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Medicinal Users Please Help

Discussion in 'Medical Marijuana Usage and Applications' started by irishbuddha, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. Hi folks,

    My name is Mark O'Gorman. I am a 29 yr old from Ireland and currently in my final phase of my MA in Addiction Studies which I am pursuing through Dublin Business School (Master of Arts (MA) in Addiction Studies | Postgraduate Masters Degree | Dublin Business School). So just a little background information about me. I have been an on and off cannabis smoke over the last 11 years (ya 18 could be a bit late by some accounts to taking it up), some periods I have smoked heavily on a day to day basis over a number of years, more recently i find myself indulging in the occassional spliff now and again, but not to the same level i used to.

    In Ireland, cannabis is considered a Schedule 1 controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1977. This means that its sale, supply, distribution and possession is illegal except for the purpose of research and only as long as you are granted a licence by the Minister of Health. Section 19 of the same act states that it is also illegal to cultivate marijuana in Ireland or to allow anyone to smoke it on property that you own. As cannabis is classified as a Schedule 1 substance, it is considered as having no medicinal use and, accordingly, cannabis cannot be prescribed or dispensed in Ireland for medicinal purposes. This classification of cannabis is about to change as the Irish government recently adopted proposals to allow the prescription of Sativex, but before this can be done, cannabis classification needs to be altered and the government is trying to find a suitable way to word new legislation to allow this cannabis based medicine to be dispensed but also keep recreational or self medicating uses illegal. 

    One of the little studied aspects of cannabis is the effects that it can have on the social development of users. What do i mean by social development? The definition that most closely resembles what I'm trying to research is: “The ways in which individuals' social interactions and expectations change across the life span.” (Zimbardo et al 2002). Basically i have noticed in myself and other people who have smoked heavily for a number of years is that sometimes they report a certain type of awkwardness/unsurety of themselves when they are in social situations and that smoking has had both positive and negative influences on their relationships with family/friends/ partners etc. For my own research project in college, i am hoping to explore the aspects of cannabis on the social development of both recreational users and users who are suffering from long term physiological illnesses such as MS, Cancer, AIDS etc. My study will look to see if the positive and negative aspects mentioned by recreational users will be the same for participants who are suffering from long term illnesses or if the experience is completely different as the cannabis is being used to offset potentially socially deliberating symptoms such as the spasticity seen in MS suffers. To get this information i would be hoping to conduct recorded skype interviews.

    The interviews will all remain completely anonymous. The format for speaking to recreational users will basically be me discussing varying aspects of your life from the time before you used cannabis, to while you were using cannabis, and up to your current usage (if any). The same will be true for medicinal users but i will also be asking about their social life before the onset/diagnosis/treatment of their illness. As you could imagine these interviews could be very intensive and emotionally difficult and could last up to approximately 2 hours. After the interview is complete, i will write up the entire interview, have a look it at myself and see if there are any areas we didn't perhaps fully explore or neglected completely and write down a list of follow up questions. I will then forward the whole interview and questions to the participant for them to review and add in or remove aspects as they see fit (though as mentioned, the interviewees will remain anonymous).

    So if you have made it to the end of this post, thanks for your time. At the moment I mostly interested in hearing from participants who are medicating long term illnesses with cannabis - either through prescription or self-medication. Ideally I would like to speak to medical users to were not smokers prior to diagnosis as this would give me the best basis to compare social development. Once i have obtained approximately 4 participants, this will give me a decent age profile for which to compare recreational users (they are the easier sample to get but i don't want to take in participants until i have an age profile for the medicinal users). For the medicinal users, i will be offering either a 30 dollar gift through paypal or will donate 30 dollars to a charity of their choice. Recreational users will be offered 20 dollar paypal gifts or donations to charities of their choice.

    If you could please PM me if you would be a willing participant. Feel free to leave any comments/suggestions

    Thanks for your time,

    Mark O'Gorman

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