ANTH106 Drugs Across Cultures !
Week 4 Cannabis!
Cannabis Background !
THC - most responsible for producing the high !
-content depends on the potency of the plant - female plant more potent = soil, climate, part of
plant - ﬂowers more potent than leaves, all eﬀect the content !
-Sinsemilla marijuana: THC content 25-25%!
-Hash oil: 30-80% = highest TCH content !
Cannabis: A brief History!
Cannabis originated in Central Asia - possibly the Himalayas !
References to cannabis in medical and religious text from China and India !
In the West Cannabis many used as Hemp - source of ﬁbre for ropes and sail clothe - canvas in
sail cloth comes from cannabis - strong !
Early 17th century growing it for hemp purpose !
America Independence 1776 - Hemp production, particularly cloth, had become a large scale
industry, and remained so for about 100 years!
Levis jeans made for 1849 gold rush miners - marketed as being so strong no one would ripe
pockets in rivets !
Hemp still grown in Canada that has legalised Hemp - max. THC content in Canada is .3% - every
Hemp farmer criminal record checks !
-Hemp was THE strong ﬁbre until cotton jin in end of 19th Cent - labour saving time saving and
made cotton more economic than Hemp !
-Quiz: Medical use:!
-Irish doctor, W.B. O’Shaughnessy - credited with intro of med use of cannabis - he was sent in
1833 to work in Bangal, for the East India Company Surgeon, while in Bangal, carried out
numerous experiments with cannabis on both humans and animals in India, and he later
introduced the drug in the form of Hashish to pharmacists in England !
-Hemp was already over in the States, making jeans - but Irish doctor brought Cannabis as
-1842-1900: medical profess primarily using cannabis for a range of medical problems that
included melancholia, mental illness, migraine, insomnia, uterine bleeding and opium addiction !
-Everyone in medical profession saw it as miracle drug !
-- lost popularity b/c 1. Varying THC content, diﬀerent to judge does 2. Insoluble in water -
eﬀects slow and delayed b/c hard to inject !
-Why they bake them into brownies b/c it is soluble in fat !
Social locus of use !
-the drug use of a socially suborindate group becomes a symbol of use that possess as a threat
to the dominant class !
-Lower class using drug becomes symbolic of the threat the possess from that class to the
dominant class !
-Drugs become scapegoats for wider social fears as the the drugs were the cause of these fears !
-Meth portrayed as the problems that plague small town Australia - scapegoat for domestic
violence and lower wage !
-Ganja in Jamaica - introduced in 1830 by indentured plantation workers - had to go there to
pay back cost of trip !
-Ganja - word for marjiuana - introduced by these labourers and spread to used by African
population of former slaves in Jamaica!
-1870s - 70% of working population was using cannabis, mainly smoking - racist dimension !
-Middle class was consuming it, but as a tea - working class smoking it in ﬂuids - middle class
portrayed smoking as vulgar of the rural poor - associated with crime, violence and laziness !
-Gania smoking became a scapegoat for !
-Workers smoked it for sociability in the ﬁelds !
-Anslinger - min. Sentences for smoking - considering Jam of African descent - angered the
workers - trade union formed from anger to ban it !
-Marcus Garvey - encouraged Jam. To think of Christ as black and organise their own church,
black Messiah, emperor was proclaimed as the fulﬁlment of that process 1940? !
-Followers were governed by strict rules of conduct - no alcohol, gambling, don’t cut their hair !
-Kaya - Ras Tafari name for cannabis - they say biblical references to grass - enhances
commitment both with god and humans !
-Diﬀerent groups have radically diﬀerent idea about the one drug !
-Rape and murder and enhances commitment to God !
-1958 - dissident movement of working class - threat to social stability !
-That wanted to suppress movement but not appear racist - they strike Ras Tafari with law - !
-Ras Tafari follower - Bob Marley - lyrics refers to Kaya - dedicated user of marajuana - key
players responsible for popularising the drug in the US and UK - counterculture hero!
Symbolic Dimensions of Cannabis !
-image of drug of violence 1930 to mid-1960!
-1970 drop out drug - lack of motivation, withdrawal from reality, inability to cope !
-Change from violence to people with no motivation !
-Image changed b/c social locus of use changed !
-Marajuana - middle class youth - failure of youth to be socially competitive - drug takes on
characteristic of that particular user in society - youth resisting achievement ideals and middle
class values of 1950s and subscribing to tune in, drop out ethos - drug takes on these
characteristics of intra-class conﬂict !
-Jamica interclass, US intraclass, conﬂict between generation within the same class !
-Symbol of counterculture as perspective by dominant people in society - !
-Drug blamed for youthful deviance !
-US gov. considers it a non-whtie threat - Oregon one of whites states in US - racist - white
remains unmarked and neutral when it comes to blame of drug problems !
Cannabis Legislation !
-in US not technically legal - tax act made it practically illegal but big money could !
-1961 - made it illegal for all countries part of act !
-1987 - decriminalised cannabis for small possession !
-Hydroonic cannabis stricter - associated with diﬀerent dangers of re-wiring house to grow the
crop in your house !
-NSW up to 15g, 2 cautions = only no prior drug or violent oﬀence, no co-current oﬀence - likely
to get caution if white rather than indigenous !
-written policy of non-enforcement for I to 30g of cannabis !
-half way between criminalisation and il-legalisation = de-facto legalisation !
Most countries illegal b/c of UN convention !
-continued prohibition cause is !
The Sinister Reason Weed is Illegal !
-US over counter medication !
-Weed was legal !