The Case for Mary Jane: A Study of Student Perceptions on Marijuana Legalization
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Marijuana legalization is continuously up for debate in the legislature and throughout the United States, many states have legalized a variety of marijuana uses and decriminalized minor marijuana offenses. While many studies have been conducted on individuals’ opinions and perceptions on marijuana use and legalization, these studies are lacking in Texas.
This research primarily examines the attitudes and perceptions of undergraduate and graduate students, enrolled in Political Science and Public Administration programs at Texas State University. This research was accomplished through the distribution of a survey that focused on four categories: position, use, opinions/perceptions, and demographics. The research found that 89.4% of these students are for marijuana legalization. Additionally, student classification and parental status play a significant role in whether an individual is for or against marijuana legalization. The study also found that, although there is no correlation between age and annual income on student stance of marijuana legalization, as individuals age and their annual income increases, they are less likely to support marijuana legalization.
This study focused on student opinions/perceptions as public opinion is a strong driver of future legislative issues and the purpose for change. These students are potential future political and public leaders in Texas which could shape the future of marijuana in the state. Therefore, it is important that studies such as this one be conducted throughout Texas to gain insight and understanding as to what is driving Americans to change their views towards marijuana. By doing so, Texas representatives can make informed decisions for the wellbeing and interests of their citizens.