open access

Vol 70, No 2 (2019)
MARITIME MEDICINE Original articles
Published online: 2019-06-25
Submitted: 2019-05-05
Accepted: 2019-06-10
Get Citation

Diving, cannabis use, and techniques of neutralisation: exploring how divers rationalise cannabis use

Jarred H. Martin, Charles H. Van Wijk, Wesley J. Bowden
DOI: 10.5603/IMH.2019.0014
·
Pubmed: 31237667
·
International Maritime Health 2019;70(2):88-94.

open access

Vol 70, No 2 (2019)
MARITIME MEDICINE Original articles
Published online: 2019-06-25
Submitted: 2019-05-05
Accepted: 2019-06-10

Abstract

Background: Diving medicine literature often regards the use of cannabis as a potential contra-indicator for fitness to dive. With that said, there has been no empirical research done with cannabis-using divers to examine how they subjectively understand and construct the risks that their cannabis use may have on their diving. This study explored how cannabis-using divers rationalise the pejorative associations of cannabis use through rhetorical techniques of neutralisation (TON) that function to deny the risks that cannabis use may have on their diving. 

Materials and methods: Ten medically-fit professional divers from South Africa were individually intervie- wed. The interviews focussed on each diver’s reported recreational use of cannabis. The interviews were transcribed and analysed through a framework for TON originally formulated by Sykes and Matza (1957). 

Results: Analysis revealed six primary TON employed to refute the pejorative associations of cannabis use on dive work, namely: 1. Denial of responsibility: which denies a diver’s direct culpability for their cannabis use; 2. Denial of injury: which asserts that no (serious) harm results from a diver’s cannabis use; 3. Denial of victim: which repudiates the potentially deleterious effects that cannabis use may have on a diver; 4. Condemnation of condemners: which minimises cannabis use in relation to other divers’ unsafe diving practices; 5. Appeal to loyalties: which situates cannabis use within interpersonal networks to whom a diver has a “higher” allegiance; 6. Denial of penalty: which justifies cannabis use by virtue of a perceived lack of punitive action by a Diving Medical Examiner. 

Conclusions: The findings of this research highlight the TON which potentially inform a diver’s cannabis use, particularly in relation to their diving. Identifying such TON carry important implications for the ways in which fitness to dive is assessed. 

Abstract

Background: Diving medicine literature often regards the use of cannabis as a potential contra-indicator for fitness to dive. With that said, there has been no empirical research done with cannabis-using divers to examine how they subjectively understand and construct the risks that their cannabis use may have on their diving. This study explored how cannabis-using divers rationalise the pejorative associations of cannabis use through rhetorical techniques of neutralisation (TON) that function to deny the risks that cannabis use may have on their diving. 

Materials and methods: Ten medically-fit professional divers from South Africa were individually intervie- wed. The interviews focussed on each diver’s reported recreational use of cannabis. The interviews were transcribed and analysed through a framework for TON originally formulated by Sykes and Matza (1957). 

Results: Analysis revealed six primary TON employed to refute the pejorative associations of cannabis use on dive work, namely: 1. Denial of responsibility: which denies a diver’s direct culpability for their cannabis use; 2. Denial of injury: which asserts that no (serious) harm results from a diver’s cannabis use; 3. Denial of victim: which repudiates the potentially deleterious effects that cannabis use may have on a diver; 4. Condemnation of condemners: which minimises cannabis use in relation to other divers’ unsafe diving practices; 5. Appeal to loyalties: which situates cannabis use within interpersonal networks to whom a diver has a “higher” allegiance; 6. Denial of penalty: which justifies cannabis use by virtue of a perceived lack of punitive action by a Diving Medical Examiner. 

Conclusions: The findings of this research highlight the TON which potentially inform a diver’s cannabis use, particularly in relation to their diving. Identifying such TON carry important implications for the ways in which fitness to dive is assessed. 

Get Citation

Keywords

cannabis use; diving medicine; diving psychology; techniques of neutralisation; fitness to dive

About this article
Title

Diving, cannabis use, and techniques of neutralisation: exploring how divers rationalise cannabis use

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 70, No 2 (2019)

Pages

88-94

Published online

2019-06-25

DOI

10.5603/IMH.2019.0014

Pubmed

31237667

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2019;70(2):88-94.

Keywords

cannabis use
diving medicine
diving psychology
techniques of neutralisation
fitness to dive

