Selling Out: A Folklorists Reflection on the Canadian Legalization of Cannabis

Akseli Virratvuori (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

Ending nearly a century of prohibition, The Cannabis Act brought sweeping changes to the cultural and economic landscape of drugs in Canada. The previously sovereign vernacular economy of cannabis now co-exists and competes with a federally and provincially mandated market run by multinational companies. Reflecting on his experiences of illegality and legalization, as well as oral histories of Canadian cannabis producers and consumers, Akseli Virratvuori presents a folklorists view of changing drug policy. While legalization by itself is a socially just act, it also disrupts what was there before: organic networks of informal economies built on folklore.

Part of V1-03 The Folklore and Folklife of Material Culture, Wednesday, October 11, 1:00 pm–3:00 pm