The Strains of Inequality: An Exploration of the Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Black and Indigenous Peoples in Canada

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DiLoreto, Erika Irma Marie




This thesis presents the lived experiences of 19 Black, Indigenous, and white individuals in the new age of cannabis legalization within Canada, to demonstrate the long-lasting consequences of decades of drug prohibition and criminalization. As a response to the promise that legalization would bring with it racial justice, this research centres the experiences of racialized people, bringing into focus forms of inequality, prejudice and discrimination that remain intact despite changes to drug policy. To complement numerous quantitative studies on the lasting impacts of cannabis criminalization, this qualitative research explores the nuances of individual experiences of legalization among cannabis users. This research draws on broader theoretical perspectives surrounding settler colonialism, intersectionality, and race to situate both the historical and contemporary effects of cannabis prohibition.This research situates the interview findings within a critical race and cumulative disadvantage framework, using racial habitus as a conceptual tool for understanding the differences in experience.


Ethnic and Racial Studies




Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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