City College of San Francisco
Course Outline of Record
Course Status: Active
A. Approval Date January 2020
B. Effective Semester Spring 2021
C. Department Behavioral Sciences
D. Course Number SOC 55
E. Course Title Introduction to Cannabis Studies
F. Course Outline Originator Blayke Barker
F. Co-Contributor(s):
Jennifer Dawgert-Carlin
G. Department Chairperson Dawgert-Carlin, Jennifer
H. Dean Yee, Jill
A. Hours
Lecture: 52.5
Homework: 105
Total Hours: 157.5
B. Units 3
C. Prerequisite None
    Corequisite None
    Pre/Corequisite None
    Advisory ENGL 88 or ESL 188 or readiness for college-level English
    Advisory Pre/Corequisite None
D. Course Justification The course is designed for general education and/or for those majoring in one of the behavioral sciences or cannabis-related studies. The course will broaden offerings in Sociology to include Cannabis Studies. It will be of value to individuals in understanding the changing social landscape, social justice issues, social roles, and perceptions of the substance. The course is designed to meet the requirements in Social and Behavioral Sciences of CCSF GE area D, CSU GE Area D, IGETC Area 4 and elective requirements for the AAT/Sociology at CCSF. The course will also be one of the required courses in the forthcoming Cannabis Studies AA.
E. Field Trips No
F. Method of Grading Letter or Pass/No Pass
G. Repeatability Course is not repeatable
Introduction to a sociological examination of cannabis. Provides a historical analysis of the sociological study of cannabis and social identity, regulation and enforcement, criminalization, and movements toward legalization. Topics approached through the lens of social power and inequity.
Upon completion of this course, a student will be able to:
  1. Distinguish sociological theories used in the scholarly analyses of cannabis use, regulation, and activism
  2. Identify and evaluate different methodological techniques for studying the impact of cannabis on society and social relationships
  3. Examine how cannabis laws, policies, and dominant social values establish and perpetuate social inequalities
  4. Apply sociological concepts to current, real life situations regarding cannabis and society
  1. Introduction to sociological research methods
    1. Quantitative methods
    2. Qualitative methods
    3. Methods of studying cannabis
  2. Introduction to theories of social identity
    1. George Herbert Mead and the "Theory of the Social Self"
    2. Charles Cooley and the "Looking Glass Self"
    3. Erving Goffman and "Dramaturgical Theory"
  3. Cannabis and social identity
    1. Howard Becker
    2. Steps of using cannabis for pleasure
      1. Conception of cannabis use
      2. Socialization and cannabis consumption
      3. Social group participation
    3. Youth culture
      1. Activism 
      2. Sports
      3. Leisure 
  4. Cannabis tourism 
    1. Social spaces for consumption
    2. Recreational vs. medicinal states
    3. The challenge of federal regulations
  5. Social deviance
    1. The social construction of deviance
      1. Eriche Goode
      2. Moral panics
      3. The role of mass media 
    2. Theories of deviance and social control
      1. Strain theory
      2. Anomie
      3. Labeling theory
      4. Social cohesion and solidarity
      5. Formal and informal social sanctions
    3. Cannabis use and deviance
      1. Sociological perspectives on crime
        1. Broken windows theory
        2. Deterrence theory
        3. Differential opportunity theory 
      2. Sociology of counterculture
        1. Impacts and reflections on "Reefer Madness"
        2. Cannabis and sexual deviance 
      3. Erich Goode's 4 types of drug use 
        1. Legal instrumental use
        2. Legal recreational use
        3. Illegal instrumental use 
        4. Illegal recreational use 
      4. Sports
        1. Professional institutional bans
        2. College
        3. High school and youth
      5. Cannabis careers and social deviance
        1. Growing
        2. Selling
  6. Activism and social movements
    1. Theories of collective action
      1. Convergence theory
      2. Contagion theory
      3. Emergent norm theory
      4. Value-added theory
    2. Types of social movements
      1. Alternative movements 
      2. Redemptive movements
      3. Reformative movements
      4. Revolutionary movements
    3. Models of social movements
      1. Classical model
      2. Resource-mobilization
      3. Political process
    4. Historical perspectives
