Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Bonnie Van Ness

Relational Format



In today’s political and social climate, the legalization of marijuana has been a major topic of discussion across the nation. As more states pass legislation to legalize marijuana, whether it be for medicinal or recreational purposes, a market is being created that has economically beneficial possibilities that can be harnessed on a national level. This thesis seeks to highlight the economic effect marijuana legalization could possibly have on the national economy by examining the states that have legalized marijuana. States who have already passed such legislation provide a framework for state-level economic impact of marijuana legalization that can be projected to a national scale. The framework is based on the factors influencing marijuana’s economic impact, which will be further explored in this study. A comparison of alcohol and tobacco tax revenue to marijuana revenue will be examined in states who have legalized marijuana in order to better understand the relation and potential revenue marijuana could bring to the nation. An analysis of the two marijuana markets, recreational and medicinal, will be conducted to examine the economic impact each market has. As marijuana legalization occurs in more states, the impact legalization potentially has on both a state and national economy is worth examining.

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