Re-defining Environmental Harms: Green Criminology and the State of Canada’s Hemp Industry

Tourangeau, Wesley (2015) Re-defining Environmental Harms: Green Criminology and the State of Canada’s Hemp Industry. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 57 (4). pp. 528-554. ISSN 1707-7753

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Green criminology has been developing for more than 20 years as a field of criminological inquiry that grapples with defining and exploring environmental harms. This perspective includes approaches that look beyond legally defined environmental crimes, highlighting permissible activities that cause environmental deterioration, such as clear-cutting of forests, and prohibited activities that benefit the environment, such as pedicabs. Extending the criminological gaze helps green criminology identify unacknowledged environmental harms. The article draws from postmodernist/poststructuralist concepts to work past merely defining actions as either harmful or harmless, highlighting the complexity of socio-ecological effects and the importance of extending the conceptual boundaries of harm. Canada’s experiences with industrial hemp provide a fitting example. The heavily regulated Canadian hemp industry offers an important case for investigating the impacts of social constraints that limit the industry’s capacity to benefit the environment. Qualitative interviews reveal negative public perceptions, over-restrictive regulatory requirements, and insufficient technological capabilities as important obstacles to a fuller realization of hemp’s environmental benefits. Informed by constitutive criminology, chaos criminology, and Halsey’s important critique, the article adds to postmodernist/poststructuralist developments in green criminology.

Keywords:green criminology, harm, hemp
Subjects:L Social studies > L390 Sociology not elsewhere classified
M Law > M200 Law by Topic
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:44277
Deposited On:13 Oct 2021 07:50

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