Loudest of the loud: Impacts of Michigan's medical marijuana legislation on procurement and use of marijuana
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
In 2008, Michigan joined 16 other states allowing for medical use of marijuana. Implementation of the laws have been erratic and inconsistent across the state, with marijuana users in different environments and social groups reporting varied effects on their use. The popular press reports that state income from the Michigan's medical certification program has approached $10 million (Detroit Free Press, 02/06/13). This research reports the effects of Michigan's Medical Marijuana laws on minority users within Detroit, most consuming illegally. Historical consumption as well as current drug seeking, purchasing and use are reported for 38 (on-going) users using a version of the Marijuana Smoking History Questionnaire (Bonn-Miller and Zvolensky, 2005). Qualitative interviews focus on participants' self reported patterns of seeking, purchasing and use following the passage of the medical marijuana laws, including choice of dealers, availability of varieties of marijuana, and preferences concerning the places where they buy/use or the people they buy from or use with. Findings suggest persistent racialized divisions between urban and suburban marijuana users, sometimes accompanied by divergent beliefs concerning the origin and quality of marijuana types. These findings are compared to existing research on legal marijuana purchasing (Aggarwal, in press), heroin purchasing (Roddy and Greenwald, 2009; Roddy, Steinmiller and Greenwald, 2011) and crack (Roddy and Draus, working paper). Current policies in Michigan and Detroit perpetuate inconsistent knowledge regarding the benefits and detriments of marijuana use. The data is part of a larger investigation examining racial and spatial differences in marijuana purchasing and use in metropolitan Detroit.
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences
Identify specific policies regarding marijuana that are likely to have racial and spatial impact on the procurement and use of marijuana
Discuss the likely ramifications for different racial and geographic groups due to various policies regarding legal and illegal marijuana use
Differentiate patterns of procurement and use between marijuana, heroin and crack (in Detroit)
Keyword(s): Marijuana, Public Policy
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the co-investigator on the campus grant which funded this research. I have been a co-investigator on several other grants, including one NIDA-funded R21 grant, focusing on substance use and marginalized populations in Detroit. I am an associate professor of sociology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.