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Keep off the grass: Survey finds cannabis users want TV to go easy on the stereotypes

Nine of 10 of the cannabis consumers surveyed identified as ‘present, mindful, open-minded and professional’, unlike the media stereotype.

Legal cannabis consumers in New York City want American television and media to change the way they depict marijuana users, a survey has found. The study was conducted by media and brand consultancy group Miner and Co. Studio.

A majority of the 800 respondents felt that television should do away with its portrayal of “stereotypically silly and forgetful stoners”. Nine of 10 of the cannabis consumers surveyed identified as “present, mindful, open-minded and professional” unlike the “forgetful, bumbling, or sluggish” stereotype in film and television. Of the respondents, 77% had a household income of $75,000 and above, 86% were employed full-time and more than 70% were married with children above 18 years of age.

Negative stereotypes about marijuana consumption hinder greater acceptance and perpetuate stigmas about cannabis, respondents said. About 80% of the respondents said they also want shows to portray characters who use cannabis medically, as that category of consumers faces the same stigmas as recreational users. Eight out of 10 felt that characters on television should be shown consuming cannabis just as they are shown drinking beer, wine or a cocktail, while 73% of millennial respondents said that they would rather watch a character light a joint than drink alcohol.

The study said that cannabis users are an important target group for programmers because they are extensive TV watchers. Respondents said cannabis improved their attention span and interest in television shows. According to the study, a marijuana user is not just more likely to binge-watch a show but also sit through the commercials.

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Towlie, the perpetually stoned towel in South Park.

Miner and Co Studio President Robert Miner told The Hollywood Reporter that while the depiction of the bumbling stoner initially helped “drive legalisation and normalisation” of marijuana, the time has come to move beyond the stereotype.

Even though contemporary television shows like HBO’s Ballers and Netflix’s Disjointed revolve around the cannabis industry, critics have pointed out the outdated writing of the characters in the series.

Wendy Robbins, co-creator of The Marijuana Show, a reality series where cannabis entrepreneurs meet investors, told The Hollywood Reporter that documentaries have been doing a better job of showing cannabis consumption. She cited CNN’s Weed 1, 2, 3 and 4 and Viceland’s Weediquette as examples and noted that the stigma of getting stoned or being seen as stoners often prevents people from stepping out to consume cannabis for medical purposes.

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Weediquette.
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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

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Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.