Authors

Jarred H. Martin
Charles H. Van Wijk
Wesley J. Bowden

References (32)
  1. Grinspoon L, Bakalar J. Marihuana: The forbidden medicine. New Haven: Yale University Press 1993.
  2. Maule WJ. Medical uses of marijuana (Cannabis sativa): fact or fallacy? Br J Biomed Sci. 2016; 72(2): 85–91.
  3. Pedersen W, Sandberg S. The medicalisation of revolt: a sociological analysis of medical cannabis users. Sociol Health Illn. 2013; 35(1): 17–32.
  4. Hudak J. Marijuana: A short history. Washington D.C..: The Brookings Institution 2016.
  5. Huestis MA, Mazzoni I, Rabin O. Cannabis in sport: anti-doping perspective. Sports Med. 2011; 41(11): 949–966.
  6. World Health Organisation. The health and social effects of nonmedical cannabis use. WHO; 2016. http://apps who int/iris/bitstream/10665/251056/1/9789241510240-eng pdfWorld Health Organisation. T (05 May 2019).
  7. Clarke RC, Merlin MD. Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany. Berkeley: University of California Press 2013.
  8. Peltzer K, Ramlagan S. Cannabis use trends in South Africa. S Afr J Psychiatr. 2007; 13(4): 6.
  9. Constitutional Court of South Africa Case CCT 108/17. 2018. http://www saflii org za/za/cases/ZACC/2018/30 pdf (05 May 2019).
  10. Schillack V, Wentzel M, Essack Y. The role of the laboratory in dealing with cannabis in the workplace. Occ Health South Afric. 2019; 25(2): 77–78.
  11. Phillips JA, Holland MG, Baldwin DD, et al. Marijuana in the Workplace: Guidance for Occupational Health Professionals and Employers: Joint Guidance Statement of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Workplace Health Saf. 2015; 63(4): 139–164.
  12. Health Canada. Consumer information – Cannabis (marihuana, marijuana). https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/medicaluse-marijuana/licensed-producers/consumer-information-cannabis-marihuana-marijuana.html (05 May 2019).
  13. Bédard M, Dubois S, Weaver B. The impact of cannabis on driving. Can J Public Health. 2007; 98(1): 6–11.
  14. Hartman RL, Huestis MA. Cannabis effects on driving skills. Clin Chem. 2013; 59(3): 478–492.
  15. Kurzthaler I, Hummer M, Miller C, et al. Effect of cannabis use on cognitive functions and driving ability. J Clin Psychiatry. 1999; 60(6): 395–399.
  16. Ramaekers JG, Berghaus G, van Laar M, et al. Dose related risk of motor vehicle crashes after cannabis use. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2004; 73(2): 109–119.
  17. Edmonds C, Bennett M, Lippmann J, et al. Diving and Subaquatic Medicine. 2015.
  18. Dowse MS, Shaw S, Cridge C, et al. The use of drugs by UK recreational divers: illicit drugs. Diving Hyperb Med. 2011; 41(1): 9–15.
  19. Health and Safety Executive. HSE Diving Health and Safety Strategy to 2010. HSE; 2010. http://www.hse.gov.uk/diving/divingstrat2010.pdf (05 May 2019).
  20. Health and Safety Executive. The medical examination and assessment of commercial divers (MA1). HSE; 2015. http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/ma1.pdf (05 May 2019).
  21. Armstrong ME. Smoking and risk taking in recreational SCUBA divers, doctoral dissertation. University College London 2012.
  22. Sykes GM, Matza D. Techniques of Neutralization: A Theory of Delinquency. Am Sociol Rev. 1957; 22(6): 664.
  23. Peretti-Watel P. Neutralization theory and the denial of risk: some evidence from cannabis use among French adolescents. Br J Sociol. 2003; 54(1): 21–42.
  24. Priest TB, McGrath JH. echniques of neutralization: Young adult marijuana smokers. Crim. 1970; 8(2): 185–194.
  25. Fuller RC. Spirituality in the flesh: Bodily sources of religious experiences. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2008.
  26. Peretti-Watel P. Cognitive dissonance and risk denial: The case of cannabis use in adolescents. J Socio Econ. 2006; 35(6): 1032–1049.
  27. Caulkins J, Kilmer B, Kleiman M. Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know. 2016.
  28. Khan TH. Emotional intelligence, social intelligence, locus of control in relation to stress management in adolescents. Raleigh: Lulu Publications 2016.
  29. Van Wijk CH. Personality profiles of divers: integrating results across studies. Int Marit Health. 2018; 69(4): 297–303.
  30. Van Wijk CH, Martin JH, Firfirey N, Fourie M, Arrenbrecht R, Jasson AE, Waters AH. Psychological competence-to-dive: A primer. Research Report 01/2018. Simon's Town: Institute for Maritime Medicine; 2018. ttp://www.sauhma.org/psychological-fitness.htm (01 November 2018).
  31. World Health Organisation. Constitution of the WHO, 37th ed. Geneva: WHO; 1946.
  32. St Leger Dowse M, Cridge C, Shaw S, et al. Alcohol and UK recreational divers: consumption and attitudes. Diving Hyperb Med. 2012; 42(4): 201–207.

Important: This website uses cookies. More >>

The cookies allow us to identify your computer and find out details about your last visit. They remembering whether you've visited the site before, so that you remain logged in - or to help us work out how many new website visitors we get each month. Most internet browsers accept cookies automatically, but you can change the settings of your browser to erase cookies or prevent automatic acceptance if you prefer.

By "Via Medica sp. z o.o." sp.k., ul. Świętokrzyska 73, 80–180 Gdańsk

tel.:+48 58 320 94 94, faks:+48 58 320 94 60, e-mail:  viamedica@viamedica.pl