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A Guide to the Costa Rica Marijuana Research Materials

Finding aid created by Katie Adams

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
June 2008


Descriptive Summary

Creator: University of Florida. Center for Latin American Studies.
Title: Costa Rica Marijuana Research Materials
Dates: 1971-1977
Abstract: Records of a marijuana research study conducted in Costa Rica in the 1970s. Field notes and interviews between researchers and research participants on Unisort Analysis Cards (majority in Spanish), other notes on clinical findings, and correspondence.
Extent: 5.75 Linear feet. 7 boxes.
Identification: Ms Coll. 124
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

From 1973 to 1976, University of Florida professors William E. Carter, Ph.D. (Anthropology), Wilmer J. Coggins, M.D. (Community Health and Medicine), and Paul L. Doughty, Ph.D. (Anthropology), conducted a research project on chronic marijuana use in Costa Rica. A study sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the goal was to obtain research material on the long-term effects of chronic cannabis use on a person's social and medical life.

The research was split into two teams. The anthropological team carried out the socio-cultural studies of the project. This included conducting extensive interviews with the sample population. To aid in the interviewing process, questionnaires were created that asked specific questions on life history, marijuana use, and demographics (see Appendix B in the final report). The second team was the medical and psychological team. While in Costa Rica, this team performed clinical examinations on the sample population to compare health conditions of users and non-users of marijuana. Many of the health examinations measured central and peripheral nervous system impairment in relation to marijuana use.

The study began with a recommendation by the director of the Department of Narcotics in Costa Rica, Virginia Ramirez de Barquero, for the UF researchers to conduct their findings in the barrios (neighborhoods) of San José, Costa Rica. Among the urban setting of San José, the researchers gathered a group of 240 Costa Rican men to begin their research. All of the men chosen for the study were not randomly selected from the general public. Instead, most of the men were ranked in the middle of the working class and gathered from institutional populations, such as universities, prisons, or the army. Out of the 240 men, 84 were long-term, regular smokers while 156 were considered the control of the study as the non-smokers. Once interviews between the researchers and the men were conducted, a sample population of 82 was made. Out of these 82, 41 were users of marijuana and 41 were non-users. Each user was matched with a non-user on the basis of medical history and social criteria, such as job classification, age, and education.

Over a span of two years, the researchers performed field research that consisted of further interviewing the sample population. To gain trust in the men they were interviewing, the researchers conducted all of their research in Spanish. The researchers also interacted with the participants day after day in their home environment. As a result, the researchers obtained a more personal view on how the sample population carried on their everyday life.

The researchers' findings were compiled in their final report called Chronic Cannabis Use in Costa Rica. The official contract number for the study was N01-MH3-0233[ND].


Scope and Content

The Costa Rica Marijuana Research Material consists mainly of the anthropological team's interviews with the sample population and their field notes. Typed on Unisort Analysis Cards, the notes and interviews are an important source of anthropological information on a specific demographic in Costa Rica during the 1970s. The majority of the cards are in Spanish, but there are some notes taken in English by the UF professors coordinating the study.

Boxes 1 through 4 contain the interviews that the researchers conducted with the designated numbered participants of the study. This section of the collection is designated with the title "Numbered Interviewees."

Boxes 5 through 7 consist of the researchers' field notes. These boxes are titled "Other Research Materials." This section is organized in alphabetical order and contains information on various barrios in San José as well as entries related to visits with fellow researchers in the study.

The "Other Research Materials" section also contains general correspondence between the researchers and various organizations, as well as clinical notes relating to the chemical analysis of marijuana. There are also notes, dated 1971-1977, that relate to the final report. Contained in Boxes 6 and 7, this portion of the collection is not recorded on the Unisort Analysis Cards, but instead in regular letter-sized folders.

The Unisort Analysis Cards used by the researchers have certain identifications on them. The date of the interview and/or field notes are located at the top left of the card, along with the identified interviewee which is designated by his number, or the location in which the notes were taken or were describing. Locations, such as "Oficina de Proyecto" are often abbreviated, "OP." Also note that most of the dates are in the order of day-month-year. At the top right of the card, the abbreviations stand for the researcher and the stenographer who conducted the interview or took the notes. For example "CF:of" means Claudine Frenkel was the interviewer and Olga Fallas de Vardeman was the stenographer.


Access or Use Restrictions

Access

The collection is open for research.


Related or Separated Material

Chronic Cannabis Use in Costa Rica (copy held in the University of Florida Archives): Report written by the researchers recording their findings. The report not only contains the researchers' conclusions, but the Appendix contains the questionnaires used during the study. Also refer to: Algunos Aspectos Sociograficos del Area Metropolitana de San Jose (copy held in the University of Florida Libraries Latin American Collection) for a list of barrios in San Jose, Costa Rica.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Costa Rica Marijuana Research Materials, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.


