The University of St. Gallen will begin a new study on cannabis in everyday life in spring 2022. A St. Gallen cannabis pilot is also currently being developed by the Unexplored Realities research group.
A study on the successful use of cannabis will begin at HSG in the spring of 2022. Explored for 21 months Unexplored Realities a reality that is usually ignored: cannabis use that is well integrated into everyday life. Researchers are focusing their attention on consumption skills, moving away from the prevailing problematization.
Cannabis in everyday life as a research approach
The study “Cannabis in everyday life” addresses these issues: What methods do people use to integrate cannabis into their daily lives? What factors drive people to use cannabis? According to the interviews conducted during the research seminars, cannabis use integrates well with typical and conventional lifestyles.
Cannabis is used for relaxation, among other things, much like an “after-work beer” is used to wind down, researchers said, but it can also be used for targeted performance optimization and creative work. From the interviews, it became clear that consumption is often specifically tailored to one’s own needs as well as those of the professional environment,
Cannabis research so far
Several of these benefits of cannabis use have not been considered in previous research on this topic in Switzerland. This is not only due to the current legal situation, but also because most studies on cannabis use have focused on different professional groups: Until recently, it was mainly criminologists, addiction researchers, physicians and psychologists who dealt with it.
The focus has not changed significantly, because the main goal is the prevention of diseases and health risks. Regular use is still considered a risk in Switzerland, with only 20.8% of regular users showing problematic use (source: Znoj, Genrich & Zeller 2020).
Pilot test in St.Gallen
The planned study on non-medical cannabis use in various Swiss cities is an indication that cannabis use is no longer a marginal issue but part of everyday life. Unlike other countries, impending new legislation should require a thorough basic understanding of what legal cannabis use entails.
A sociological perspective on everyday life is particularly relevant for this purpose. The task of the research team is to conduct a St. Gallen pilot to determine which sales settings are most effective in moving current consumers from the black market into legal systems.