It wasn’t so long ago that the idea of a person who partook in marijuana usage—either recreationally or medicinally—was imbued with negative stereotypes. They were seen as lazy, unambitious, prone to crime and unwilling to adhere to society’s norms.
While incorrect, these negative stereotypes had persisted for decades due to targeted smear campaigns and government crackdowns on what was viewed as a “gateway drug”.
If you look at the history of marijuana in the United States, you’ll find some surprising facts concerning the fear of cannabis and its use among the youth. This became especially apparent in the 1960s as the hippie movement began to take hold, and then in the late 1960s, Richard Nixon declared the War Against Drug Abuse, which started a multi-decade battle against cannabis and other recreational drugs.
Legalization and the changing tide of social stigma
In recent years, a subtle but monumental shift in the way society views marijuana has taken place. With the softening of federal crackdowns, states have begun de-criminalizing or even legalizing marijuana for use within their stateliness. Places like Colorado and California are seeing incredible profits from the sale of marijuana.
But it’s not only the United States reaping the benefits of cannabis legalization. Other countries have been quick to follow suit or were even decriminalizing or legalizing the drug before the US. All of these changes have permitted the general public to begin to set aside their pre-conceived notions about smoking cannabis and start to wonder for themselves what it might be like.
While the stereotypes about the “typical” marijuana user may prevail to some extent, researchers are quickly finding that there is no typical user, and they have also found that non-users of cannabis are slowly becoming more accepting of the choices of users, so long as they were respectful.
What’s more, acceptance of medical marijuana use as part of a healthy lifestyle is on the rise. Medical marijuana has been heavily researched and has been found to help treat nausea and loss of appetite caused by chemotherapy, anxiety, and chronic pain.
Medical marijuana and its benefits
While the general public and medical professionals views on marijuana are rapidly changing, users are quickly finding that doctors do not recommend consuming marijuana the way in the most familiar way: smoking a joint.
In fact, smoking dried marijuana rolled in papers carries many of the same carcinogenic risks of cigarettes. Instead, medical professionals recommend users consume the drug in oil or edible form, or use a vaporizer, like these from Lawless.
Unlike smoking, vaporizing greatly reduces the carcinogenic compounds being produced since the marijuana is heated but not combusted. Users may also find that vaporizing produces a more clear-headed high, and that they experience less irritation to their lungs.
If you use medical marijuana at work or before going out into the world, vaporizers produce significantly less smell. This is incredible beneficial for those who have no interest in entering the office or going about their daily errands reeking of marijuana. While vaporizing does produce some smell, it is much more subtle and discreet than the combustion of dry marijuana.