This study goes on to address how certain marijuana reform polices impact overall crime rates in differing states across the United States. In doing so it outlines two different approaches to combatting marijuana related offenses. The first being decimalization and the second being legalization. The literature points to the connection between marijuana legislation and criminality. The theory of the literature also goes into detail about how certain legislative policies can either strengthen or hurt criminal infrastructure. Throughout this study I hypothesize that legalization efforts will do a better job at combatting criminal infrastructure and therefore lower the overall crime rates. This means that the emphasis on legalization legislation would be my independent variable and the crime rates in these states would be my dependent variable. I use an observational research approach through the utilization of quantitative analysis. In doing so the research focusses on a longitudinal study to observe the data over time as well. Ultimately, my study found a null hypothesis. Thus, meaning that there was no direct or clear correlation between legalization reform policy and lower crime rates than that of those states who adopted decriminalized reform policy.


Wrobel, Meghan


Political Science


American Politics | Criminal Procedure | Law | Political Science | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Social and Behavioral Sciences


American Politics, Public Policy

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis


© Copyright 2023 Owen Belfiore