Women Have an Important Role for Legalization of Marijuana


According to a new study, women between the ages of 30 and 50 have played an essential role in legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington. Who would have thought? It’s not like that finding is unbelievable, it’s just that one stereotypically thinks that young men between the ages of 21 and whatever would be the leading characters in this story. The whole study is filled with interesting facts, but this one that includes campaigners focusing on women and their reasons why – is most interesting.

Learning form past mistakes

Campaigners in Washington and Colorado have spent some time researching and learning from the Californian experience, among others. They discovered some interesting facts on why some measures have failed, however, the most important finding turned out to be the fact that stating how the money from marijuana taxation would be spent was an important issue for voters.

According to Rick Ridder, president of RBI Strategies and Research, a company involved in campaign strategies for Washington area, there were two key reasons to focus on this group in particular. First, their researches suggested that in California and elsewhere (it’s not clear from the paper) this particular group of women turned out to be initially supportive of cannabis legalization, but could also easily be persuaded to take the “No” standpoint. Second, this demographic was the one that had a positive response to the messages that spoke about money from taxation of marijuana that would go to schools. So, the team came to a strategic conclusion and realized the campaigners needed these women on their side if they wanted to win.

Never assume anything

It was interesting to read that the findings of the campaigners in Washington and Colorado had shown that campaigners in California did the same mistake as we did in the beginning of this article – they assumed that younger demographics’ support would come naturally and because of that they took it for granted, which is why they failed to target specific messages for this important group. “Research shows that women were the key demographic in these historic marijuana campaigns,” says Dave Bewley-Taylor, the research hub’s director and co-author of the paper. “Activists directed much of their attention on 30- to 50-year-old women and, at the end of the day, it was women who made history.”

Moms will end marijuana prohibition

Still, we do find it fascinating that these messages resonated with women from 30 to 50 years of age. Think of it this way – most of these women are mothers and if you’d ask them how they feel about their children consuming marijuana, they would probably turn green in disgust. However, when confronted with the idea of schools getting some of that big money that would come from the taxation of marijuana, somehow they found the whole marijuana movement appealing. It turns out that strategic thinking, as well as lots of research and well-crafted messages can hit the nail on the head no matter what the truth might be. Surely, promises such as better control of youth access through regulated markets assured these moms that they are doing the right thing, but most likely the reality will be different. Still, the fact remains; moms might be the key factors to ending marijuana prohibition.


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