Going Green: Emily Dufton on Nick Johnson’s “Grass Roots: A History of Cannabis in the American West”

Editor’s Note: Today’s review of Grass Roots: A History of Cannabis in the American West by Nick Johnson comes courtesy of Points managing editor emeritus Emily Dufton. Her similarly-titled book, Grass Roots: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Marijuana in America, hits shelves Tuesday, December 5; the same day, Points will feature an interview with the author. 

2017 will mark the release of two books on marijuana history, and they share some remarkable similarities. Both seek to expand the history of marijuana, moving beyond the discussions of politics and policy that are too often the sole focus of other works. Both also analyze marijuana’s powerful effects. Beyond its psychoactive components, these books look at marijuana’s social impact, from individuals involved in the thriving marijuana industry to the drug’s ripple effects on popular culture. And, most notably, both books share the same name. My book, Grass Roots: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Marijuana in America, will be released by Basic Books on December 5, while Nick Johnson’s Grass Roots: A History of Cannabis in the American West, was published by Oregon State University in October.

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Points Bibliography: Histories of Alcohol and Tobacco in the U.S. and Canada

Editor’s Note:  These entries are part of an ongoing drug-related dissertation bibliography being compiled by Jonathon Erlen. They were formerly published in the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs journal but are now periodically featured on the Points blog. Contact Dr. Erlen through the link above.

From Farm to Firm: Canadian Tobacco c. 1860-1950

Author: McQuarrie, Jonathan Robert

Abstract: This dissertation examines the transformation of Canadian tobacco cultivation from its roots in local markets and personal consumption to a multi-million dollar concern featuring corporate plantations and multi-acre tobacco farms. It focuses on how tools of agricultural modernization— abstraction, expertise, experimentation, fertilization, government policy, land ownership, and marketing associations—produced unanticipated challenges that complicated any linear development of tobacco cultivation. The dissertation places everyday experiences of tobacco cultivation alongside the broader sweep of agricultural modernization to argue that the deployment of the tools of modernization produced new limitations over expert control of the environment and markets. The dissertation considers cultivation in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia, and includes moments of rapid expansion, such as the rise of the flue-cured tobacco “New Belt” in Norfolk and Elgin counties during the late 1920s, and instances of gradual failure, like efforts to encourage commercial tobacco in the Okanagan and Sumas Valley regions of B.C. Various farmer organizations and cooperatives feature in the exploration of the responses and initiative of farmers to the evolving requirements of tobacco companies for their raw material. The role of both federal and provincial government officials also receives considerable attention, as they promoted modern, commercial-orientated tobacco cultivation while attempting to remain an intermediary force between farmers and corporations. The records of the federal Tobacco Division and various government investigations collectively demonstrate that this position was not always tenable, as the government would find itself drawn into fierce disputes over farm prices and the monopolistic character of Imperial Tobacco. These disputes illustrate how modernization produced instabilities even as it improved farm revenues. Collectively, this dissertation’s consideration of farm work, environmental change, and markets demonstrate how the possibilities of agricultural innovation produced their own tensions and limitations that are fundamental to understanding the lived experience of capitalism and modernization in rural Canada.

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Thanks, From Points!

We at Points would like to thank you for supporting the blog and hope all our readers celebrating Thanksgiving enjoyed the holiday yesterday. We’ll be back next week with our usual brand of insights into drug history – and their implications for the present. Stay tuned! In the meantime, consider: how did intoxicants influence your …

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CFP: “Conformity, Resistance, Dialogue and Deviance in Health and Medicine”

stylized_aahm_pic-300x189Society for the Social History of Medicine (SSHM)

Call for Papers

2018 Biennial Conference – University of Liverpool

11-13 July 2018

The Society welcomes proposals on the theme of ‘Conformity, Resistance, Dialogue and Deviance in Health and Medicine’

Deadline for Proposals Friday 2 February 2018 sshm2018@liverpool.ac.uk

The Society for the Social History of Medicine hosts a major biennial, international, and interdisciplinary conference. In July 2018 it will meet in Liverpool to explore the theme of ‘Conformity, Resistance, Dialogue and Deviance in Health and Medicine’.

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Forthcoming: Special Journal Issues on Gender and Drugs

Editor’s Note: The next editions of the journals Contemporary Drug Problems and The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs will be conjoined on the topic of drugs and gender. Below are the shared titles and abstracts. Make sure to check out the full articles upon publication next month!

Gender and Critical Drug Studies: An Introduction and an Invitation

Nancy D. Campbell, David Herzberg

This introduction to conjoined special issues of Contemporary Drug Problemsand the journal of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society, the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs, began with a 2015 symposium at the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), organized by co-editors Nancy D. Campbell and David Herzberg. The symposium called for incorporating gender analysis into the rapidly developing scholarship on drug use, drug trade, drug science, drug treatment, and drug policy in the United States. The special issues showcase articles that are part of a vibrant body of historical, sociological, and anthropological scholarship that explores the differential effects of drug policy, focusing on how gender—in dynamic relationship to race, class, and sexuality—is integral to virtually every aspect of drug crises including (but not limited to) the relationship between drug policy, drug treatment, and the development of mass incarceration. Gender matters at every level from the intimate and highly personalized to the broad cultural and political forces that disparately apportion vulnerability within drug commerce and the U.S. prison–industrial complex.

