Controversial Healing: Making sense of medicinal cannabis debates

Name of applicant

IT-Universitetet i København


Aarhus University


DKK 1,128,356



Type of grant

Reintegration Fellowships


My project investigates discussion and mobilizations leading up to the trial period for medicinal cannabis to selected patient groups, which started in January 2018. The medicinal cannabis issue has been characterized as a "war between the people and science" in public media, and I am interested in examining the implications of this assumption. I am particularly interested in the role of new types of health authorities in the debate about medicinal cannabis, as well as understanding how mobilization in relation to medicinal cannabis has moved between the realms of the personal and the political.


The project investigates a controversial topic: the scientific evidence on the effect and use of medicinal cannabis is not conclusive. Politicians have openly acknowledged that the trial period comes after a massive public push, spearheaded by celebritized figures and local activism. The project provides important knowledge about new relationships between social mobilization, political pressure and health initiatives in the contemporary welfare state.


The project will draw on a combination of archived digital data and interviews to investigate the topic from its many and diverse angles. The project is interdisciplinary and will be based in research environments both nationally and internationally that have unique expertize in investigating the relationship between sociality, digitality and ideas about health.

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