Frequent cannabis use is associated with increased [anxiety and depression] in young adults independently of whether the person also uses other illicit drugs.” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

I’m not saying marijuana is all bad or even that people shouldn’t use it. But to suggest there are no potential adverse effects is incorrect.

desiree333's avatar

That they are very chill, that they have that stoner voice like “dude chill ouuuuttt….” or “raddddddd”. And that they usually wear these really oversize colourful ski jackets at my school. That’s a pretty dead giveaway that they’re stoners. They usually have really slow reaction time, and this dopey, dazed look all the time. Haha but they’re usually right nice, and they tend to flirt with teachers a lot.

Now for the females: Usually slutty, bleach blonde hair, or black. Usually pretty damn skinny, and always have the big jackets with fur on the hood. I know that sounds really random, but I swear every stoner I know fits this profile for the most part. They are usually relentless skippers, and are notorious for taking strictly M classes.

Now that’s just my opinion, and this is for high school kids. EDIT: I’d like to add that the people I know who smoke weed are most of the nicest people I know. Totally harmless, chill people. They remind me of blood-hounds :P

deni's avatar

@phoebusg And then someone could point you to a list of studies that have been done by numerous different groups on how there are no long term negative side effects…..

As for stereotypes, people that smoke weed (but that don’t do it all day, every day) are usually friendlier and more laid back and easy going than those who dont, or those who drink all the time.

Hobbes's avatar

@nikipedia – What I wonder about is the definition of “heavy use”. Does this mean smoking daily or more than daily for a long time?

As for the first point, I believe that’s talking about withdrawl symptoms, which exist for “heavy” users, but are less even than caffeine.

I’m a pretty forgetful and inattentive dude, but I was that way before I started smoking and haven’t noticed any difference. I do understand that this side-effect is the most documented, however. It’s something to take into account, but I seriously doubt it impairs day-to-day functioning to any noticeable degree.

While I haven’t read the study, the point about increased anxiety/depression does seem to fly in the face of what many others have noticed about smokers’ personalities.

You’re right, I shouldn’t suggest that there are no potential effects, but I do think that what’s been found is pretty negligible.

Also, as deni said, there are contradictory studies.

nikipedia's avatar

@Hobbes: If it’s all the same to you, I’d rather not nitpick about the methodology of each particular study. They operationalize their terms differently, but the message is the same: marijuana is simply not harmless. The type and degree of harm are debatable.

The first study is not talking about withdrawal. I assume they asked the heavy users to abstain before the study so that cognitive effects could be attributed to long-term effects of the drug rather than a short-term change in state. (If someone got high and then performed poorly on a cognitive test, that doesn’t tell you much.)

“Negligible” is a matter of opinion, I guess. The adverse effects of marijuana are statistically significant. Do what you will with it, I guess.

wundayatta's avatar

I think I could use some right now, as I am feeling nauseous. But my stereotype of a pot smoker is someone who is not me. Or my wife. Or my kids. Or a few friends. Except for them, it seems like everyone does it.

Hobbes's avatar

Well, my point was just that they may be looking at extremely heavy use, which is atypical of the average marijuana user.

Alright, I’ll accept that there are some long-term negative affects observed in heavy smokers over a long time. Personally, I feel that the risks are small enough that the benefits outweigh them, but as you said, it comes down to opinion.

Dr_C's avatar

They’re all a bunch of stoners?

Jeruba's avatar

Basically none. The variety among people I’ve know who smoked weed, on just about any dimension, is too broad for generalizations.

Aside from actual chemical dependency counselors and people in related CD services, there is just about nobody who could surprise me by acknowledging that they use weed.

However, there is such a thing as marijuana addiction, and I hope the time will come when it’s taken seriously.

