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NCJ Number: 237484 Find in a Library
Title: Cannabis Normalization and Stigma: Contemporary Practices of Moral Regulation
Journal: Criminology and Criminal Justice  Volume:11  Issue:5  Dated:November 2011  Pages:451-469
Author(s): Andrew D. Hathway; Natalie C. Comeau; Patricia G. Erickson
Date Published: November 2011
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Ottawa, ON K1P 6G4, Canada
Document: PDF
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper sheds light on extra-legal forms of stigma based on in-depth interviews with marijuana users (N = 92) randomly recruited in the city of Toronto.
Abstract: Cannabis (marijuana) has undergone a normalizing process as indicated by high use rates, social tolerance, and broader cultural acceptance of its use in many countries. Yet, consistent with its status as a banned drug, users still face the threat of legal sanctions and experiences of stigma that challenge the assumptions of the normalization thesis. In this paper the authors shed light on extra-legal forms of stigma based on in-depth interviews with marijuana users (N = 92) randomly recruited in the city of Toronto. Notwithstanding indications of a normalizing process in respondents’ understanding and experience of use, mainstream conventional perspectives about cannabis as risky, even marginal or deviant, were prominent as well. The findings are interpreted with reference to Goffman’s (1963) theoretical distinction between normalization and the more apt description of normification reflected in the attitudes of marijuana users. Consistent with the latter term, these data indicate that stigma is internalized by users which results in the active reinforcement and performance of established cultural requirements emphasizing self-control. (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Marijuana
Index Term(s): Canada; Cultural influences; Drug legalization; Drug regulation; Drug use; Personal interviews
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