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Legal Regulation of Marijuana: The Better Way
Unformatted Document Text:  Erickson, Hyshka & Hathaway, ASC policy paper, 2009: “Marijuana Decriminalization” that there is good use for it and they’ve gotten a more open mind and look towards it. [female, 23, bank employee] Many respondents indicated that their marijuana use was something they mostly did with friends, confirming the oft-reported social nature of the drug-taking. I think in ten years—even when I’m like an old lady, like I’m probably going to once or twice get together with my friends and smoke a joint…um, because like, just like you can smoke and then go for a walk and that’s like an event as opposed to just going for a walk or something like that. Um, plus you can just sit around in a group and smoke and it’s like drinking because you can just talk and sit around and pass a joint and stuff like that. [female, 25, waitress] I would say like, you meet a lot of people by doing it. And not just because they do it, or stuff like that. It’s just, it’s like a community I guess it’s like anything, like if you go to a bar, you’re going to meet people, if you smoke you are going to make connections.[female, 21, student] The above comments indicate that marijuana use is viewed as similar to alcohol, in that it is perceived by users as a social lubricant to be enjoyed while spending time with friends. In addition, users mentioned that marijuana use facilitates the formation of new friendships, which implies normalization in that individuals are willing to discuss and use marijuana in front of peers they don’t have pre-existing relationships with. Most respondents’ parents knew that they used marijuana recreationally and only two reported that their parents did not know about their use. Several indicated that they had voluntarily told their parents about their own use. ← Interviewer: How do they know? Participant: I told them. I just don’t, I don’t know. I guess I feel like, my parents know that I drink alcohol, why shouldn’t they know that I smoke pot too? [female, 25, graduate student] In most cases, parents’ reactions were generally mild with few direct reprimands. For example, one participant was caught smoking marijuana with his brother in his backyard when he was in high school: Participant: we never were like never reprimanded for it and we were expecting to get reprimanded for it like: ‘oh you shouldn’t be doing it, you should never be doing it’ but they never said that to us, so I think since then I have always had a more positive view of it. 6

Authors: Erickson, Patricia., Hyshka, Elaine. and Hathaway, Andrew.
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background image
Erickson, Hyshka & Hathaway, ASC policy paper, 2009: “Marijuana Decriminalization”
that there is good use for it and they’ve gotten a more open mind and look 
towards it. 
 [female, 23, bank employee]
Many respondents indicated that their marijuana use was something they mostly did with 
friends, confirming the oft-reported social nature of the drug-taking. 
I think in ten years—even when I’m like an old lady, like I’m probably 
going to once or twice get together with my friends and smoke a joint…
um, because like, just like you can smoke and then go for a walk and 
that’s like an event as opposed to just going for a walk or something like 
that. Um, plus you can just sit around in a group and smoke and it’s like 
drinking because you can just talk and sit around and pass a joint and 
stuff like that.
 [female, 25, waitress]
I would say like, you meet a lot of people by doing it. And not just because 
they do it, or stuff like that. It’s just, it’s like a community I guess it’s like 
anything, like if you go to a bar, you’re going to meet people, if you smoke 
you are going to make connections.
[female, 21, student]
The above comments indicate that marijuana use is viewed as similar to alcohol, 
in that it is perceived by users as a social lubricant to be enjoyed while spending 
time with friends. In addition, users mentioned that marijuana use facilitates the 
formation of new friendships, which implies normalization in that individuals are 
willing to discuss and use marijuana in front of peers they don’t have pre-existing 
relationships with. 
Most respondents’ parents knew that they used marijuana recreationally and only two 
reported that their parents did not know about their use. Several indicated that they had 
voluntarily told their parents about their own use. 
Interviewer: How do they know?
Participant: I told them. I just don’t, I don’t know. I guess I feel like, my 
parents know that I drink alcohol, why shouldn’t they know that I smoke 
pot too?
 [female, 25, graduate student]
In most cases, parents’ reactions were generally mild with few direct reprimands. 
For example, one participant was caught smoking marijuana with his brother in 
his backyard when he was in high school:
Participant: we never were like never reprimanded for it and we were 
expecting to get reprimanded for it like: ‘oh you shouldn’t be doing it, you 
should never be doing it’ but they never said that to us, so I think since 
then I have always had a more positive view of it.

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