|Own your ow legal marijuana business||
Your guide to making money in the multi-billion dollar marijuana industry
|Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy|
|Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs|
|Volume I - General Orientation|
Chapter 2 - Our Work
Public opinion is hard to grasp, first, because it does not exist in itself but is created by the manner in which the pollsters' questions are asked, by the manner in which the media report a debate, and by a broader context of representations the actual determinants of which are never precisely known.
Understanding public opinion on a complex subject such as drugs is not a simple matter such as discovering what type of laundry detergent respondents will buy at the supermarket. A seemingly simple question quickly becomes complex once Pandora's box is opened. A public opinion poll may ask the public whether they are in favour of decriminalizing cannabis. However, do we know whether every respondent understands the term "decriminalization" in the same way? The complex nature of this term is addressed in Chapter 21. Do we know whether respondents are for or against decriminalization for the same reasons? And once it has been determined that a majority is for or against it, do we know how that public policy choice would be implemented?
If it is the case, taking opinions into account is a necessity in a democracy. For us, taking opinions into account meant we had two closely related responsibilities: first, it meant we had a duty to inform, indeed to educate, although we hope those who are offended by that term will pardon us for using it, but we are convinced that on public policy topics, which are societal issues, it is the duty of political leaders to transmit information that educates, not merely convinces. The level of knowledge about drugs, even about cannabis which is the best known drug, is often limited and wrapped up in numerous myths. Our second responsibility in taking public opinion into account was to go and discover it. We did so in three ways.
First, we publicized our work as widely and as openly as possible to enable everyone to learn about it and react to it. Many chose to do so by writing to us, although they were relatively few compared with the number of people in this country.
Second, we commissioned a qualitative public opinion study. The focus groups conducted across the country as part of that study are described in detail in Chapter 9.
Third, we held public hearings in various cities across the country (eight in all), thus enabling a certain number of citizens to come and tell us what they thought, what they knew and what they had experienced.
We are aware that informing and seeking public opinion also means having a hand in forming it. It is thus not a neutral activity.
All this knowledge, in the form of research and public opinion, still needs to be interpreted. Scientific knowledge is subject to constant verification. It at times contains contradictions, as will be seen in Chapters 7 and 8 in particular. Knowledge of public opinion necessarily remains fragmentary and evolving. Thus the importance of interpretation.
Beyond this, a public policy, as noted above, is not based on knowledge alone, no matter how rigorous. Guiding principles are necessary, principles that can permit an informed interpretation of data and assist in the establishment of conclusions. This is the subject of the next chapter, which will describe the method we used to determine our guiding principles and the principles themselves.
Schaffer Library of Drug Policy
Major Studies of Drug and Drug Policy
Marihuana, A Signal of Misunderstanding - The Report of the US National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse
Licit and Illicit Drugs
Short History of the Marijuana Laws
The Drug Hang-Up
Congressional Transcripts of the Hearings for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937
Frequently Asked Questions About Drugs
Basic Facts About the Drug War
Charts and Graphs about Drugs
Information on Alcohol
Guide to Heroin - Frequently Asked Questions About Heroin
LSD, Mescaline, and Psychedelics
Drugs and Driving
Children and Drugs
Drug Abuse Treatment Resource List
American Society for Action on Pain
Let Us Pay Taxes
Marijuana Business News
Reefer Madness Collection
Medical Marijuana Throughout History
Drug Legalization Debate
Legal History of American Marijuana Prohibition
Marijuana, the First 12,000 Years
DEA Ruling on Medical Marijuana
Legal References on Drugs
GAO Documents on Drugs
Response to the Drug Enforcement Agency
|Drug Information Articles|
Taking a drug test:
How To Pass A Drug Test
Beat Drug Test
Pass Drug Test
Drug Screening Tests
Drug Addiction Treatment