How do you think legalization has changed perceptions of stoners or marijuana in general?
Elite athletes, your neighbor’s Labrador and the older couple at the Senior Center: The face of weed and who uses it has changed. As more and more people get comfortable with the idea of cozying up with a joint, the Summit Daily took to the streets to find out if people’s perceptions on marijuana and marijuana users are changing. Here are their answers:
Kellen Schultze, Wildernest
I feel like it’s become less comical, you know, like the typical stoner. I think it’s come to be more, just normal, I want to say. I think it’s been good with taxes, helping out school districts and stuff like that, but I definitely have started to see stereotypes fade. If you look back east, if someone smokes weed, they’re like the typical stoner, but out here it’s everyone and their mother.
Garrett Berndt, Silverthorne
To me, I’ve only been out here for two seasons, and I can already see what money from the marijuana industry does for roads, for example. There will be a pothole, and it seems to be a pretty quick turnaround where they can find the money to get it fixed. Not even being out here that long, I’m already seeing the benefits. It’s that glass of wine, that beer at the end of the day, but I think just the contributions from it, the things that were put in place where the money’s going to go, I think that’s great. How much money we have to spend on the state is what blows my mind. And marijuana just passed our biggest crop; that’s crazy. It’s like corn or wheat how many people have accepted it.
Mike Knapp, New Jersey
You know what, it opened up my mother. My mother definitely was against weed, and then she came here because I hurt my shoulder and I was rehabbing myself, and I got my mom to buy me weed. And now my mom is starting to think about smoking weed. So it definitely changed her opinion on it. It’s the creams and edibles; that is what is changing people’s opinions.
Rafael Garzon, Columbia, South America
It’s just the fact that you can go to the store and get it over the counter instead of having to go to a shady place to someone who — it’s just the danger of it. Like I used to live in Florida, and it’s like you’re panicking all the time when you go buy something like marijuana. There’s just no panicking anymore. You also get to see the people who smoke for real, like you go to the store and you don’t see people who look like the typical stoner. It’s just like something that everybody does, I think, but it’s different when you go to the store and you see all these people there. In Florida, everybody is really discrete because it still has a bad reputation. There are still all the consequences with it. It’s definitely different (here), it’s like peace of mind.
Matt Fitzsimons, Dillon
I think it’s had some positive changes to it. It’s definitely a lot more casual here than it is most places. I’m from Michigan, where you don’t really bring that up at all to people unless it’s your friends. But (legalization) makes (marijuana) a lot more acceptable out here. I feel like it’s like having a beer or a glass of wine, or something where I’m not going to get stigmatized for being a pothead or somebody who doesn’t work hard. You’re seeing a lot of people make a lot of money in this industry, working really hard, and it’s all from cannabis. It’s definitely changed my perception on it, too.
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