Class Notes (809,508)
Canada (493,753)
Sociology (2,416)
SOCB50H3 (120)
Joe Hermer (89)


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University of Toronto Scarborough
Joe Hermer

SOCB50 Grass: decriminalization perspective. Showed opposition of marijuana. Came out 10 years ago. Types of people: • constant reaction to use culture. Youth: young women were used and showed the danger of marijuana and how it will corrupt white women. • Historically women have been portrayed as pure/virgin. On the other hand/oppostion they could either be whores/loose. These are 2 extremes prospectives of women. • Femme Fatal: fit between virgin and whore • Hippies: in the period of time 1965-75 there was a cultural war between hippies commonly young ppl and.. • Before hippies marijuana was attached to communists. Like the Mexicans. Marijuana was used to demonize and make mexicans seem deviants. Official truth • Ronald Ragen : he was an official and he would just stand up an lie and say marijuana is the most dangerous to society. Without scientific evidence Moralizing vehicle for symbolic politics: • marijuana is most successful object to regulate ppl Why were these campaigns so effective ? • Howard Becker American sociologists wrote “Becoming a marijuana user” • Does not start from the assumption that certain drugs causes deviance- such as Marijuana smoking • instead studies the sequence of changes of attitudes and behaviour which led to the use of marijuana for pleasure • How is it that ppl learn to use marijuana or socialized marijuana? He suggested 3 reasons 1. Learns to smoke it in a way that produces real effects: you have to learn how much substance you need and the technique to roll it. - you have to know how to smoke marijuana (you cannot smoke it like ciggz) 2. learn to recognize the effects and connect them with drug use: - its a cognitive process as well as a social one 3. Learning to enjoy the sensation he perceives as pleasurable: - Not everyone enjoys the sensation - over time you socially develop this as pleasurable • Becker has shown that the pleasurable effects of marijuana are made socially. • Because marijuana is a social drug and it is a relational experience with other ppl it allows whole groups of ppl to be targeted not just individuals. • Individual ppl are regulated however for ex if one hippi smokes marijuana than they all smoke marijuana • Becker's article reminds us that in this particular context: pleasure is socially constructed which is the reason why we learn what is pleasurable through social experiences - Marijuana is not instinctually pleasurable/desirable but one has to learn or be socialized to find it pleasureable - visible across culture :what one culture finds pleasurable, another might not - Generally speaking pleasure is socially constructed. Its a learned experience • The first drug law in Canada was in 1908 The opiumAct (banned all crude opium, powered opium, and opium prepared for smoking) • Opium was common and used in a lot of medicinal drugs. Used in the open/public • Sherlock Holmes : was an opium addict. 1. The climate of moral reform : flowering of moral reform movements during the time. There was a concern with the state of the nation and almost always racialized. Reform movements invoked reaction. Overly masculine environment. Concern around activities that were a treat to middle class and the working class whom they depended on. One of them was opium. 2. Influence of the International Opium movement: a crack down on opium trading initiated by Britain. 3. Racial hostility : growing racist anti-chines movement in 1980's. In 1958 the first chinese arrived in britain and got jobs making less than their white counterparts. In the beginning on the CPR was when the chinese came in for cheap labour. The increasing asian pop was seen as a threat to Anglo British population.Also seen as economic threat which is paradoxical because there jobs were the worst , paid the least, This is because they were relatively visually visible and isolated as a community. Chinese exported opium, which is why it was easy to use opium as a racist way to target the chinese. “ opium is the chinese evil” - Racism is always gendered
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