What are the effects of Marijuana on Society?

Marijuana’s Effect on Society: Annotated Bibliography
Hui Yin Yao
James Pyle
11/05/2015
Annotated Bibliography
Bloom, F. (1984). Marijuana Culture. The Antioch Review 42 (3), 277-290. DOI: 10.2307/4611363
Fred Bloom analyzes marijuana use from the cultural point of view – and with negative connotations. Bloom argues that the impact of marijuana use is still poorly known, which makes it rather dangerous product to consume. Additionally, the issues of marijuana excessive use are usually ignored, while its use should have a definite function and limitations in order not to bring harm. Additionally, Bloom defines the possible effects of marijuana on its users, such as changed perception, mild dissociation of thought, increased capacity of attention, and ability to maintain contact with oneself. Bloom also highlights that increased use of marijuana eliminates its meaning and decrease its discussion and analysis, even though they are still needed.
Among many authors, Bloom is the one who studies the social aspect of marijuana use that is the way marijuana spreading can affect the society and communication between personalities in general. However, Bloom’s article is not based on empirical research, which makes his study too theoretical. Still, this text can be beneficial to the research as it gives an opposing point of view and helps to understand all the patterns of marijuana users’ behavior. In such case, it would be easier to understand the way marijuana users can be engages with the society, and the way the society can perceive them.
Ginsberg,I. J., & Greenley, J. R. (1978). Competing theories of marijuana use: A longitudinal study. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 19 (1), 22-34.
In this article, authors make an attempt to create a broad analysis of marijuana use causes and consequences. First of all, they state four groups of marijuana theories: reference group theories, commitment theory, stress, and involvement theory. According to the research conducted by authors, desire to be associated and engaged with particular group of marijuana users tends to be the main purpose of marijuana use among students. On the other hand, their stress or commitment into time-consuming activities does not affect the use of marijuana much.
The results of the study although are interesting, should be used cautiously. First of all, they concern only the youth, which perceives the marijuana use differently from the rest of society. Secondly, other factors of marijuana use were not discussed. However, this study indicated the youth’s attitude to marijuana – generally positive, and as this youth would form the society in 10-15 years, it helps in predicting the possible perception of marijuana by the next generation.
Goode, E. (1969). Marijuana and the politics of reality. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 10 (2), 83-94.
Erich Goode aims to prove that modern issues concerning marijuana are the result of political, not the scientific debate. While the question of marijuana’s impact on health still exists, the marijuana consumption is more discussed in accordance with its political and social scales. Goode proves that many arguments concerning marijuana use are too relative to imply in any discussion and that interpretations of marijuana studies tend to be more influential than the findings themselves. Goode comes to the conclusion that marijuana is often perceived symbolically and may be considered negative due to the image of its user.
This article may be extremely beneficial while discovering the various social attitudes of the marijuana as well as their basis. Although the research is rather old, it still provides an opportunity to understand the main mechanisms of public perception of marijuana and the effect marijuana can have on the society. Many question aroused in the article can be used as the direction in the further research.
Hanson, G., Venturelli, P., Fleckenstein, A. (2011). Drugs and Society. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
The authors of the book discover the causes of various drug use, its possible effects, and the ways drug use can influence both the consumer and the society. In particular, the book provides the basic information about marijuana, its function and outcomes. Moreover, it focuses on the basic problems connected with marijuana use (such as health issues, hallucinations, and increased quantity of car accidents) as well as the reasons for its uncertain status (low dependency and movements for legalization).
Although the book is not a study itself, it carefully analyzes the conducted researches and provides a laconic but effective description of the problem. Moreover, the book is recently published and hence is based on the information which is relevant to nowadays. Additionally, it examines the social dimension of marijuana use and gives an opportunity to compare marijuana use impacts with the outcomes of other drug consumption.
Joffe, A., & Yancy, S. (2004). Legalization of marijuana: Potential impact on youth”. PEDIATRICS 113 (6), e632-e638.
The article analyzes the historical perspective of marijuana use and perception as well as drug laws and policies of the recent past. In order to predict the possible effects of marijuana legalization, the authors examine the results of previous drugs legalizations and free access. Authors come to conclusion that marijuana legalization would lead to increase in its consumption. On the other hand, such tendency can also result in the change of marijuana perception among adults.
This article can be used in the research in order to predict potential risks of providing marijuana with legal status. In addition, according to the study, the legalization of marijuana leads to the change in its status – therefore, the examination of its possible new status can be made. Although the conclusions of the research are too laconic, the study can still be used as a directive for further analysis.
Orcutt, J. D. (1975). Deviance as a situated phenomenon: Variations in the social interpretation of marijuana and alcohol use. Social Problems 22 (3), 346-356.
In this article, James Orcutt examines the concept of deviation in terms of both alcohol and marijuana use by analyzing three stages of social perception of deviant: deviant behavior, deviant persons, and necessary treatment. Author also implies three conditions of use: situational goals, stability, and motivation. It revealed that depending on the context, alcohol use is not considered less deviant than marijuana use, which means that society perceives these two products on nearly the same level.
This study contains a serious limitation – it was conducted in 1975, which is 40 years ago. As a result, its results cannot be considered modern. However, if marijuana and alcohol were considered alike even 40 years ago, it is rather doubtful that this tendency could be changed in further years. Additionally, the study clearly indicates that marijuana is not perceived as a dangerous drug and is mostly used fro rather innocent purposes.
Zablocki, B., Aidala, A., Hansell, S., & White, H.R. (1991). Marijuana use, introspectiveness, and mental health. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 32 (1), 65-79.
Zablocki et al., professors of psychology, aim to prove that marijuana use affects people in different ways depending on their psychological peculiarities. In this study, the authors prove that introspective people tend to associate marijuana with distress, while people with low level of introspectiveness are fulfilled with various kinds of sensations while using marijuana. Additionally, introspective people who use marijuana tend to become involved into new cognitive and emotional experiences, but low-introspective ones may have problems with perception.
The methodology and cautious analysis of the study make it a credible source to work with. Additionally, study involves examining diverse groups of marijuana users, which makes the result broad enough. Although clear results could not be stated in the study, it is still productive for the research as it predicts the possible behavior of people who use marijuana in the society. Study clearly shows that those who consume marijuana are not able to behave aggressively or glaringly and hence cannot disturb other members of society.

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