We all know the “stoner” stereotype that’s typically been associated with smoking marijuana. Pot smokers are portrayed in the media as the underachiever who loses their train of thought mid-sentence, chuckles, then walks off to listen to some Bob Marley while looking for their DVD of “Half Baked”, which they were just watching and is still running on the TV.
Exaggeration yes, but the fact is that many people still see marijuana users as “different”; that they belong to a subset of the population simply because of the marijuana. A harmless stoner with no direction in life. Someone to be tolerated but not admired or emulated.
And the fact is that there are those types of people who smoke weed. Many of us probably knew someone growing up who probably fit the bill. But the stereotypical stoner is just a minuscule percentage of the millions of people who smoke pot. Most are just like anyone else. Marijuana isn’t a defining part of these people’s lives and hasn’t “fried” their brains.
The stereotype is part of the stigma that’s been attached to weed. A stigma that’s driven most people to be “secret smokers“. And the fear is real in that smoking pot can get a person arrested or fired. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle that is starting to be broken, but the latest marijuana surveys show that there is still a disconnect between people favoring legalization and their willingness to admit their own marijuana use.
So there is still a ways to go before people view marijuana as they do now with more dangerous substance such as alcohol. People don’t assume everyone who drinks is a drunk, nor do they think if someone drinks alcohol that somehow makes them different from themselves.
Toward that end, the Drug Policy Alliance has release a set of stock photos for use by the marijuana news media.
Realistic Marijuana User Stock Images
Media outlets continue to use stereotypical “stoner” images for otherwise serious news stories about marijuana. The Drug Policy Alliance is offering an alternative: stock photos of real, everyday people who use marijuana.
These photos are open license and free to use for non-commercial editorial purposes, and we hope they will help make the jobs of editors easier and the content more relevant.
Images must be credited, and may be used for editorial purposes only. No commercial use is permitted.
We’ve selected a few of the DPA’s realistic marijuana user stock images and include them here for your viewing. Enjoy!