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The Anthropology of Cannabis: An Innovative Course at Quinnipiac University

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Zara Nwosu
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The Anthropology of Cannabis: An Innovative Course at Quinnipiac University

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A Groundbreaking Course in Response to Changing Times

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In response to the legalization of recreational cannabis in Connecticut, Quinnipiac University has ventured into relatively uncharted academic territory by offering a course on the anthropology of cannabis. This 14-week exploration of the cultural, political, and scientific aspects of cannabis aims to provide students with a deeper understanding of cannabis as a plant and a cultural phenomenon.

Exploring the Cultural Significance of Cannabis

The Anthropology of Cannabis course delves into the cultural and political significance of cannabis, its representation in art, literature, and pop culture. As part of the coursework, students are exposed to anthropological readings and a 1936 film that sheds light on the historical context of cannabis. The course offers a comprehensive exploration of the plant and its role across various cultures, both historically and in the present day.

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Addressing Stigma and Racism

In addition to exploring the cultural significance of cannabis, the course also addresses the stigma and discrimination faced by cannabis users. It critically examines the racism surrounding cannabis use and production, and challenges the stereotypes often associated with it. This critical approach enables students to understand the complexities and intricacies of cannabis use, and to question the preconceived notions and prejudices associated with it.

The Political Landscape of Cannabis Production

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The course critically examines the changing legal and political landscape of cannabis production. It explores the ethical issues surrounding cannabis, and encourages students to engage in informed discussions on these subjects. The course also provides insights into the regulatory frameworks governing cannabis use and production, providing students with a well-rounded understanding of the legalities involved.

Preparing Students for the Future

One of the primary aims of the Anthropology of Cannabis course is to prepare students to become more informed and responsible citizens. The course not only imparts knowledge about cannabis but also encourages students to envision the future of cannabis. The course culminates with students writing letters to themselves, reflecting on their learning and envisioning the future of cannabis from their perspective.

Conclusion: The Role of Education in Shaping Perceptions

The Anthropology of Cannabis course at Quinnipiac University is an innovative step towards dispelling myths and overcoming the stigma associated with cannabis. By providing a comprehensive understanding of the cultural, political, and scientific aspects of cannabis, the course plays a crucial role in shaping the perceptions of the future generation. It stands as a testament to the role of education in fostering a more informed and inclusive society.

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