The gender gap in the cannabis debate
As of today, legal cannabis is the fastest growing industry in Australia. The transformation of the marijuana business from being illicit to legal could be one of the most substantial cultural changes of the century. When it comes to supporting legalisation, men have shown a higher rate of support than women. According to the 2013 Pew Research Centre, 67% of men surveyed support legalisation compared to 61% of women who are in favor of making marijuana products legal.
What is triggering the gender gap?
The gender gap of people in favor of cannabis legalisation for recreational or medicinal purposes triggered researchers to understand the reason behind these results. The studies showed that religion, consumption pattern and parenthood were the primary drivers behind the lack of support. It was also revealed that cannabis consumption pattern and comfort around the drug was another factor contributing to the difference. Women are less comfortable around cannabis (55-42 percent), and women consume less of it than men (55-42 percent). Women who practice a particular religion are less likely to support the drug due to religious sentiments. However, during the research, it was found that parenthood rarely affected the viewpoint of mothers on the legalisation of the illicit drug.
Females who occasionally try the drug have been shown to hide it from others for fear of being judged, or because they imagine a link between intelligence and cannabis use. Under such situations, females are less likely to openly discuss whether legalisation should take place or not.
According to researchers, the gap is likely to narrow as more and more women understand the potential benefits of the drug and come out in open support of cannabis.
What do women use cannabis for?
Men and women have different motivational factors for using and supporting the legalisation of cannabis. While external factors such as peer pressure and availability of the drug are more likely to motivate a male, internal factors such as stress and relationship issues can make women more likely to use marijuana. Women are more likely to combine cannabis with prescribed medicines.
What is the future of how women will use cannabis?
According to recent research, the female audience is increasingly utilizing the drug for problems related to menopause, menstruation and other chronic ailments. Even with 66% of women hiding their cannabis usage, the future is entirely different from current reality. The cannabis industry has started to realize the potential market for the female population and is creating tailored products to seamlessly fit their lives in a way that could see cannabis replacing bad habits such as abusing alcohol or taking sleep medication, or for other purposes. As the industry matures, more consumer products will enter into the market, which will make talking about cannabis easier and more straightforward. Women will feel increasingly comfortable about accepting the open use of cannabis.
The arguments for and against legalising cannabis for recreational and/or medical purposes are likely to continue for the coming years. The gap between male and women preference for marijuana is expected to reduce in the coming years. Slowly, women are adopting marijuana as a wellness tool and making it a part of their everyday self-care. They are realizing how to fit cannabis in their daily regime and are planning to invest in the drug shortly. The day is not far when more women will be advocating for the legalisation of the drug worldwide. The drastic change in the use of cannabis culture represents a tremendous opportunity for women to get involved in the industry.