Insiders? The experiences and perspectives of long-term, regular cannabis users

Chatwin, Caroline and Porteous, David ORCID logoORCID: (2013) Insiders? The experiences and perspectives of long-term, regular cannabis users. Contemporary Drug Problems, 40 (2) . pp. 235-258. ISSN 0091-4509 [Article]


Much research on the use of illicit drugs begins with questions about lifetime use, intended to estimate the number of people who have ever used drugs (i.e., once or more) in their lifetime. By contrast the research described in this article describes the experience and perspective of “insiders” (as opposed to the “outsiders” of Becker’s
(1963) famous study): people who have used a class B drug,cannabis, throughout their lifetime. Interviews were thus conducted with cannabis users who were over 35 years of age, had been using cannabis for at least 15 years, and who continued to use on at least a weekly basis. In total, 23 interviews were conducted: 13 of these
were face-to-face interviews and a further 10 came from a modest utilization of Internet research methods. Findings suggest that the lifelong, regular users of cannabis that we interviewed did not follow traditional narratives of addiction, but instead participated in responsible and controlled consumption. Furthermore, the perceived health benefits of using cannabis were as important motivations for use as the pursuit of pleasure, and the most damaging aspects of use appeared to stem from the criminality of cannabis rather than any inherent properties of the drug itself.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 13257
Useful Links:
Depositing User: David Porteous
Date Deposited: 02 May 2014 15:05
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:30

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