Cannabis Consumption and Stigma Labels Among Consumers in a Rural Community in Ebonyi State, Nigeria

  •  Joseph Ogbonnaya Alo Ekpechu    
  •  Innocent Ahamefule Nwosu    
  •  Nsidibe A. Usoro    
  •  Kennedy Okechukwu Ololo    
  •  Vivian Chizoma Njemanze    
  •  Ethelbert Okoronkwo    
  •  Bukola Popoola    


This study examined the influence of labels used to stigmatise cannabis consumers on the control of cannabis consumption in a Community in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Three research objectives were raised to guide the study. The questionnaire was used to get information on the socio-demographic variables of the respondents. Focus group discussion (FGD) sessions was thereafter conducted in five different places (N = 55, n = 11). Responses from study participants to FGD questions were transcribed verbatim. Three themes emerged in the process. These themes include stigma labels and its deterrent effectiveness on cannabis consumption, stigma labels and differentiation of cannabis consumers from non-consumers and stigma labels and deterrence of public consumption of cannabis. It was found among other things that labels were often used by non-cannabis consumers to stigmatise the cannabis consumers with derogatory name calling as its major preoccupation. This was not an effective tool in deterring cannabis consumers from cannabis use. It was recommended that other researches should focus only on cannabis users to see how they respond to it. It was concluded that counselling should be extended to cannabis users who live in the rural areas of Nigeria.

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