The evolution of the stoner subculture

The fast growing culture of pot smokers has created it's own place in society. There are many contingent issues involved in this subculture, including: should marijuana be legal for the general pubic over the age of 21? Who qualifies to get to use medical marijuana?

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  1. For years humans have tried to find a source that could help them blow off steam or just give them that insight that could spark and generate new ideas. For some people, marijuana is that source that helps them escape from reality to a place of comfort. You cannot judge a book by it's cover. I know most people have this stereotype that frequent pot smokers also correlate to not being as successful in the real world as those who do not choose that recreational activity, why is that so? Is there a correlation between pot smoking and lower level income? This subculture is beginning to be seen more and more in states like Colorado because of the legalization factor but still has prominence in almost every part of the country. Being the contingent issue that it is, many people who support legalization believe the effects of marijuana are minimal compared to the many other elicit drugs available in society today. Do the long term effects of legalization out-weigh the harms? In my research I hope to answer the these questions to get a better understanding of the evolution of the stoner subculture.
  2. Marijuana use has spread overtime, especially in the youth of today. Being that it is illegal in most states, and illegal in the others until age 21 it gives people an excuse to do it. For example, when we we're kids and told not to do something it just made us want to do it more, not matter how stupid the idea of it was. Some people carry that mentality into adulthood with drugs, since they are illegal it just wants to make them do it more. Having personal experience with many kids my age doing this drug I have seen firsthand that the social aspect of it is most important. Friends can have a huge impact, good or bad on anyone, and it's what you do with the information given to you by your friends that defines you. This topic was of great interest to me because of contingent issue factor but also to learn more about how the subculture works.
  3. My first source comes from a book called Drug use, Policy, and management and was published in 1997. It gave me some great starting information of the history of cannabis use overtime, history can tell us a lot about patterns and what could happen in the future. This source the changes in use through history and when it became discussed for becoming illegal. Being that this is a book source, it is way down in the information cycle to the point of this taking years to publish. The two authors (Richard E. Isralowitz & Darwin Telias) are very credible in the field of drug behavior. Knowing this, I can consider this source creditable for use because you can tell the rhetors have a lot of background knowledge on the subject. There is no specific audience because the book is written to enhance knowledge of the individual not to try to forms opinions on one side or the other. The purpose of both authors collaborating to write this source was inform of the origins of cannabis and how it has been around for centuries and is not a new concept. The beginning sentence of the chapter about marijuana stated "No illegal substance in the United States has generated more controversy and perhaps investigation on individual behavior and society than marijuana." This issue does not go away as time goes on. I found it interesting that the first society to grow cannabis was the Chinese and they used it for many medical uses. I found that interesting because they placed faith in a drug to heal even when they did not know what was in it. Another piece of information I found interesting was that the culture of Pot has grown as new methods of growing and harvesting it have developed. When new methods develop the substance can be made more potent which is exactly what is happening in today's society. "The substance is about 20 times more potent than what it was on the streets in the 1960s & 1970s." The last piece of information I found was about the Netherlands where a study was done on pot smokers from 1986-1994. The main piece of useful and new information is that marijuana use is tied to certain points in a individuals life. The 16-35 group is where it occurred the most and after that the interest or charm of doing it is lost for most people. This explains most drug busts of marijuana fall into those ages. This source, was very interesting to me and was a good starting point to get me interested to research the subculture much more in depth. The limations of the source are that it is dated and so it is hard to trust numbers and figures given out at that time, but still is a great place to start. In my next search I hope to find out what the marijuana subculture is like today and what it takes to become a part of it.
  4. The second article I found was about the Pot culture and everything they do that makes them original (rituals, habits and social interaction). The article was titled Cannabis Culture: A stable subculture in a changing world. It answered one of my questions: What symbols/figures are most important to this subculture. The article was released May 28th, 2012 Sveinung Sandberg on the academia.edu website and is a very creditable source because of the depth of this article. The audience of this article is a little bit more specific than the first because the format shows it is not just for public media because of the syntax of the writing. I found the first part of the article interesting because it explained how weed has been 'normalized' in society. This means it is the most used illegal drug recreationally throughout the world. Many people in the subculture feel it is a lifestyle rather than just a drug that gets you high. Another part of the article I found interesting is the importance of the iconic symbol of the marijuana leave. It means everything to this subculture and is how they can be identified. It is important to have this symbol because the pot smoker subculture is so diverse now days that that is the only common ground every user in the culture can 100% agree upon. "This subculture may not dominate the life of most cannabis users, but it is highly influential and almost impossible to avoid when people use or try to understand their use of cannabis." This quote is key because it addresses the importance of the identification factor. One part of the article I found completely new information that really interested me, the rituals associated with smoking weed. The top three rituals: "1. Everyone who has cannabis is expected to share.2. The joint or pipe is passed round to all those present.3. Smoking cannabis together obliges one to further social interaction." Judging from this quote the aspect of social interaction with each other is essential when engaging in activities like this. At some point when you have been involved in the subculture for a long enough time sharing what you have becomes second nature, you don't even think about it anymore. In my opinion, this article was of great use because it made many points about the pot smoker subculture I had never thought/heard of before. It surprised me time and time again with uniqueness of the culture. Non-violence is an important part of this community.
