Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Sociology (Criminology Option)

Department or School/College

Department of Sociology

Committee Chair

Daniel Doyle

Commitee Members

Bryan Cochran, James Burfeind


Critical Theory, Marijuana Law, Normative Theory, GSS, Marijuana


University of Montana


The ambiguity of marijuana law in the United States is creating a true state of social anomie for U.S. citizens. Using survey data from the General Social Survey from the University of California, Berkeley, binary logistical regression is employed to find which of the independent variables compiled, age, income, race, region, and sex, have an impact on the dependent variable, attitudes toward marijuana legalization. Through this analysis, two theories are utilized, Richard Quinney’s critical theory of crime and normative theory of law, to outline predictors for the future legalization of marijuana in the U.S. The findings show that while neither theory outlines a clear path to marijuana legalization, Quinney’s critical theory of crime can assist in understanding why marijuana has not yet been legalized in the U.S.

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© Copyright 2012 Michael P. Fawaz