Hobbes's avatar

Well, I have gone through minor withdrawl symptoms when I’ve stopped for a while after smoking a lot for a long time. But the symptoms (for me) are mild craving and restlessness (I’d smoke before I went to bed, so I’m pretty sure this was disruption of habit more than anything else) for about a day, maybe two. So, you’re right, it is addictive, but less so than even caffeine.

mattbrowne's avatar

They are very open-minded friendly people, but strangely enough they don’t know how many chemicals are there in a marijuana joint. Tetrahydrocannabinol is seen as a harmless psychoactive chemical, but what about the rest? Are there other substances in a joint that can also significantly increase the risk of lung cancer or cardiovascular disease? Unlike cigarette smokers, weed smokers do not seem to know.

tinyfaery's avatar

What are the rest of the chemicals?

Dr_C's avatar

Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy group, stated in its website article “Research: Definitions and Explanations” (accessed Dec. 7, 2006):

”...there are 483 different identifiable chemical constituents known to exist in cannabis. The most distinctive and specific class of compounds are the cannabinoids (66 known), that are only known to exist in the cannabis plant.

Other constituents of the cannabis plant are: nitrogenous compounds (27 known), amino acids (18), proteins (3), glycoproteins (6), enzymes (2), sugars and related compounds (34), hydrocarbons (50), simple alcohols (7), aldehydes (13), ketones (13), simple acids (21), fatty acids (22), simple esters (12), lactones (1), steroids (11), terpenes (120), non-cannabinoid phenols (25), flavonoids (21), vitamins (1) [Vitamin A], pigments (2), and elements (9).

The very most of these compounds are found in other plants and animals and are not of pharmacological relevance with regard to the effects exerted by cannabis preparations.”

The Mayo Clinic stated in its Aug. 25, 2006 article “Marijuana as Medicine: Consider the Pros and Cons,” published on its website:

“Marijuana contains at least 60 chemicals called cannabinoids. Researchers are evaluating how effective some of these cannabinoids might be in controlling symptoms of certain medical conditions. For example:

*

THC. An abbreviation for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is the main component responsible for marijuana’s mind-altering effect. It also may help treat signs and symptoms such as nausea and vomiting that are associated with a number of medical conditions.
*

Cannabinol and cannabidiol. These compounds have some of the properties of THC, but cause less psychoactive effects — the high. [...]

Also, marijuana smoke contains 50 percent to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than does tobacco smoke and has the potential to cause cancer of the lungs and respiratory tract. Marijuana smoke is commonly inhaled deeper and held longer than is tobacco smoke, increasing the lungs’ exposure to carcinogens.”

Medical Marijuana Home Page > Chemical Composition of Marijuana > Marijuana and Its Byproducts Defined >

What chemicals are in marijuana and its byproducts?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Oakley Ray, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University, and Charles Ksir, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the University of Wyoming, noted in their 2004 textbook Drugs, Society and Human Behavior:

“The chemistry of Cannabis is quite complex, and the isolation and extraction of the active ingredient are difficult even today. The active agent in Cannabis is unique among psychoactive plant materials in that it contains no nitrogen and thus is not an alkaloid. Because Cannabis lacks nitrogen, the 19th century chemists who had been so successful in isolating the active agents from other plants were unable to identify its active component.

There are over 400 chemicals in marijuana, but only 61 [80 as of July 9, 2009; see Editor’s Note below] of them are unique to the Cannabis plant—these are called cannabinoids. One of them, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), was isolated and synthesized in 1964 and is clearly the most pharmacologically active.
Take special note that the relationship of THC to Cannabis is probably more similar to the relationship of mescaline to peyote then of alcohol to beer, wine, or distilled spirits. Alcohol is the only behaviorally active agent in alcoholic beverages, but there might be several active agents in Cannabis.”

[Editor’s Note: Mohamed M. Radwan, Mahmoud A. ElSohly, et al., researchers at the University of Mississippi, reported the discovery of nine new cannabinoids in their Apr. 3, 2009 study titled “Biologically Active Cannabinoids from High-Potency Cannabis Sativa,” published in the Journal of Natural Products. This discovery brings the total number of cannabinoids to about 80, according to an Apr. 12, 2009 bulletin published by the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine.]

2004 – Oakley Ray, PhD
Charles Ksir, PhD

Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy group, stated in its website article “Research: Definitions and Explanations” (accessed Dec. 7, 2006):

”...there are 483 different identifiable chemical constituents known to exist in cannabis. The most distinctive and specific class of compounds are the cannabinoids (66 known), that are only known to exist in the cannabis plant.

