VICELAND Campaign Further Changes the Stoner Stereotypes
VICELAND is a network that has clearly had no shame in it’s interest in marijuana. Their shows F*ck That’s Delicious, Ancient Aliens, and Weediquette all have heavy themes of marijuana education, reform, or just plain old smoking it. It is one of few companies that are currently using their many platforms to change the way weed is talked about in the media. Recently VICELAND launched a digital campaign called #ISmokeWeed, encouraging all types of stoners of the world to be open about their cannabis use.
The word stoner is somewhat offensive in the cannabis community because of the negative conation behind it. Typically a stoner is seen as someone who gets high all day, eats cheese balls on the couch, and is dumb because of their constant marijuana use. Since the 1950’s that’s been the stigma, and talking about marijuana and being associated with it was such a taboo thing. Even with more than half the United States with legal cannabis, this stigma still exist.
“If we say it, we normalize it
if we normalize it, we’ll legalize it,” VICELAND via Instagram.
In October 2014 there was a total of 1,137,069 legal medical marijuana patients in the United States, that number has steadily grown. But many patients still have to hide their use, for personal or professional reasons. Thus, VICELAND created the #ISmokeWeedcampaign. They highlight many very different individual cannabis user in short clips on their YouTube channel as promo for Weediquette.
There’s Marcus a med school student who uses weed to manage his stress, Julio a grandfather of seven and community leader who has been smoking since he was 16-years old, Joy a successful journalist who smokes to work better, and Robert a business owner who uses concentrate to treat his cancer. All the people featured are from different backgrounds and have different lifestyles but all of them have been long time marijuana users without it harming their life, their family’s lives, or making them a menace to society.
They have also spread the message to their social media, asking users to fill in their #ISmokeWeed mission statement. VICELAND is not the first to do this. Many cannabis activist, marijuana business owners , and celebrities have urged patients to be more open about it in order to further marijuana reform.
“We have got to get out of the closet about our drug use. If you’re a cannabis user, you’ve got to be here and you’ve got to represent,” said Dr. Carl Hart a professor at Colombia University, cannabis activist, and author of ‘High Price‘.
Many other activist and celebrities have spoke out about their cannabis use as well including Nick Offerman, Willie Nelson, Morgan Freeman, Michael Phelps, Bill Maher, and many more.The stoner stigma is outdated and false. Of course not all patients are dirty hippies with no ambition to do anything other than smoke pot all day, but those who are against it or uneducated about cannabis are going to think otherwise if users don’t speak up.