2nd Place - Empirical Undergraduate
In the United States, many state governments have either legalized or decriminalized small quantities of marijuana for recreational or medicinal use, while other states have resisted the pull towards legalization. This study aims to correlate the racial makeup of states with the degree of marijuana illegality, hypothesizing that high minority populations may be a deterrent to a state legalizing marijuana. Current statewide marijuana policy was cross tabulated by racial composition based on the 2020 census, concluding that blacks are 5% more likely to live in a state where marijuana is illegal, while whites are 7% more likely to live in a state where marijuana is legal. Analysis also compared the percentage of blacks arrested for marijuana possession for states of varying legality, finding that legalization decreases the arrest disparity and makes blacks slightly less likely to be arrested.
Copyright the Author(s)
Cross, Hannah and Sutter, Jaelynn
"Colors of Cannabis in the U.S; An Analysis of Race and Marijuana Legalization,"
SACAD: John Heinrichs Scholarly and Creative Activity Days: Vol. 2023, Article 42.
Available at: https://scholars.fhsu.edu/sacad/vol2023/iss2023/42