Is the 'lazy stoner' stereotype up in smoke?
Cannabis users are more likely to have full-time jobs and be satisfied with their lives, a new study has found.
At least in places where it's legal, anyway.
The study was carried out by BDS Analytics, a new firm aiming to give the emerging drug market "well-informed decisions based on factual data".
They surveyed more than 2000 people in Colorado and California, where recreational use is legal, including 600 tokers. The participants were divided into three categories - consumers, who use the drug; acceptors, who don't use it but are open to it; and rejecters, who don't smoke and have no plans to start.
Sixty-four percent of consumers had full-time jobs, compared to only 51 percent of acceptors and 54 percent of rejecters.
Consumers were also more likely to enjoy the outdoors (50 percent) compared to rejecters (36 percent), and describe themselves as being creative and social.
Twenty percent reported having a master's degree, compared to 13 percent of acceptors; and marijuana users are also about 10 percent more likely to have children.
In California, the average income of a consumer was about US$20,000 higher than acceptors and rejecters.
"Cannabis consumers are far removed from the caricatures historically used to describe them," said BDS Analytics spokeswoman Linda Gilbert.
"In fact, positive lifestyle indicators like volunteering, socialising, satisfaction with life and enjoyment of exercise and the outdoors are highest among cannabis consumers, at least in Colorado and California."
It's believed to be the first comprehensive comparison of the lifestyles of cannabis users and non-users made in jurisdictions where the drug is completely legal.
It's not clear if the BDS Analytics study conformed to scientific standards. Newshub has contacted the firm for comment.
Link to binge drinking
A separate study carried out in Oregon, where cannabis is also legal, has found use is rising faster in under-21s than those legally allowed to use it.
The Oregon State University also found students who binge drink alcohol are far more likely to use cannabis than others.
"We think this tells us more about the people who binge drink than about the effects of alcohol itself," said lead author David Kerr.
"Those who binge drink may be more open to marijuana use if it is easy to access, whereas those who avoid alcohol for cultural or lifestyle reasons might avoid marijuana regardless of its legal status."
The findings of that study have been published in scientific journal Addiction.