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.
• 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
• 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
• 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
- 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
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