( ENSPIRE News ) Survey Helps Destigimitize Cannabis Consumption, Beneficial to Black Community
ENSPIRE Contributor: Charlotte Drummond
A recent study from Curaleaf, one of the world’s leading providers of cannabis, actively and authentically showcases how cannabis is used as a means of health and wellness by a diverse range of communities. With the help of the Harris Poll, Curaleaf is able to critically analyze why individuals use cannabis and how those who fall under certain demographics connect to cannabis consumption.
Looking at cannabis as a way to improve health and wellness, the Harris Poll stated that 91 percent of their respondents over the age of 21 consumed cannabis in order to try to better their overall health and wellness. Many individuals who lack education about cannabis mistakenly see the plant as a “party drug” above everything else, but more and more people are turning to cannabis as a way to improve sleep cycles, ease anxiety, and relieve physical pain.
Over the past few years, the cannabis industry has steadily become a multi-billion dollar product. Many states and cities have legalized cannabis and decriminalized its use, starkly contrasting the perception of the plant across generations. Millennial and Gen-Z individuals are walking through life where cannabis consumption is a lot more normalized compared to those who grew up in Generation X and the Baby Boomer eras.
One of the most important effects of the widespread legalization and decriminalization of cannabis is its destigmatization, making room for reflecting on how the negative perception of cannabis disproportionally affects Brown and Black individuals. The influence of the “War on Drugs” still lingers today and hits the Black community intensely, so the growing normalization of cannabis use leads to more and more people getting properly educated on the plant and its true effects.
88 percent of Black Americans that responded to the Harris Poll said that they would recommend the use of cannabis to a friend or family member as a potential way they could improve their overall health and wellness. This statistic intersects not only the increasing popularity of cannabis use for medicinal purposes but also the increasing comfortability of the Black community in terms of suggesting the use of cannabis to those within their communities because of its destigmatization.
The Harris Poll also points out that three out of five Black Americans stated that they would rather turn to cannabis as a potential medicinal solution instead of pharmaceuticals. The trust in the cannabis industry compared to prescribed drugs is evident in these results, showing how the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis consumption have been beneficial to producers and consumers alike.
Overall, cannabis use in the United States has grown less and less stigmatized throughout the 21st century. Surveys like the one from Curaleaf are concrete visualizations of how the perception of cannabis has drastically changed over the years and allow more individuals to look at cannabis as a health benefit rather than an all-consuming drug. You can read more about the results of the Harris Poll here.