Title

High Terror: Cannabis Culture and Altered States of Consciousness

Presenter

Carolyn Erving

Abstract

While socially sanctioned methods of “getting high” exist, namely through the consumption of alcohol, marijuana continues to carry a stigma which bars its social acceptability and legalization across most of the United States. I explore this conflict by analyzing marijuana in relation to certain aspects of U.S. political and racial debates that have placed restraints on altered states of consciousness. I pursue a deeper exploration of the lived experience of the cannabis-altered state of consciousness. Under the guise of medicine, cannabis becomes more accepted, but recreational uses cause U.S. populations to respond with fear and rage. I ask two questions: Why is “getting high,” specifically through the consumption of cannabis, so problematic and terrifying for much of the U.S. population? And, what is it about the specific nature of the marijuana high that is so forbidden to certain U.S. societal factions?

Faculty Sponsor

Donald Snow

Sponsor Department/Programs

Environmental Humanities

Tracks

Our Town, Our Times

Terms of Use

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Location

Kimball Theatre

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Apr 19th, 11:30 AM Apr 19th, 11:45 AM

High Terror: Cannabis Culture and Altered States of Consciousness

Kimball Theatre

While socially sanctioned methods of “getting high” exist, namely through the consumption of alcohol, marijuana continues to carry a stigma which bars its social acceptability and legalization across most of the United States. I explore this conflict by analyzing marijuana in relation to certain aspects of U.S. political and racial debates that have placed restraints on altered states of consciousness. I pursue a deeper exploration of the lived experience of the cannabis-altered state of consciousness. Under the guise of medicine, cannabis becomes more accepted, but recreational uses cause U.S. populations to respond with fear and rage. I ask two questions: Why is “getting high,” specifically through the consumption of cannabis, so problematic and terrifying for much of the U.S. population? And, what is it about the specific nature of the marijuana high that is so forbidden to certain U.S. societal factions?

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