Chapter 6a Assignment

Marijuana and other drug use is a contested item that divides our country. Such things like access to guns and abortion and whether they are legal are also part of what sociologists and others call “the culture wars”. They are related to norms and values in a society. We have already explored a bit about that. Let’s look at how this plays out.

Jason Eastman wrote this piece to explain changes in public perception and the laws surrounding marijuana. Make sure to look at the powerpoint slides 6-11 and read the article by Eastman before doing this assignment.

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(Fun fact: Eastman was a professor at Coastal Carolina when he wrote this.) You know I love this piece because he clearly writes about how sociologists see no behavior as inherently deviant and it is the perception of the behavior by society that considers something deviant. We can see how things change over time. He also uses Pew Research Center data, which I find to be very reliable. After reading this piece and considering his explanation, please write your thoughts and answer these questions:

1. Over time, what were some of the factors that changed the way society viewed marijuana use? Please be sure to address the factors of race/ethnicity, the economy, generational differences and government.

2. We can see public opinion rising for the legalization of marijuana but marijuana is still illegal in the view of the US government. How do you think this will go in the future? What factors do you base your opinion on? If you want to bring in outside information, please make sure to add a link to your source for me to check out. However, outside research is not required. Citation IS required if you use an outside source.

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