      1. Early 20th century
        1. Mexican immigration
        2. Prohibition 
        3. Jack Herer "The Emperor Wears No Clothes"
      2. Late 20th century
        1. LeMar
        2. Amorphia
        3. NORML
        4. High Times
        5. "Smoke In"
        6. "Brownie" Mary Jane Rathbun and the AIDS epidemic
  7. Current movements toward legalization
    1. Medical marijuana
    2. Recreational cannabis
    3. Global movements
  8. Social inequalities 
    1. Theories of inequality
      1. Structural functionalism 
      2. Conflict theory
      3. Symbolic interactionism 
    2. Race and the criminalization of cannabis
      1. Incarceration
      2. Sentencing
      3. Social fears 
    3. Social impacts of the decriminalization of cannabis
      1. Statewide initiatives 
      2. Criminal record expungement
      3. Felony convictions
      4. Veterans and cannabis
      5. Socially constructed meaning of cannabis 
    4. Social equity in cannabis businesses
      1. Wealth gap
      2. Race
      3. Ageism
      4. Technology
      5. Equity programs
    5. Intersections of gender and cannabis
      1. Women in cannabis careers
      2. Feminization of cannabis use 
      3. Masculinity
        1. Latino
        2. African American 
  1. Assignments
    1. In-class activity: In class exercises that focus on the application of course concepts. For example, instructor-led class discussions on topics such as applying theories of deviance and social control to cannabis use and regulation or writing reflections that discuss differential opportunity theory or strain theory and careers in the cannabis industry.
    2. In-class activity: General group activities that require critical thinking, such as developing a research design that would examine the social meanings of cannabis among different social groups.
    3. Out-of-class assignment: Reading assignments such as peer-reviewed journal articles or other assigned materials on topics such as the shifting social meanings of cannabis or cannabis use and social identity.
    4. Out-of-class assignment: A minimum 4-5 page paper that demonstrates an awareness of the relationship between cannabis and society/social institutions, such as an examination of a particular cannabis focused social movement or the role of mass media in shaping hegemonic narratives surrounding cannabis production, usage, distribution, and sales.
    5. Out-of-class assignment: Independent or group research that would contribute to an end of semester class presentation. For example, a group presentation that analyzes social inequalities produced by cannabis, such as gender inequality, racial inequality, or wealth inequality in the legal marketplace.
  2. Evaluation
    1. Participation: In class assignments and discussions involving applications of sociological concepts to current, real-life, situations regarding cannabis and society.
    2. Written work: A minimum 4-5 page paper on a topic such as how cannabis laws, policies, and dominant social values establish and perpetuate racism.
    3. Exams/Quizzes/Tests: At least two examinations using some combination of multiple choice, short answer, and/or essay type questions to, among other things, assess a student's ability to examine the impact of cannabis on society and social relationships.
    4. Presentation: Independent or group research that results in an end of semester class presentation. For example, a group presentation that analyzes social inequalities produced by cannabis, such as gender inequality, racial inequality, or wealth inequality in the legal marketplace.
    5. Final Assessment: Final examination using some combination of multiple choice, short answer, and/or essay type questions or project that will cover various sociological concepts and methodologies, such as deviance and social control or social change and resistance and their relationship to cannabis.
  3. Representative Textbooks and Other Instructional Materials
    1. Michelle Newhart, William Dolphin. 2018. The Medicalization of Marijuana: Legitimacy, Stigma, and the Patient Experience. Routledge.
    2. Andrew Golub. 2006. The Cultural/Subcultural Contexts of Marijuana Use at the Turn of the 21st Century. Routledge.
    3. Katherine Tate, James Lance Taylor, Mark Q. Sawyer. 2013. Something's in the Air: Race, Crime, and the Legalization of Marijuana. Routledge.
    4. Erich Goode. 1969. Marijuana . Routledge.
CREDIT/DEGREE APPLICABLE (meets all standards of Title 5. Section 55002(a))