Skip navigation

Medicinal Cannabis Users Downplaying and Shifting Stigma: Articulations of the ‘natural’, of what is/is not a ‘drug’ and oppositions with ‘chemical’ substances

Medicinal Cannabis Users Downplaying and Shifting Stigma: Articulations of the ‘natural’, of what is/is not a ‘drug’ and oppositions with ‘chemical’ substances

Morris, Craig (2019) Medicinal Cannabis Users Downplaying and Shifting Stigma: Articulations of the ‘natural’, of what is/is not a ‘drug’ and oppositions with ‘chemical’ substances. Sociological Research Online. ISSN 1360-7804 (Print), 1360-7804 (Online) (In Press)

[img] PDF
24067 MORRIS_Cannabis_Stigma_Articulations_(AAM)_2019.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (331kB) | Request a copy

Abstract

Whilst sympathy exists among the general public for chronically ill and/or disabled people who use cannabis medicinally, cannabis remains a prohibited substance in the UK. How do medicinal cannabis users negotiate this potential stigma when talking about their use of this substance? I reflect on the spoken discourses of 10 medicinal cannabis users (from a sample of 32), obtained by way of qualitative interviews, adopting a critical discourse analysis approach to the data. Specifically, I focus on their articulations around three related themes: cannabis as a ‘natural’ substance, discursive oppositions between cannabis and other substances and articulations about what is/is not a ‘drug’. I examine how participants articulated these themes in ways that attempted to negotiate the potential for stigma that talking about their substance use involved. I found they used rhetorical strategies that downplay their own deviance, attempt to shift the application of stigma to users of other substances or both. I argue that the more powerful the discursive resources that are articulated, the less rhetorical work an individual has to do to negotiate positive moral standing in an encounter. I also consider to what degree these articulations involved constructions emphasising individual self-control. I argue that in asserting that cannabis is a ‘natural’ substance (and therefore is less inherently risky to use than manufactured substances) the participants do emphasise their individual self-control.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: medicinal cannabis, discourse, drugs, natural, deviance, stigma, normalization, Bourdieu
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
K Law > K Law (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Applied Sociology Research Group
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Department of History, Politics & Social Sciences
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 11:45
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 2
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/24067

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics