The ever changing views on pot dealer stereotypes
By: Naya Clark
Weed, or marijuana, seems to be growing in popularity, in consumerism and media coverage within the last few months. Between the legalization and decriminalization in various states across the United States including Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, it seems like there’s always news about this plant.
Now, Georgia is jumping on the bandwagon as well.
As of January of 2014, 62 percent of Georgia voters were for the decriminalization of marijuana.
It’s safe to say that Americans are becoming more exposed to weed in the media, especially in the preconceptions of what the stereotypical “weed dealer” looks like.
“If you think about a White drug dealer, they think of the Scooby-Doo, Shaggy guy,” said GPC student William Millhollin.
Unfortunately, this stereotype is shared among many others as well.
“A lot of people would think it’s the Blacks or Hispanics,” said Erwin Cue, a student at GPC.
This can easily be assumed based on the incarceration rate of Black and Hispanic individuals due to marijuana possession, although it is a fairly equal amount of marijuana consumption and possession between Whites and minorities.
According to the U.S Civil Liberties Union, Black men are 3.7 times more likely to be arrested and face harsh charges for possession of marijuana.
In states such as Iowa, it’s a whopping 8.3 times more likely.
In Georgia, Black men are 3.7 times more likely.
In a sample consisting of White and Black youths who completed the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, White youths associated drug dealing with the use of marijuana, hallucinogens, cocaine, and the misuse of prescription drugs, availability of cocaine and socio-economic status.
Black youths associated drug dealing with marijuana use and availability of crack.
In all actuality, it isn’t that society connects the selling of marijuana with color, but rather how a person acts, speaks, or dresses, when none of these are legitimate indicators.
“In reality, it can be anyone,” said Millhollin. “In this generation, it’s just a norm.”
More and more people are starting to sell marijuana in order to make a living.
There are no barriers in regards to socio-economic class, race or gender when it comes to marijuana dealers in America.
Quite frankly, dealing weed is more accessible than things like climbing up the social ladder or inheriting a great family business.
Cue also addresses how the stereotypical straightforward approach of a weed dealer making offers is inaccurate.
“They have their own circle of people, and you don’t know who it is until you meet that circle. If you’re trustworthy, they might introduce you. If not, you’re just a middle man, and they’re not going to let you know,” said Cue.