"There's what's on paper and then there's what happens, out on the sidewalk": Cannabis users knowledge and opinions of canadian drug laws
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This paper explores the knowledge and opinions of cannabis users regarding Canadian laws regulating possession of cannabis. Our study is based on data from 165 in-depth interviews with adult cannabis users from four Canadian cities. Our participants revealed a limited awareness of cannabis policy in Canada. When researchers informed them about actual Canadian laws, the majority of participants regarded the specified laws as "harsh," "excessive," "absurd" and/or "ridiculous"practice, the common experience of participants suggests the existence of two sets of enforcement practice in Canada-"there's what's on paper and then there's what happens, out on the sidewalk." We situate our analysis of these practices in the context of broader debates regarding the putative normalization of drugs like cannabis in Canada. We conclude that greater consideration of the character of local law enforcement practices has the capacity to add further conceptual and analytical clarity to existing theories of normalization. © 2011 BY THE JOURNAL OF DRUG ISSUES.
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