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J Cannabis Ther 2002(3/4):119-131

Cannabis in Jamaica

Crack Heads and Roots Daughters: The Therapeutic Use of Cannabis in Jamaica

Author
M. Dreher

Abstract
An ethnographic study of women and drug use in inner city neighborhoods in Kingston, Jamaica, revealed that cannabis is commonly used in conjunction with crack cocaine to minimize the undesirable effects of crack pipe smoking, specifically paranoia and weight loss. According to 33 current or former crack using women, who were followed for a period of nine months, cannabis cigarettes ("spliffs") constitute the cheapest, most effective and readily available therapy for discontinuing crack consumption. The findings of this research suggest the need to reframe "multiple drug use" within the cultural meanings that attend cannabis in Jamaica as a medicine and a sacrament.


Keywords
Cannabis, ganja, culture, crack, cocaine, Jamaica, women, self-treatment, Rastafarians, multiple drug use

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