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Contextual influences of illicit adolescent marijuana cultivation and trading in the Inqguza Hill local municipality of South Africa: implications for public health policy.

Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2021 Jan 07;16(1):6

Authors: Manu E, Douglas M, Ntsaba MJ

BACKGROUND: Although commercial cultivation and trading of marijuana, commonly known as cannabis or dagga in the South African context, remains an illicit practice, adolescents actively engage in it. However, contextual influences that sustain adolescent involvement in illicit marijuana-related activties remain empirically unascertained.
OBJECTIVE: This study sought to ascertain the various contextual influences of adolescent illicit marijuana cultivation and trading in two communities in the Ingquza Hill Local Municipality (IHLM) of South Africa, using the tenets of the Socio-Ecological Model (SEM).
METHODS: The study utilised focus group discussions approach to interview thirty-three purposefully sampled participants who were recruited through the snowball sampling technique. A semi-structured interview guide was used to conduct the interviews, while thematic content analysis was used to analyse the data.
RESULTS: We found that illicit adolescent marijuana cultivation and trading was influenced by eleven contextual factors that are grouped under four levels of socio-ecological influence. These include intrapersonal influences (knowledge and skills in marijuana cultivation and courage), interpersonal influences (peer and family influences), communal level influences (economic reasons, early childhood exposure to marijuana activities, protection of family lands, the topography of the area and soil fertility) and policy-related influences (lack of communal bylaws on marijuana activities and laxity in law enforcement).
CONCLUSION: It is recommended that substance abuse prevention policies and programmes focus on discouraging children from engaging in illicit marijuana activities in IHLM across the four tenets of SEM and curtailing adolescent involvement in marijuana cultivation and trading. There is also the need to incorporate the law enforcement approach into demand reduction strategies of the National Drug Master Plan (NDMP), which employs only an educative approach in its current form. Working agreements between municipal authorities, law enforcement agents and social service professionals also need to be strengthened to push demand reduction strategies for marijuana in communities to protect the rights of children as enshrined in the Children’s Act, 38 of 2005.

PMID: 33413542 [PubMed – in process]

Source: ncbi 2

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