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J Psychoactive Drugs. 1998 Apr-Jun; 30(2): 179-86.

Providing medical marijuana: the importance of cannabis clubs.

Feldman HW, Mandel J.

The National Association of Ethnography and Social Policy, Oakland, California 94611, USA.

In 1996, shortly after the San Francisco Cannabis Club was raided and (temporarily) closed by state authorities, the authors conducted an ethnographic study by interviewing selected former members to ascertain how they had benefited from the use of medical marijuana and how they had utilized the clubs. Interviews were augmented by participant observation techniques. Respondents reported highly positive health benefits from marijuana itself, and underscored even greater benefits from the social aspects of the clubs, which they described as providing important emotional supports. As such, cannabis clubs serve as crucial support mechanisms/groups for people with a wide variety of serious illnesses and conditions. The authors concluded that of the various methods so far proposed, the cannabis clubs afford the best therapeutic setting for providing medical cannabis and for offering a healing environment composed of like-minded, sympathetic friends.

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