“Don’t make too much fuss about it.” Negotiating adult cannabis use

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelfagfællebedømt

Aims: Age remains an important explanatory factor for people’s drug use, yet few studies explore the social meaning of age in relation to drug use. How adults practise and present their drug use as members of particular age groups has received little attention in research. In this article, we investigate how cannabis users from 23–40 years discuss their use and act to present themselves as adult smokers. The analysis is based on semistructured interviews with 25 experienced cannabis users. Findings: When cannabis users continue smoking in adulthood, they must negotiate their self-presentations within a discourse of adultness where maturing out of illegal drug use is expected. The participants presented themselves as adults by using three strategies: negotiating playfulness and obligations, mature narration of cannabis use and mature ways of administering cannabis. Conclusions: By continuing to smoke in adulthood, they challenge the notion that cannabis use is linked to youth. Simultaneously, they moderate their use to meet expectations of adultness, thus reproducing the idea that cannabis use belongs to the youth phase. When the participants project a mature lifestyle by under-communicating their excitement with cannabis, they simultaneously reproduce the notion of youthful smoking as driven by thrill seeking, intense highs and showing off.
TidsskriftDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)324-331
StatusUdgivet - 2017

ID: 180635826