  5. In researching medical marijuana it made me question who qualifications do you need to meet in order to classified as in need a medical marijuana for health reasons? I found a reliable source which was a article about medical marijuana which is another contingent issue within the subculture of pot smokers. The source is titled Medical marijuana movement forges ahead written by Ned Milenkovich. The article was published in the journal drug topics in March of 2010. The drawback to this source is the length of the article which is very short and concise. It has good information that is very useful in increasing my knowledge of medical marijuana. The audience for this article is the American people and has a lot of situated ethos because it mentions President Obama's support of medical marijuana for any individual who needs it. Having the President's support can go a long way in legalizing medical marijuana for all states. The article is also very kairotic because it was released when the first few states started to legalize recreational use of marijuana. The first part I found interesting is that medical marijuana can be used as a painkiller. Being that it helps that I bet there are many other applications for a treatment standpoint and I bet those can be put to use at some point in time. From a legal standpoint it is a very messy issue because only 23 states in the union allow medical marijuana to be used. The government is the working to make it a nationwide legalization but that could take years before that passes. In order to make it pass progress has to be made. If other states see the testing states plan is working and the economy is benefiting from it, it could change the game. "Notwithstanding, the federal government reserves its right to enforce against users and suppliers who are resorting to state medical marijuana laws and regulations as a subterfuge to orchestrate illegal activity." This quote basically explains the importance the medical marijuana smokers being responsible in how they go about using it. Overall, this source helped me get a better grasp of what medical marijuana is all about. Depth was defineity an issue in this article and hurt the overall creditablity of the source. Next, I want to explore both sides of the contingent issue if marijuana should be legal or not.
  6. The next question I tried to answer in my research is how the stoner culture looks from the inside. I knew coming into this search that the source would biased towards arguments that support marijuana use. My goal in getting inside the subculture was to get a better understanding of why the culture matters so much to some people and what values are most important to them. The source I came across was high times which is source that has all you need to know about the current stoner subculture. It is a website titled hightimes.com with no specific author or publishing date. The audience, for obvious reasons, is the mostly people who identify themselves as part of the stoner subculture. It is a place where they can go where everyone has similar interests and is a great bonding tool. The site clearly promotes acceptance of weed and for those who are not part of the subculture to hear both sides of the argument. The website is very kairotic because it addresses important and national issues with marijuana and abuse good or bad. Having articles that support both sides show that they acknowledge both sides of the equation. One interesting part of found is there are events for just this subculture allowing people to connect and converse. The social interaction factor of this subculture is of major importance because it makes everything more enjoyable. You can also share links from this site to many social networks allowing the connection factor to maximized. In addition, there is apparel that can be bought. Those who wear that particular material are comfortable letting others know they are a part of the subculture. Another specific part of the article I found was growing marijuana. It allows more easy access for those who don't normally have it as easily. Growing puts the job of getting it in the users hands and makes them feel better about using it when it is their own. From evalulating this source I learned that the stoner subculture reaches more individuals than I thought. It really surprised me how the article allowed for mnay different opinions and allowed you to go your own way with what you value in life. The one thing missing is a depth in the articles on the page. Some of the articles look more like abstracts than articles. From here I want to look at the valid arguments for or against legalization of marijuana in the states.
