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Lecture 10

Drugs & Society Lecture 10 Notes (2.28.14)

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SOCL 1295
Lisa Ferruccio

Lecture 10 1/15/14 11:48 AM Effects of Marijuana Acute physical effects: • Hunger • Dilated pupils • Bloodshot eyes • Dry mouth • Dazed/being out of it • Slower motor skills o Pilot study (1985) tested marijuana effects on driving performance. After 4 hours most pilots said they couldn’t fly, after 24 hours they all said they felt fine, but performance did appear to be worse Psychic effects: • Dazed • Calms you down • Paranoia • Happy • Sleepy • Philosophical discussions • Observant Based on results from numerous studies, the most dominant and obvious impression is that: • Users overwhelmingly describe their experience in favorable and pleasurable terms • Marijuana use is largely recreational o Used as a means of enhancing pleasurable activities but not in conjunction with activities that require intellectual effort of precision and motor coordination ▯ Exceptions: musicians, artists, snowboarders? Chronic Effects • Contradictory research findings • Studies are fraught with complications • One major difficulty in tracing marijuana’s chronic effects is that there are very few marijuana-exclusive drug users • The only negative finding that seems not to have been refuted or seriously qualified elsewhere is the one indicating that heavy, chronic cannabis use is related to impairment of lung functioning o But not related to lung cancer Who Uses Marijuana? Three interrelated sets of variables that are casually related to marijuana use: Structural variables: (sociodemographic factors) • Age- most strongly correlated o Why? o Two life circumstances that are connected with the adolescent-t-young adult range relate to unconventional behavior: ▯ Growing independence from adult supervision and relative freedom from adult responsibilities • Sex- in general, males are significantly more likely to use marijuana than females- discrepancy becomes increasing pronounced as level of use increases: o M/F ration is 1.2 for lifetime use; 2.7 for daily use o Thus, males are slightly more likely than females to use marijuana at all, considerably more likely to use it regularly, and much more likely to use it heavily and frequently o What might explain this? Social-interactional variables (interpersonal relationship- friend’s use of marijuana) • Peer Influence- the use of marijuana by an individual’s friends is massively and overwhelmingly correlated with his or her own use of the drug o Difference from peer pressure- How? Peer pressure is when someone actively gets you to try something, peer influence is more laid back, no pressure • Adolescents report more similarly with their friends in marijuana use than in any other activity • Almost no-one becomes involved in marijuana use who does not have marijuana-using friends o What theory does this sound like? Subculture theory, differential associations, social learning theory • Debunks the peddler and outcast myths o Peddler- someone on the playground selling joints, getting you addicted o Outcast- above the influence ads, you wont be yourself, your friends will
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