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  • Three Betrayals IJDP accepted pre-proof

    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Journal of Drug Policy. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in International Journal of Drug Policy, 53, 2018 DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.12.004

    Accepted author manuscript, 1 MB, PDF-document

    Embargo ends: 26/12/18

    Available under license: CC BY-NC-ND: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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The three betrayals of the medical cannabis growing activist: from multiple victimhood to reconstruction, redemption and activism

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>03/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Drug Policy
Volume53
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)65-72
<mark>State</mark>Published
Early online date26/12/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

While cannabis has been widely used in the UK for over 50 years, it is only in recent decades that domestic cultivation has become established. Public concern, media reporting and policing policy has emphasised the role of profit motivated criminal organisations often working on a large scale and with coerced labour. However, increasingly, another population are growing for medical reasons, to help themselves and others treat or manage difficult, poorly understood, or incurable conditions.
Our study sought to further understand the motives, techniques and interactions of cannabis cultivators through interviews with 48 growers and supplementary ethnographic work. As well as those motivated to grow for personal use, social and commercial supply purposes we identified a cohort growing to provide themselves and others with cannabis used for therapeutic purposes. This paper draws primarily on interviews with a sub-group of sixteen medically-motivated growers who were not only involved in treatment, but also embraced the label “activist”.
Rather than develop techniques of deception they were organising to effect a change in legislation. Rejecting the image of criminal perpetrators, they presented themselves as victims of unjust government policy, an indifferent medical establishment, and brutal and immoral criminal markets. Through cultivation, association, self-healing and apomedication, they have found voice and are shifting the debate over the status of growers and of cannabis itself. The ambiguity of their position as both producers and patients challenges the assumptions underlying legal distinctions between suppliers and users, with potentially profound implications for policy.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Journal of Drug Policy. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in International Journal of Drug Policy, 53, 2018 DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.12.004