Convenient labour: the prevalence and nature of youth involvement in the cannabis cultivation industry.
ABSTRACT The emergence of cannabis cultivation in industrialised countries may offer adolescents, especially those living in regions suitable for outdoor cultivation, new opportunities to participate in the drug trade. The current study examines the prevalence and the nature of youth involvement in cannabis cultivation in an important agricultural region of Quebec, Canada.
A self-report delinquency survey was administered to 1262 adolescents between 13 and 17 years who were attending one of four secondary schools in that region. The study location was not chosen arbitrarily. The region was known for having a larger than average outdoor cannabis industry, and various media reports suggested that a substantial number of students missed school days during the cannabis harvest season, in October.
A first set of findings show that 12% of respondents reported having participated in the cannabis cultivation industry in the past year. Such a prevalence rate is higher than for any other type of crime found in the survey (except for the general category of mischief)--including assault and theft, and is comparable to the prevalence rates found for drug dealing. Such a high prevalence rate comes in part out of need for labour in this low population density region: 35% of respondents who reported having participated in the industry in the past year, were "labourers", while many others only participated in small sites, destined for personal use. Another set of findings suggest that growers are a very diverse group: although cultivation is the most prevalent money-generating crime for gang members in the region, girls and otherwise conventional adolescents are also involved in high numbers.
These results emphasise the need to design policies that concern not just the prevention of drug use among youth, but also youth involvement in the supply of drugs. In addition, it underlines the difficulty of planning general interventions in what appears to be a very heterogeneous population of growers.
- International Journal of Drug Policy 01/2015; · 2.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cannabis cultivation has become increasingly localized, whether soil-based or hydroponic growing methods are used. Characteristics of a given location, such as its climate and the equipment it requires may influence general accessibility or attract different types of offenders based on potential profits. The location of crops, especially hydroponic crops, suggests a certain proximity to the consumer market via semi-urban and urban environments, while making it possible to avoid detection. This article examines the cannabis market through its cultivation.International Journal of Drug Policy 11/2014; 26(3). · 2.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Aims To provide an overview of: demographic characteristics; experiences with growing cannabis; methods and scale of growing operations; reasons for growing; personal use of cannabis and other drugs; participation in cannabis and other drug markets; contacts with the criminal justice system for respondents to an online survey about cannabis cultivation drawn from eleven countries (N = 6530). Important similarities and differences between the national samples recruited will be discussed. Method This paper utilizes data from the online web survey of predominantly ‘small-scale’ cannabis cultivators in eleven countries conducted by the Global Cannabis Cultivation Research Consortium (GCCRC). Here we focus primarily on descriptive statistics to highlight key similarities and differences across the different national samples. Findings Overall there was a great deal of similarity across countries in terms of: demographic characteristics; experiences with growing cannabis; methods and scale of growing operations; reasons for growing; use of cannabis and other drugs; participation in cannabis and other drug markets, and; contacts with the criminal justice system. In particular, we can recognise that a clear majority of those small-scale cannabis cultivators who responded to our survey are primarily motivated for reasons other than making money from cannabis supply and have minimal involvement in drug dealing or other criminal activities. These growers generally come from ‘normal’ rather than ‘deviant’ backgrounds. Some differences do exist between the samples drawn from different countries suggesting that local factors (political, geographical, cultural etc.) may have some influence on how small-scale cultivators operate, although differences in recruitment strategies in different countries may also account for some differences observed.International Journal of Drug Policy 12/2014; 26(3). · 2.40 Impact Factor