Forward It to a Friend
In John Corry's 1966 New York Times article, "Drugs a Growing Campus Problem," he reports on a variety of things regarding drug use on campus.
No matter where you stand on drug use, you're encouraged to read the piece because it will provide a snapshot in time regarding topics that are still rather contemporary. Plus, it's interesting, especially the interviews with the youth.
There's exploration of a variety of substances, including cannabis. Corry writes:
"Marijuana is made from the dry, flowery tops of the female Indian hemp plant, called cannabis sativa by botanists. It is smoked in pipes or in cigarettes, which on campus are called joints or sticks, never reefers. It grows like crabgrass in all parts of the country, but users prefer the Mexican variety. Sticks cost from .50 cents to $1.50 a piece, with the higher prices predominating away from New York and California, the main distribution points. The more sophisticated users however, buy it by the ounce, which costs from $15 to $25 and in the Western states is called a can or a lid. It provides about 30 cigarettes. Marijuana has names like weed, grass, tea, Mary Jane, and gage, but usually it is called pot. Student pot parties, those wild abandoned orgies in which no man's daughter is safe, seem to exist more in fancy than in fact."
Even then! Even in 1966, in an article that presents a fairly neutral account of cannabis digs, just a bit, at the illicit reputation of an ancient pl;ant that did not align with reality.
Over half a century later, it's better, but there’s still a long way to go. People continue to be incarcerated because of cannabis and there's overwhelming evidence that those people are disproportionately POC. More than fifty years have passed and grandparents everywhere are disappointed when they hear that one of the grandkids have gone down a cannabis road, from which, they predict, there's no coming back. Five decades after Corry's 1966 writing that cautiously questions an unearned, harmful reputation and the "gateway drug" theory is still preached throughout the nation.
If you're looking to change things, find the article. Send it to a friend with an invitation to chat about it the next time you have dinner. Do your homework and find valid points of research and bring it with you. Have the conversation the furthers the truths and dispels the untruths. That's how to normalize cannabis.
Contact Elucidation Strategies for cannabis education consulting services.