The Social Supply of Cannabis: Local Observations and Global Context

Monday, 11 July 2016: 16:30
Location: Seminar 52 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
John SCOTT, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Ross Coomber COOMBER, Griffith Univeristy, Australia
During modernity drug suppliers were largely represented as pathological and anti-social figures whose primary motivation for selling drugs was to earn financial profit.  The relative normalisation of cannabis use in many western contexts has prompted a re-evaluation of deviance understandings of drug use. In particular, the concept of social supply suggests some drug distribution may be motivated to accrue social capital and that drug distribution networks are not hierarchically structured and organized as has been previously suggested. Drawing on data from two studies of drug supply networks in the UK and Australia, the paper argues that a sociological understanding of contemporary drug distribution should draw on the rich tradition of community studies in sociology in order to account for the diversity of drug distribution networks. Finally, we briefly examine social supply in a global context, noting how legal and cultural factors influence the development of drug using communities.