The Outsiders

The_Outsiders_bookThe Outsiders novel turned fifty years old on April 24, 2017. It had been made into a popular 1983 movie by Francis Ford Coppola, as well as a less rated television show. This movie was an important part of my 1980s t.v. watching childhood. The story of parentless boys from the other side of the track–Greasers–sparring with their enemy Socs has resonance for each generation. Combining it with Howard Becker’s sociological text Outsiders, can provide us insight into this phenomenon of labeling, social groupings, and social class. My blog on Sociology in Focus describes these themes in my sociological blog posting, “Fifty Years of Outsiders.”


Pacific Sociology Association 2017

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I presented a paper along with my co-author John Scott called: “Marijuana Policy Liberalization in the Americas and Australia” at the  Pacific Sociology Association conference (Schedule), which took place on April 6-9, 2017 at the Hilton in downtown, Portland, Oregon. This research overviews the drug laws and policies internationally and how the shift from prohibition to decriminalization and legalization of marijuana represents a neoliberal shift in the logic of state approaches to cannabis policy.

The Politics of Difference, A conference in law

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I presented a paper entitled: “Marijuana Policy Contradictions at the International, Federal, and State Level” at The Politics of Difference and the Threshold of Law: A Conference in Law and the Humanities, sponsored by the Liberal Studies Program, University at Albany and Albany Law School. March 31–April 1, 2017. This research exams the what is needed to change at the international drug convention level in order to allow for the legalization of cannabis markets at the federal and state levels in nation-states. It also overviews how Latin American countries are leading the way towards decriminalization of all drug possession in small amounts and the hypocrisy of the United States’ conflicts of state and federal policy and its international responsibility.

Lady Ink Days, Berlin

Lady Ink Days

I was able to attend the all-women tattoo artist convention in Berlin on March 25-26, 2017 and write about it for the Needles and Sins blog. It was my first time at a convention outside of the United States, and of course, a rare one focused solely on women artists. My next research project will focus on women tattooists and collectors outside of the United States, focusing on Latin America, Australia, and Europe for now.

Marijuana legalization and racism article published in SIF

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-11-05-16-am I recently published the article “As Marijuana Becomes Legal, the Legacy of Structural Racism Still Haunts Many,” in Sociology in Focus. This article overviews how the move to legalize marijuana still leaves many marijuana act criminalized, leaving the most vulnerable to continue suffering criminalization of usage. Most importantly, the majority of states have not applied marijuana legalization laws retroactively–thus allowing those imprisoned before the new law to remain in prison or remain with a charge on their record. Also, those with drug crimes on their record are not allowed to work in the legal industry, maintaining structural racism which benefits whites over blacks in entering the profession.