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Interview: “Woman in AA” with Trysh Travis on Rebellion Dogs Radio

Editor’s note: Today we feature a recent interview with Dr. Trysh Travis, professor in the University of Florida’s Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies department and Points co-founder/managing editor emeritus, on Rebellion Dogs Radio, a podcast offering “less dogma and more bite” than traditional perspectives on recovery. Below is the interview description from Rebellion Dogs and a link to the interview on Soundcloud, but be sure to check out the original post (and the entire thought-provoking site). 

trish-travis“More than just a professional historian, as a Women’s Studies professor, I’m a professional feminist.  That means that my orientation to history is informed by an awareness of the unequal distribution of power between men and women, and a desire to reveal, critique and correct that inequality. Feminism works for me as what Ernie [Kurtz, Not God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous] called a filter—it colors the questions that I ask and the answers that I formulate.” Trysh Travis: 2017 AA History Lover’s Symposium, Sedona Mago Recovery Series.

The history of woman in AA (and throughout the larger recovery community) is the focus of  Rebellion Dogs Radio #34. Rebellion Dog’s 21st century look at 12-Step Life welcomes, from the University of Florida Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research, Trysh Travis. Having just come back from Sedona Mago Retreat (Arizona), I can tell you that the place is still buzzing from Trysh Travis’ shared research and insights on women and the 12-Step community. 

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Points Research Bibliography: Addiction Stigma, Support, and Spirituality in the Americas

Editor’s Note:  These entries are part of an ongoing drug-related dissertation bibliography being compiled by Jonathon Erlen, which was formerly published in the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs journal but is now periodically featured on the Points blog. Contact Dr. Erlen through the link above.

Does Perceived Faculty Support Moderate the Effects of Stress on Student Nurse Substance Use?

Author: Boulton, Martha Ann

Publication info: Teachers College, Columbia University, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2016. 10126378.

Abstract: Purpose: Nurses who abuse substances are a threat to patients, colleagues, society, and themselves. The purpose of this research, guided by Hildegard Peplau’s Interpersonal Theory in Nursing, was to identify rates of substance misuse by student nurses and determine whether a relationship exists between stress and substance misuse and whether perceived faculty support moderates the effect of stress on substance misuse. In addition, the relationship among perception of peer use, perception of harmfulness, and substance use was explored. Method: A quantitative, cross-sectional, correlational design was used to determine whether a relationship exists between stress and substance abuse and whether perceived faculty support moderates the effect of stress and substance misuse in student nurses. The convenience sample of National Student Nurses’ Association members yielded 4,033 completed surveys. Students were given the Student Nurse Stress Index and Perceived Faculty Support Scale, and asked about their past-year substance use, perceived peer substance use, and perceived harmfulness of substance use, via Survey Monkey. Responses were analyzed through exploratory data analysis and logistic regression. Results: Binge drinking was reported by 61% of the student nurses; 18% reported using marijuana; 5% reported using illegal drugs, excluding marijuana; 8% reported using non-prescribed stimulants to enhance academic performance; and 10% reported using non-prescribed prescription pills. Students with higher stress scores had a higher incidence of substance use. Most participants reported moderate faculty support. Those who had higher perceptions of faculty support tended to use fewer non-prescribed stimulants for academic enhancement. The hypothesized interaction was non-significant. This model accounted for 1.6% of the variance. Students tended to overestimate their peers’ substance use. Perceived harmfulness of a substance was related to a decrease in binge drinking, marijuana use, illegal drug use, stimulant use for academic enhancement, and non-prescribed prescription drug use. Conclusions: The results suggest that student nurses tend to use fewer drugs than their college counterparts but are slightly more likely to binge drink. Perception of peer use and perceived harmfulness accounted for 30% of the variance. They reported a moderate level of stress and used non-prescribed prescription drugs more as the stress scores increased. Perceived faculty support seems to be inversely related to use of non-prescribed stimulants and does not appear to moderate the effect of stress on substance misuse.

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The Points Interview: Ingrid Walker

The subject of today’s Points Interview is Dr. Ingrid Walker, discussing her new book, High: Drugs, Desire, and a Nation of Users (University of Washington Press, 2017). She has written and presented at length on the topic, including at a 2013 TEDx event. Follow her on Twitter.

Describe your book in terms your bartender could understand.

41if22hzijl-_sx331_bo1204203200_If I ask you to picture a drug user, chances are that you won’t envision yourself. But nearly everyone is a psychoactive drug user. If you start your day with coffee or tea, if you enjoy drinking in this bar, or if you use psychotherapeutics–antidepressants or anti-anxiety meds–you are a drug user. The question is, why don’t we see ourselves as users? Because some drugs are so socially accepted that they are invisible. And other drugs have been vilified to the point of monstrosity.

People in the United States have been bombarded with stories about good drugs and bad drugs, from Prozac to bath salts. But that distinction is cultural—we made it up. It reflects assumptions that are not based in science, social science, or even personal experience. In High I tell the story about how and why we have come to these misconceptions. My book traces the cultural context of how we got here, to a place that so misunderstands drugs and users. It also proposes what we can do to change this.

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