#2 What We Talk About When We Talk About Drugs

I think the theme of this post is uncertainty. I have never conducted an interview before, so there was a bit of a learning curve there, and there seem to be a lot of knowledge gaps on the subject I was investigating, marijuana education. By the second interview, I think I was getting the hang of things better. I tried typing notes as the person spoke for the first, and I found that A) no one likes it when people are visibly taking notes on what you’re saying, it’s kinda stressful, and B) I cannot type as fast as people can talk. For the second interview I recorded it on my phone, which I think allowed me to focus more on talking with the interviewee and made for a better process.

Some of the more interesting quotes from the interviews were:

A college student, when I asked about sources of information on marijuana, said “At school they tell you it’s really bad, and that’s about it.”

When I asked about legalization and minimum age for recreational usage: “I think it is possible for it to be an ok thing to have legally, if there’s education. I think it should be after college, but people would use it before then anyways, so maybe like 20. It should be highly regulated, like if you use it, you should know about it.”

On how marijuana was talked about in high school by teachers and peers: “There were people who posted about it all the time, and how it needs to be legalized, but they never had good reasons for it. There’s always people like that.”

A parent of high school students said, when I asked if they thought marijuana should be legalized, and if so, what the minimum age was, just said “no.”

On the percentage of vermont teens who have smoked weed (it’s around 50%), said: “I think marijuana has kinda been lingering around in the background for about twenty years, I think the scary thing about marijuana is that the stuff that was around when I was a teenager was far less potent than what is going on today, and I think it can have more negative effects.”

And on how young people are educated on marijuana, the parent said “I’m not really close enough to comment on that.”

 

Overall, these interviews have really strengthened my interest in this topic. I think there is a big need for change in the way we educate people on marijuana, especially young people. I’m excited to investigate this topic further in the coming weeks.

 

 

Lucy Groves

4 Responses to “#2 What We Talk About When We Talk About Drugs

  • Melissa
    4 years ago

    Hey Lucy,

    Great post. Title hooked me immediately.

    I completely hear you on the challenges of interviewing folks and taking notes – in my job, I often like to record people on my phone too, but hold a notebook to mark words that remind me of big moments I want to listen carefully for later. I often hide that notebook under the table until people are more comfortable with me.

    I think you surfaced a really interesting theme that has parallels in a lot of different fields — sometimes things are more dangerous when people don’t know a lot about it. What do you feel the knowledge gap is? What do you think more people should know?

    The sentence here made me think: “There were people who posted about it all the time, and how it needs to be legalized, but they never had good reasons for it. There’s always people like that.”

    In your further research, I might invite you to consider looking into what marijuana being illegal means to different populations. Beyond acknowledging that a large population of people are using it and a more comprehensive education could be helpful in supporting people to make smarter choices, it might be interesting to dig into what the criminalization of marijuana has meant for minorities in the US.

    This report from the ACLU might be a good place to start.

    “Marijuana use is roughly equal among Blacks and whites, yet Blacks are 3.73 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession.”
    https://www.aclu.org/issues/mass-incarceration/smart-justice/war-marijuana-black-and-white

    Happy writing!
    Melissa

  • Akwelle Quaye
    4 years ago

    Lucy,

    I really liked the way you opened up the blog post with how your interviews went! It added a connection to the theme of uncertainty about drugs, therefore making your post more understandable to a wider audience. I also like the people you interviewed, as it really helps focus on the target audience, the people who need education on marijuana use.

    I think that, moving forward, adding more synthesis to what your interviewees say would be very helpful. You did mention the statistic of Vermont teens who use marijuana as well as a final statement of what you thought. That was great. However, a few more statistics and a little more elaboration on your thoughts and reactions would give a lot more insight onto your topic.

    I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!
    Akwellé Quaye

  • Hey Lucy

    I love that you’re topic! I totally appreciate you that you put such a heavy focus on the interviews and it helped to get a good idea about what the different demographics in Vermont think about Marijuana education and legalization. However, apart from the statistic of the percent of Vermont teens who have tried marijuana there was not enough information for me to feel entirely clued in on your process. Either way I am excited to see where your research takes you.

  • Hi, Lucy!

    I really like your choice of topic, and I know that teen usage of marijuana in our state comes up a lot. I thought that your point about how little we are educated about what it actually does to the brain is really important, and I hope you explore that more. It could be very educational! In Vermont, I believe sex ed/health classes are required for students, but in many other states it is not. This would also be interesting to dig deeper into if you had the chance. Keep it up!

    Riley

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