Other constituents of the cannabis plant are: nitrogenous compounds (27 known), amino acids (18), proteins (3), glycoproteins (6), enzymes (2), sugars and related compounds (34), hydrocarbons (50), simple alcohols (7), aldehydes (13), ketones (13), simple acids (21), fatty acids (22), simple esters (12), lactones (1), steroids (11), terpenes (120), non-cannabinoid phenols (25), flavonoids (21), vitamins (1) [Vitamin A], pigments (2), and elements (9).

The very most of these compounds are found in other plants and animals and are not of pharmacological relevance with regard to the effects exerted by cannabis preparations.”

Dec. 7, 2006 – Americans for Safe Access (ASA)

The Mayo Clinic stated in its Aug. 25, 2006 article “Marijuana as Medicine: Consider the Pros and Cons,” published on its website:

“Marijuana contains at least 60 chemicals called cannabinoids. Researchers are evaluating how effective some of these cannabinoids might be in controlling symptoms of certain medical conditions. For example:

*

THC. An abbreviation for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is the main component responsible for marijuana’s mind-altering effect. It also may help treat signs and symptoms such as nausea and vomiting that are associated with a number of medical conditions.
*

Cannabinol and cannabidiol. These compounds have some of the properties of THC, but cause less psychoactive effects — the high. [...]

Also, marijuana smoke contains 50 percent to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than does tobacco smoke and has the potential to cause cancer of the lungs and respiratory tract. Marijuana smoke is commonly inhaled deeper and held longer than is tobacco smoke, increasing the lungs’ exposure to carcinogens.”

Aug. 25, 2006 – Mayo Clinic

The Institute of Medicine published in its Mar. 1999 report titled “Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base”:

“The most recent review of the constituents of marijuana lists 66 cannabinoids. But that does not mean there are 66 different cannabinoid effects or interactions. Most of the cannabinoids are closely related and they fall into only 10 groups of closely related cannabinoids, many of which differ by only a single chemical moiety and might be midpoints along biochemical pathways—that is, degradation products, precursors, or byproducts.

Cannabinoids Identified in Marijuana
Cannabinoid Group Abbreviation Known Variants
1. 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol 9-THC 9
2. 8-Tetrahydrocannabinol 8-THC 2
3. Cannabichromene CBC 5
4. Cannabicyclol CBL 3
5. Cannabidiol CBD 7
6. Cannabielsoin CBE 5
7. Cannabigerol CBG 6
8. Cannabinidiol CBND 2
9. Cannabinol CBN 7
10. Cannabitriol CBT 9
11. Miscellaneous types 11
TOTAL 66

Mar. 1999 – Institute of Medicine
“Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base”

tinyfaery's avatar

So what is bad for you?

Jeruba's avatar

@Hobbes, it is not addictive for everyone, probably not for most. Neither is alcohol. But some people do develop a very real and life-disrupting dependency on it.

Hobbes's avatar

Do you mean a psychological addiction? To what extent have you observed this? What do you mean by “life-disrupting”? Do you mean that it becomes their life and they don’t do anything but smoke, or do you mean that the effects of cannabis interfere with their ability to function? Do you think this is an intrinsic property of cannabis or do you think the people you refer to have addicting personalities or are using it to fill some kind of hole in their life?

Jeruba's avatar

If you Google “marijuana addiction help” or “marijuana dependency” or similar topics, you can find some information, including descriptions of symptoms and treatment. I don’t think it is very well understood yet, and even some treatment programs tend to be dismissive of it. Even though it does seem that most users don’t develop an actual dependency, for some people it can be very real. I have seen a little too much of it myself to take it lightly.

It disrupts your life if you lose the power of choice and the ability to function normally. I would consider it a foolish exercise if I were to try to locate the fault in the person versus in the substance. Obviously something happens when you put them together. As a “normie” myself, I can only speak of what I have seen first-hand and what I have learned through education and not of what I have experienced personally.

