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  • Thumbnail for The Catalyst [2016-2017 v.47 no. 6 Oct. 14]
  • Thumbnail for The catalyst [2015-2016 v. 46 no. 10 Nov. 20]
  • Thumbnail for The Catalyst [2016-2017 v.47 no. 13 Jan. 27]
  • Thumbnail for Religion No More: Regression Analysis of the American Opioid Crisis
    Religion No More: Regression Analysis of the American Opioid Crisis by Key, Spencer Forrester

    The United States has seen a concerning escalation of opioid overdose death rates in the 21st century. With some states suffering more than others, it is crucial to determine state-level factors that contribute to the reduction of mortalities. Using a fixed-effects regression model, this thesis examines the determinants of opioid overdose death rates in the United States from 2013-2016 across all states and the District of Columbia. The major findings are that medical cannabis laws play a significant role in reducing deaths, while recreational cannabis laws and over-the-counter Naloxone do not. Additionally, the most effective form of PDMP is mandatory reporting of suspicious behavior.

  • Thumbnail for "I'm on the in": an integrative Bourdieuian analysis of gender negotiation among female marijuana users at Colorado College
    "I'm on the in": an integrative Bourdieuian analysis of gender negotiation among female marijuana users at Colorado College by Rogers, Katie

    Existing analyses of gender relations in youth marijuana subcultures have consistently shown these social fields to be economically, socially, and culturally male-dominated. Despite this disparity and the questions it raises about the gendered investments and negotiations of woman who tap into this subculture, scholars have yet to employ case-specific, qualitative methods to investigate the subjective experiences of female marijuana users. Building on contemporary feminist integrations of gender into Pierre Bourdieu’s theories of social reproduction, this thesis uses the hybrid concepts of gendered field, gendered capital, and gendered habitus to perceive a typology of female marijuana users at Colorado College from 17 purposively sampled interviews. I posit that of the four observable types – guest moochers, honorary den bros, token stoner chicks, and independent floaters – two exhibit distinct forms of gender reflexivity, a self-consciousness of gender investments, negotiations, and constraints as components of a socially constructed game rather than as biological imperatives. These two forms of gender reflexivity – which I call tactical resignation and emergent reflexivity – raise further questions about the capacity for inquiry and discourse to induce reflexivity and the experience of marginalized gender identities in other social fields.

  • Thumbnail for Legalizing marijuana : possible fiscal outcomes for California after legalization
    Legalizing marijuana : possible fiscal outcomes for California after legalization by Sprole, Hunter Smith

    Marijuana legislation in the United States dates back to the early twentieth century. History has shown how policymakers have twisted the creed of marijuana to something dangerous and deadly. Yet, recent years have shown how individual states have been able to reduce the stigma surrounding this drug. Proposition 19 was defeated in California during November of 2010. This proposition would have legalized the consumption, production, and possession of marijuana in California for adults 21 years of age and older. This thesis illustrates the fiscal benefits that might be realized if marijuana were legalized, regulated, and taxed. While other results have recently been produced, this paper combines data, theory, and estimates from a number of renowned sources, to find the potential tax revenue that could be generated from legalization. The results are compiled with current budget deficit and revenue figures, to find the overarching fiscal impact. While others have offered different outcomes, the results indicate that legalization will only slightly improve the monetary situation in California.

  • Thumbnail for Up in smoke : the effects of recreational marijuana dispensaries on regional crime in Colorado and Washington, 2009-2014
    Up in smoke : the effects of recreational marijuana dispensaries on regional crime in Colorado and Washington, 2009-2014 by Cieplak, Philip

    This paper examines whether the legalization of marijuana has contributed to crime rates around Colorado and Washington. Specifically, the primary objective of this paper is to analyze incident based crime rates in a 1,400-ft radius around each dispensary before and after legalization. I collected incident-based crime data from cities across Colorado and Washington from January 2009 to November 2014. For the control variables, I primarily used census block groups around each dispensary and employment data collected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). After sorting each variable into sub-categories, I am able to test my hypothesis at different levels across the dataset. Aggregate data analysis supports the hypothesis that legalizing recreational marijuana would have no statistically significant effect on crime in Colorado and Washington. Categorizing my results suggest crimes such as Burglary and Robbery increased by up to 111%, while Vandalism and ‘All Other Crimes’ decreased by up to 130% since legalization.

  • Thumbnail for LOCATION, LOCATION, SMOKATION: HOW STORE LOCATION IMPACTS THE SALES OF RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA
    LOCATION, LOCATION, SMOKATION: HOW STORE LOCATION IMPACTS THE SALES OF RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA by Robson, Andrew Jack

    In Washington State, an entirely new market of legal marijuana has just opened. Governments are still unsure how to properly handle the situation. Research is quickly being done but because this is a relatively new phenomenon, very little research exists to help people and governments understand the full impact of legalization. This paper seeks to expand that knowledge by establishing what makes a recreational marijuana store successful based on its location. This paper examines the relationship that store sales have with bordering a neighboring state, or Canada. It also examines the effects of the demographics of the city that the recreational marijuana store is based in. Specifically, it discusses the impact of median household income in the city and how the county voted in the 2012 presidential election. The study finds that bordering Idaho or Oregon will hugely boost the sales of recreational marijuana as out of state residents flock to purchase legally. This paper finds that bordering Canada has the opposite effect. Median household income was found to be largely inconclusive. This paper also found that, at the 90% confidence level, a county with a higher percentage of votes for Obama in 2012 positively influences the sales of marijuana. Hopefully these conclusions can lead policy makers to better anticipate where the highest demand for marijuana will occur, allowing them to consequently prepare better.

  • Thumbnail for Cannabis and Crime: The Effect of Medical and Retail Marijuana Laws on Crime
    Cannabis and Crime: The Effect of Medical and Retail Marijuana Laws on Crime by Shaw, Casey Lispcomb

    Few studies have investigated the effects of medical marijuana laws on crime and even fewer have investigated the effects of retail marijuana laws on crime. These studies have mostly employed state-level panel data (Alford, 2014; Morris, TenFyck, Barnes & Kovandzic, 2014; Gavrilova, Kamada & Zoutman, 2014). I aim to study the effects of both medical and retail marijuana laws using city-level panel data. In order to model crime, along with medical and retail marijuana indicator variables, I include socioeconomic and demographic time-varying factors that are known contributors to crime. By using a two-way fixed effects two stage least squares approach, I control for unobserved constant heterogeneity and endogeneity. The results indicate that medical marijuana laws have a decreasing effect on property crime and retail marijuana laws have an increasing effect on property crime. Additionally, they show that the physical dispensaries are the driving factors causing this relationship. However, the results should be interpreted cautiously because there may be unobserved time-varying characteristics that my model does not capture.