Contents List

Numbered Interviewees

Box
1 10
1 20
1 41 and 184
1 43
1 44
1 45
1 51
1 59
1 63
1 78
1 104
1 107
1 109
1 129
1 159
1 165
1 165 and 166
1 166
1 167
1 170
1 172
1 173
1 173 and 182
1 175
1 181
1 182
2 183
2 185
2 190
2 191
2 192
2 194
2 200
2 204
2 206
2 215
2 223
2 227
2 228
2 235
2 236
2 241
2 243
2 246
2 251
2 252
2 256
2 264
2 271
2 272
2 273
2 274
2 285
2 302
2 303
2 305
2 308
3 315
3 318
3 322
3 328
3 331
3 332
3 336
3 344
3 347
3 354
3 358
3 367
3 374
3 383
3 394
3 408
3 411
3 421
3 430
3 432
3 468
3 484
4 486
4 492
4 496
4 512
4 520
4 548
4 558
4 582
4 619
4 621
4 629
4 639
4 647
4 657
4 662
4 691
4 698
4 707
4 718


Other Research Materials

Box
5 Archivo Nacional (SJ)
5 Apuntes generales - Barrio Bohemia
5 Autobus San Pedro-Cedros, rumbo a OP
5 Banco Central (SJ)
5 Bar-Restaurant "El Iman" frente Cine Central (SJ)
5 Barrio La Florida, Ca. ctl. Ave. 10
5 Barrio "La Ronda" (Guadalupe)
5 Barrio La Union-Lotes Volio-Rancho Redondo- Barrio Las Caracas
5 Barrio Las Vegas, Guadalupe
5 Barrio Los Yoses
5 Barrio Pinto
5 Barrio Union (Guadalupe)
5 (Blank)
5 Bodega de leche del Ministerio de Salubridad
5 Calle 42 (Frente al Gimnasio Nacional) SJ
5 Centro de San Jose
5 Col. Kennedy
5 Comision sobre Alcoholismo
5 Concepcion Abajo
5 Concepcion Arriba
5 Dom. Concierto
5 Conservatorio Nacional
5 Consultario Dr. Eliecer Jimenez Charpentier (calle perpendicular a Paseo Colon - SJ)
5 Cossa Nostra
5 Cristo Rey (Barrio)
5 Cuba (Barrio)
5 Cubiculos A de UCR
5 El Retiro, la casa de mi Vecino
5 Guadalupe
5 ICE?
5 Limon
5 Los Angeles
5 "Los Ranchos" (Guadalupe)
5 Mercado Borbon - Guadalupe
5 Miscellaneous
5 Notes in English
5 Oficina de 22 Com. Sobre Alcoholismo
5 Oficina de Narcoticos
5 Oficina del Obispo de la Iglesia Episcopal (OOIE) av. 2 entre ca. 3-5, SJ
5 Oficina del Proyecto
5 Oficina del Proyecto, Sra. Barquero
5 Oficina del Vice-Decano de Ciencias y Letras (UCR)
5 Oficina Sobre C. de A.A.
5 Parque Central
5 Patio de la Facultad de Ciencias Econ. (UCR) SJ
5 Pension de 608
5 Rio Oro
5 San Jose
5 San Pedro
5 San Pedro de Poas
5 San Rafael de Cinco Esquinas (Tibas)
5 Santa Ana
5 Taller de Zapatero Ca. 12 Av. 12; Entrevista con No. 24
5 Teatro Nacional
5 Tibas
5 Unidad Sanitaria de Guadalupe
5 Zapateria en la Esquina de ca. 10 Av. 8
6 M.A. Baden - Correspondence, 1973-1975
6 Memos and Correspondence, 1974-1975
6 Intra and Inter - Office / Memoranda and Correspondence, 1975
6 Ministry of Health - Correspondence, 1971-1974
6 Correspondence - ENVIDA, 1974-1975
6 NIDA - Correspondence, 1971-1976
6 Project Office in Costa Rica - Correspondence
6 Correspondence - RECIBIDA, 1973
6 RISM - Correspondence, 1973-1976
6 W.E. Carter - Correspondence, 1972, 1976-1977
6 General Correspondence, 1975-1976
6 Sponsored Research - Correspondence, 1973-1974
6 True, William R., 1973
6 UF Campus - Correspondence, 1971-1973, 1976
7 Feasibility Study, c. 1971
7 Project Proposals, DRA
7 Mari-J Samples and Analysis, 1974-1975
7 Quarter Reports (Final Copies), 1973-1975
7 Final Report - Code Book


Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Cannabis.
Carter, William E.
Coggins, Wilmer J.
Doughty, Paul L.
Drug abuse -- Social aspects -- Costa Rica -- San Jose.
Marijuana -- Physiological aspects.
Marijuana -- Psychological aspects.
Marijuana -- Social aspects.
San José (Costa Rica) -- Social conditions.



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