Examining the blurred boundaries between medical and recreational cannabis : Results from an international study of small-scale cannabis cultivation

Hakkarainen, Pekka and Decorte, Tom and Sznitman, Sharon and Karjalainen, Karoliina and Barratt, Monica and Frank, Vibeke Asmussen and Lenton, Simon and Potter, Gary Richard and Werse, Bernd and Wilkins, Chris (2019) Examining the blurred boundaries between medical and recreational cannabis : Results from an international study of small-scale cannabis cultivation. Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy, 26 (3). pp. 250-258. ISSN 0968-7637

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Aim: To compare characteristics of recreational vs. medical growers in a sample of small-scale cannabis cultivators from 12 countries. Methods: Six thousand eight hundred ninety six respondents who took part in an online survey were divided into three groups as: those who reported growing for recreational use, those cultivating for medical purposes who also reported use of other illegal drugs, and those who reported cultivation for medical use and didn't use other illegal substances. The groups were compared using multinomial logistic regression. Findings: In comparison to recreational growers, the two groups of medical growers included more females, consumed cannabis more frequently, and were more likely to cite health-related motivations for growing. The medical growers without other illicit drug use shared some of the same features with the medical growers with illicit drug use, but in comparison to both other groups, they were older, used less alcohol and tobacco, and were less likely to be involved in illicit activities other than drug crimes. Conclusions: Findings suggest that claims of medical use are not simply an attempt to justify personal cannabis consumption, but do at least partly reflect a genuine belief in medical benefit. However, those growing cannabis for medical reasons form a heterogeneous group of people.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Drugs: Education, Prevention, Policy on 18/12/2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09687637.2017.1411888
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? cannabiscultivationmedical userecreational usenormalizationinternational studyonline surveyhealth(social science)medicine (miscellaneous) ??
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Deposited On:
29 Nov 2017 13:58
Last Modified:
20 Jun 2024 00:31