JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY

Global patterns of domestic cannabis cultivation: sample characteristics and patterns of growing across eleven countries

Gary R Potter, Monica J Barratt, Aili Malm, Martin Bouchard, Thomas Blok, Anne-Sofie Christensen, Tom Decorte, Vibeke Asmussen Frank, Pekka Hakkarainen, Axel Klein, Simon Lenton, Jussi Perälä, Bernd Werse, Marije Wouters
International Journal on Drug Policy 2015, 26 (3): 226-37
25582281

BACKGROUND: This article 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.

METHODS: 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.

RESULTS: 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.

CONCLUSIONS: 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.

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