Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Laura Grant


Every year new states legalize marijuana both for medical and recreational use. Currently 18 states have a medical cannabis program, and another 18 states have legalized marijuana for adult-use purposes. Because only three states across the nation have no public cannabis access program, policymakers are becoming increasingly more curious about both the positive and negative consequences of legalization. The effects of both medical and recreational legalization of marijuana on alcohol consumption is a popular topic of discussion recently. Humans use alcohol and cannabis to alter behavior, and many speculate how the legalization of one can affect the use of the other. I look at 21 states that have either legalized cannabis medically or both medically and recreationally. The goal is to understand whether the residents of these states treat alcohol and marijuana as substitutes, complements, or neither. Using multiple panel regressions, when marijuana legalization is implemented, there is a decrease in alcohol consumption by the public.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.