A reader writes:
Unlike your reader, I actually work at a dispensary in LA and can tell you there is no question that 80-90% of customers are men. However, having lived and been a stoner in at least three countries, I am equally certain that most of them smoke with their girlfriends when they get home. And while it is certainly true that women smoke a lot less than men do because of the munchies, it is also true that guys have always done the majority of the buying. Consumption is not as uneven as purchasing.
Women do get high. And most of them like it. That doesn't mean they want to be associated with the culture or stereotypes that come with buying pot whether its from a dealer or a store, so they let their men do the dirty work. No problem though; it's our pleasure.
For many women, anything in life that has safety implications, real or imagined, always plays a role in our behavior.
By safety, I don't mean just potential violence, but standard, run of the mill, everyday bullshit women have to deal with. I would smoke way more if I did not have to handle creeps and/or strangers when I wanted to purchase. Even in a dispensary, like any other public place, women have to face the possibility of bad behavior.
I am a married, female Executive Director of a private non-profit who smokes pot only on the weekends. If I smoked as much as I'd like to (every day), I'd weigh 300 pounds. That is the only reason I don't.
One of your readers commented that "[p]erhaps the obstacle to female toking is a fear of looking lazy. Getting stoned is, in effect, a great way to relax." I wanted to chime in that only Cannabis Indica is the relaxing, lazy type. Sativas on the other hand are energizing/uplifting and tend to spark creativity. (From studies I've read, the majority of "street weed" is Indica, not Sativa, though of course there are innumerable hybrids.)
I've come up with some of my best scientific ideas after a little Sativa, including one that led to an international award-winning research study. Only via legalization will more folks be exposed to the non-lazy type of weed, allowing the stereotype to change.
Not sure if you saw Brian Doherty's new piece, "LA's Pot Revolution," but it's a good read, and also confirms what I told you yesterday – it's mostly guys who are stoners.
The Marie Claire piece on "stiletto stoners" featured in the GMA segment was covered by the Dish last month. For more on how to avoid arrest for responsible cannabis use, see Scott Morgan and Steve Silverman's new video 10 Rules for Dealing with Police. WaPo write-up here.