Kim Star

Date of Defense

Spring 4-19-2001



First Advisor

Timothy Diamond, Sociology

Second Advisor

Douglas Davidson, Sociology

Third Advisor

Gwen Raaberg, Women's Studies


Harry Aslinger


The United States currently spends in excess of seventeen billion dollars annually attempting to control the drug problem. It is estimated that the annual market for illicit drugs is fifty billion dollars, only seven of which is spent on marijuana. Nevertheless, the government continually reaffirms its position that marijuana constitutes a serious social problem. While most Americans are aware of the controversial status of marijuana as a social problem, few are familiar with the process whereby marijuana users became stigmatized. Through a critical content analysis of selected articles from popular media of the 1930s, the author examines the ways in which social construction of the identity of the marijuana user in the United States was intimately connected to the construction of race, class and gender in accordance with existing stereotypes.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only