Choosing a Topic
For this assignment, I wanted to choose a topic to which I could relate. I was seeking a topic that I am familiar with, and am interested enough to want to learn more about. I wanted to find a paper that discussed substance abuse: a cross-cultural study comparing drug use in different cultures/societies. I wanted not to focus on the issue of, for example, the use of a certain drug in a single city, but instead to see how different societies deal with and view a specific drug use.
I chose marijuana as being the issue that I wanted to study. I did so because I have relatively liberal views on the regulation and consumption of marijuana. I also believe marijuana to be the most culturally accepted drug on a worldwide scale. In comparison to heroin or cocaine, which are commonly established to be serious drugs, the views towards marijuana as a "soft" drug are ever debated.
I believe that I developed my view, in part, because of the society in which I grew up.
Marijuana is prevalent in BC and, although laws only now are officially changing, during my adolescence and foremost exposure to the drug, society, including law officials, held a rather lax view on the recreational use of marijuana. When I meet people from other cities around the world, and even from Canada, most are surprised and shocked by B.C.'s blasÃÂ© attitude towards smoking pot. This casual attitude does not stem from only my peer group, but also all ages and groups of people living in B.C. Even if one does not smoke pot, they would not bat an eyelash if they walked by someone smoking it on the street. The widespread tolerance of marijuana in our specific society is a very interesting social...