The social standing of marijuana use in Costa Rica becomes important as one examines the results of this study. Before 1968, marijuana use itself defined Costa Rican consumers of the drug as lower class. Its coming to fashionability among Costa Rican upper-middle-class youths during the late 1960's and early 1970's temporarily blurred marijuana's class identification. Nevertheless, the lower-class users' dress, speech, and style of use kept them distinct from these youths. In 1986, working-class users participating in the present intensive study still occupied the lowest positions in the Costa Rican social strata. Their marijuana use does not appear to be a major factor in blocking upward mobility. The social stations in which users were raised were more powerful in determining their present fates than taking up or not taking up marijuana use. The main problem in assessing the relationship between marijuana use and the human condition of marijuana users is the persuasive influence of the general social disapproval of marijuana smoking in Costa Rican society.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)