Where Are All The Female Potheads?



01_dazed_and_confused2 Photo: Via Salon.
With all the medical marijuana advocacy and decriminalization of weed going on these days, people are taking advantage of the drug's medicinal and recreational properties at an increasing rate. And though there are plenty of women getting their smoke on, it looks like we're often afraid to admit it.

One Salon writer, Hayley Krischer, wonders if this might have something to do with how we portray pot-smoking women in the media. She points out that there are plenty of films that basically function as vehicles for bros to bro out over bongs, but asks: Where are all the depictions of ladies lighting up? Nowhere, it seems.

Krishcher notes that approximately 9.6% of men and 5% of women in the U.S. currently smoke weed — and while that's more men than women, 5% is hardly an insignificant number. So, women are smoking weed, they're just being quieter about it.
02_KnockedUp Photo: Courtesy of Universal.
She posits that women are more comfortable identifying themselves as drinkers who use alcohol to relax; they're more likely to uncork a bottle of wine than fire up a vaporizer. So, when we smoke, we smoke alone or in secret — and we're less likely to bring up our after-work pot habit while chatting around the water cooler.

But it has to go deeper than that. And, if there's a greater stigma for women around smoking weed, where does it come from? Krishcher chats with Sabrina Fendrick of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Women’s Alliance, who guesses that it's perhaps the "slacker" image of the stoner that scares women off. Since women are still working extra-hard to be taken seriously in the workplace, however disheartening that may be, perhaps we fear aligning ourselves with a culture so strongly associated with Fritos and relaxation. But, whatever the reason, here's hoping that women find their own mellow voice in the world of weed. (Salon)