Tourism As an Agent of Cannabis Normalization: Perspectives from Canada
The 2018 legalization of cannabis in Canada provides an opportunity within a federally legalized context to offer recreational and leisure experiences that incorporate the purchase, consumption, production, and education of cannabis. The establishment of cannabis tourism as a tolerated and increasingly widespread and socially significant practice under the frameworks of legalization and normalization challenges its association with deviance in the tourism literature. The purpose of this article to rethink cannabis tourism as an agent of normalization. In adopting cannabis as a resource, the tourism industry sets standards that become embedded in a broader context of social acceptance. Evidence from a study that documents cannabis tourism in Canada in the first few years following legalization is used to illustrate how tourism suppliers have adopted cannabis as a resource. This article contributes a qualitative assessment of normalization to the literature through an examination of both a database of cannabis tourism-related businesses and the narratives of suppliers in the cannabis tourism industry. Tourism is conceptualized as an agent of normalization by illustrating how it facilitates the accessibility and availability, everyday prevalence, increased tolerance, and social and cultural accommodation of cannabis.
Keywords: CANADA; CANNABIS TOURISM; DRUG TOURISM; NONDEVIANT CONSUMPTION; NORMALIZATION
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada 2: Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada
Publication date: November 10, 2021
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