  7. At this point in my research I wanted to find out what reasons there would be for supporting legalization of marijuana. The aim was to find a credible source that supported pro marijuana but also one that leaves it open for discussion. In my search I found a article published in the New York Times titled Repeal Prohibition, Again. The editorial board is the author of the article making a highly edited source that can be used and referenced with ease. The audience of this source is those supporting Marijuana use but also those wanting to know more about the contingent issue. The situated ethos of the New York Times allows us to know as a audience that every fact has been checked for the quality of it. The content of the article provided insight information of why Marijuana should be integrated in the American economy. It showed that we need to end the war on drugs as well because too many people's lives are being ruined over a small amount of weed. The article also showed that there is a racial disparity, many more blacks are arrested for marijuana possession than those of other races. "There were 658,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2012, according to F.B.I. figures compared with 256,000 for cocaine, heroin and their derivatives. Even worse, the result is racist, falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals." When these men get out of jail they have not learned their lesson most times, and it just leads to them carrying out more violent crimes in the future. Another argument I noticed was the article addresses the issue of effects of marijuana over time. "Moderate use of marijuana does not appear to pose a risk for otherwise healthy adults. Claims that marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs are as fanciful as the “Reefer Madness” images of murder, rape and suicide." Overall, this source was important for understanding why so many people support legalization of marijuana. The source was of value to show how times have changed and legalization has valid arguments. The source was limiting in not showing where it got it's data points all the time. From here I want to look at the other side of the spectrum,, anti-legalization supporters.
  8. In my search for a anti legalization article I thought about what kind of information I wanted to receive. I didn't just want to use a source that only mentioned the negative health effects because I have heard all that before. I wanted diverse reasons of why legalized marijuana could be bad society. The source I cam across and decided to use was called The Economic Impacts of Marijuana Legalization with the author being David G. Evans. The article was published by the Global Journal of Drug Policy and Practice. From my perspective this had the looks of a academic source because of the syntax used to make arguments. I also looked up the author's credibility and I found that he is a expert in the field of drugs and has had years of experience. The website also has situated ethos with the Global drug policy in the name, making it seem unbiased but I still had to dig deeper. The article is anti-legalization of cannabis so people against legalization will read the article, but also those who want to know the facts of how it will affect the economy and more importantly to society, how it will affect their pocketbooks. The article does a good job of relating to individual people rather than society as a whole. The exigence of the article is what are the after effects of a marijuana legalized society. The first piece of information I found was that the author states that we really don't know where the money is going when the marijuana is taxed. This i spartly true because the government has proven before that it is hard to trust them. “Legalization would reduce the costs of supplying drugs by more than taxes could offset, pushing retail prices into uncharted waters." Meaning it would create easier access for citizens and the author argues that could lead to much bigger large scale use than in the past. Another long term effect would be many new users creating a worldof "mind altered" citizens in society. The author argues that it alters you mind to the point of not knowing reality from being high anymore. That brings brings me to my next point, the youth of America. Most teens support legalization of marijuana, but why? Is it because they actually feel it is the right thing to do or do they feel pressured to act like they support it because everyone else does. "Marijuana can cause disinterest in activities, lower grades and isolation from the family. It can permanently impair brain development. Problem solving, concentration, motivation and memory are negatively affected." The talents/hobbies these kids have can be lost because marijuana can make them lose interest in them. This source helps me understand the anti-legalization debates by a educated source who has done research on it's effects for a very long time. This source had great depth in the bulk of information it provided, I was very impressed with all the helpful facts provided in it.
  9. Throughout this research I have greatly increased my knowledge of the stoner subculture and thought of them as more than just people who smoke pot. They are a united community which sticks together. Social interaction is key to becoming a put of this group. That have values unlike any subculture, the motto if I say myself seems to be sharing is caring. Every moment is life becomes important to them and they have to lose themselves before they find themselves. Another important fact I learned is no matter how you smoke or what way you smoke there is no judgement given. This is a peaceful subculture who enjoy the company of others. If I we're to continue to research I would find out how people grow it and what the costs are assioated with it. Also, I would look into marijuana compared to other drugs and compare the effects of both and see which one effects the body more. It makes me think about the effects if the drug was decriminalized, would the world be a better place? I think yes, doing this would decrease the amount of money spent on jails and more money could be spend on education, which actually matters. Portugal has decriminalized all drugs and drug use has gone down in all illcit drugs except marijuana for recreational use. Crime realted to drug use has gone down, including in marijuana cases. The key to this is, allowing people to do something loses it's flavor, if you are banned from doing something it just makes you want to do it more, it is just human nature. The pot subculture has greatly evolved over time as society becomes more accepting of marijuana use. To that effect, I believe that sometime in the next 10-15 years all states will legalize marijuana because the economic benifits outweigh the harms and the moderate marijuana use has proven to have no lasting long term effects.
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