Dianna Donnelly has been a daily user of cannabis products for 19 years, but while marijuana is now legal from coast to coast, she believes all users are being painted with the same brush in media representation.
“(Media reports) are reusing the same images over and over again, and it’s been like this for many years and nothing has changed, even post-Oct. 17,” said Donnelly.
Though cannabis became legal in the fall, Donnelly says the pothead stereotype continues to thrive because of visuals used in marijuana-related media stories.
When people on the streets of Kingston, Ont., were asked about the first image that comes to mind when picturing a cannabis user, the responses consistently conjured up an image of a long-haired person wearing loose clothing and heart-shaped sunglasses.
One of the ways in which Donnelly is attempting to erase these stereotypes is by taking to the kitchen and creating recipes that include cannabis oils, butters and other products that pair with everyday meals.
“I make cannabis-infused butter, and I sauté vegetables with it. I make scrambled eggs and plenty of other meals that are high in CBD. I’ve also been making my own gummies,” said Donnelly.
Even though the future looks bright for cannabis users who do not fit the stereotypical mould, Donnelly understands that changing perceptions of cannabis users won’t happen overnight, adding that she needs help from other users to challenge these stereotypes.