Marijuana as a Subculture

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A subculture is a group of people who share a distinctive set of cultural beliefs and behaviors that differ in some significant way from that of larger society. Marijuana smokers can be considered a subculture for many reasons. Marijuana is used by millions of people around the world, either for recreational, spiritual, or therapeutic reasons. Some call themselves the cannabis connoisseurs; people who respect cannabis and use it responsibly. Few drugs have been so politicized recently as marijuana has. It is frequently praised by one side and condemned by the other, on the basis of emotional issues rather than an objective view of research.

It was 1920 when smoking began to catch on in the United States. Its recreational use was restricted to jazz musicians and people in show business. “Reefer songs” became the rage of the jazz world. Marijuana clubs, called tea pads, appeared in every major city across the country. Authorities tolerated these establishments because it was not illegal or considered a social threat. In the early 1930’s marijuana became stereotyped as a violent drug, and by 1936 was illegal in all states. Marijuana research was at a stand still and the thought of it being a violent drug faded and the idea that it was a gateway drug emerged in the late 1940’s early 1950’s. In the 1960’s marijuana became very popular among the young college crowd. This was looked at as a challenge to authority and the government.

The effects of marijuana are minimal. The high has a feeling of euphoria, peacefulness and well-being. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the active chemical in marijuana. It’s estimated that a person would have to ingest a dose 20,000 to 40,000 times the average dose before death would occur. In the early 1990’s sophisticated research on marijuana began. The scientists discovered THC stimulates special receptors in the brain. Researchers have now isolated a natural substance that appears to produce the same effects as THC in the brain. Recently the medical uses of marijuana are being more and more accepted, and many marijuana smokers wonder how it can be harmful if it helps/treats patients.

Marijuana smokers are a subculture because they share sets of beliefs, values, language, and other things that are different from the views of the larger society. They look at things another way because they are pro marijuana, which differs from t...

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... believes this to be very true. But the smokers do not want to be associated with the “pothead” stereotype. They want very much to destroy the connection of marijuana with the tie-dyed, hippy era. Society just assumes smokers are useless, lazy, uneducated bums; which is very inaccurate. There are many hard working people out there that smoke marijuana recreationally to relieve stress. First, this cannot be true because there are an inestimable amount of marijuana smokers that successfully keep their habit a secret. These people are able to blend with society, allowing them to make friends/acquaintances that don’t agree with smoking marijuana. People who use marijuana do not look negatively upon the rest of society. They relate and form bonds with the whole culture as normal people would.

Marijuana smokers are a subculture for the reasons previously described above. They share a different set of values, beliefs, and etc. from the rest of society. For example, they have their own terms that describe their practices. They don’t mind society but part of society minds them, maybe one day marijuana use won’t be as frowned upon. All of these things make marijuana smokers a subculture.
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