Seek's avatar

“Also, marijuana smoke contains 50 percent to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than does tobacco smoke and has the potential to cause cancer of the lungs and respiratory tract. Marijuana smoke is commonly inhaled deeper and held longer than is tobacco smoke, increasing the lungs’ exposure to carcinogens.”

However, even heavy marijuana users don’t smoke 60 cigarettes a day, like heavy tobacco users.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Dr_C – Interesting, thanks for sharing this! When I asked

How many chemicals are there in a marijuana joint and in a cigarette?

on August 24th, 2009 I got 27 responses, but no one could really answer the question, see

http://www.fluther.com/disc/53664/how-many-chemicals-are-there-in-a-marijuana-joint-and-in/

Dr_C's avatar

@mattbrowne I aim to please. also. I hadn’t seen that original thread :p

Sampson's avatar

@mattbrowne How many chemicals are there in marijuana compared to a store-bought brownie?

mattbrowne's avatar

@Sampson – What matters is a comparison of what gets absorbed by our lungs or digestive systems, not just the numbers as such.

Sampson's avatar

Then what’s the point of bringing up the number of chemicals in the first place?

nicobanks's avatar

@Dr_C That all sounds like gobbledygook to me. Can you summarize your point?

YARNLADY's avatar

@nicobanks Ha, ha, you are the poster person for weed smokers

Hobbes's avatar

@YARNLADY – I also tend to be unimpressed when jellies post long walls of text that they have obviously copypasted from another website. It seems to me that summarizing the information would have been a much better contribution than simply posting a long and technical section of an article written by someone else.

Dr_C's avatar

@nicobanks basically there’s a lot of bad stuff in weed too. It may be a great therapeutic aide in some cases, but the smoke from marijuana has 50–70% more carcinogens than tobacco smoke, and since it is inhaled more deeply and held longer than tobacco smoke it leads to a longer exposure of lung tissue to carcinogens.

nicobanks's avatar

@Dr_C Thank you. But what is your overall point? I mean, what are you saying this means to people’s lives, and how does this relate to the question?

@YARNLADY What are you suggesting – that I’m so stoned right now I can’t even understand a simple thing? That is not the case.

Dr_C's avatar

@nicobanks my second response (the one which included a list of chemicals contained in marijuana smoke) was in response to a secondary question asked within the thread about that specific topic. My first response to the original question was a joke “They’re a bunch of stoners”. As far as to how this relates to the topic at hand.

I wasn’t making a specific point but answering a question that arose during the discussion in the thread. Now if you want someone to make a specific commentary as to how the chemical composition of cannabis affects people’s lives I suggest you start a thread on the topic.

nicobanks's avatar

@Dr_C Thanks – I didn’t realize your post was a response to something other than the primary question, so thanks for explaining that.

Fernspider's avatar

Personally, I always find it interesting that the topic of health detriments are always raised in instances of the weed smoking debate.

We, as humans, do many things that are detrimental to our health such as consuming junk foods in excessive amounts, drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, fly in planes, fail to adequately exercise, work behind a desk under extreme levels of stress, eating sugar and not taking care of dental hygiene needs, exposing ourselves to the sun with limited if not any protection… the list goes on.

The point is, none of these things are illegal so to use detrimental health effects to justify the legality of something seems somewhat redundant.

What are the other reasons it should be illegal other than for detrimental health effects? Because social effects can also be measured as mild compared to other substances which are legal such as alcohol.

Sorry for derailing the thread but I thought this needed to be raised.

I think people who smoke pot are not worse or no better than anyone who drinks booze or jaywalk or eat chocolate cake – each to their own – causing no harm to others. I see nothing wrong with it and am saddened that governments all over the world can’t at least decriminalise it.

nicobanks's avatar

@Rachienz I agree with you mostly, but a minor technicality: jaywalking doesn’t just endanger the walker, because of course if you were driving and suddenly someone was in front of your car, wouldn’t you swerve or try to stop suddenly? And both of these actions can cause serious accidents, resulting in injury/death.

Fernspider's avatar

@nicobanks – LOL, ok not the greatest example, but I was just trying to make a point with concepts people could relate to.

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