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Cannabis: An ethnographic exploration of individual trends and socio-cultural context

Tildelt: kr 0,40 mill.

This project aims at gaining deeper insight into individual trends and trajectories among different types of cannabis users in connection with widespread socio-cultural developments that serve as a contemporary context within which these trends are being expressed.The point of departure for this project is based on the hypothesis that the use of cannabis can be interpreted symbolically as a profound statement in terms of an individual's orientation to the world and the cultural processes within which he/s he is embedded.The experiences and perceptions of cannabis users in their natural environment will be the principal focus, based on different categories of non-clinical samples, in addition to the role of language and social policy in terms of how this re flects the impact of illegality on users and society. This will permit an investigation of different developmental phases among user groups in terms of how cannabis fits into a drug-use career pattern and identify significant variables that lead to counte rcultural, recreational and problem use. Consequently, more profound knowledge of user patterns can be obtained in terms of the meaning, experience and social context of cannabis use. The subsequent focus on drug policy and discourse in society at large m akes it possible to evaluate and compare emic perspectives with etic perspectives and thereby bridge the gap between these two models of interpretation. Explicitly revealing the disparity between user perspectives and professional models increases the pos sibility that more effective laws and policies can develop that are both contextual and culturally sensitive. Based on these findings, an outline for intervention and preventive measures will be presented, aimed at informing social policy and reducing can nabis related harm so that more effective responses towards these trends may be developed.