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Drugs in Popular Culture

In: People

Submitted By benblackmon2
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Academic Writing & Presentation

Word Count: 1099

The Relationship between marijuana use amongst teenagers and the popularity of West Coast Rap Music

Marijuana has been around for hundreds of years and the use of marijuana has been becoming more and more popular especially among teenagers (Lee, 2012). Music has also been around for a very long period of time, in a vast aray of genres. What has changed in music however, is the references to drugs (specifically marijuana) especially in rap music. Marijuana references in rap music have increased by 27% percent from 1979 to 1997 (Herd, 2008). Since the main audience for rap music are teenagers, listening to this music can have a possible effect on teenager’s substance use.

Marijuana refers to the leaves, flowers and stems from the Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica plant. This plant contains the chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannibol (THC). When using marijuana there are both short and long term effects on the brain. Short term effects include: altered senses, changes in mood, and impaired memory (Hall, 1998). A study done by Meier (2012) showed the long term effects of marijuana. This study showed that people who started smoking heavily as teenagers and continued use of marijuana lost an average of 8 IQ points between ages 13 and 38 (Meier, Caspi & Ambler, 2012) US West Coast rap music is rap music that is created in the West Coast of the United States of America, mainly referring to California. West Coast rap started in the 1970’s but didn’t become popular till the 1980’s and 1990’s. The main audience for this music were teenagers living in the United States (Lune, Pumar & Koppel, 2010). Popular artist’s/rap groups in the West Coast include Dr. Dre, Cypress Hill, N.W.A, Snoop Dogg and many more. One things these artists have in common is that they often refer to the use of...

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