Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Thomas Nicholson, John White, Richard Wilson


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Degree Program

Department of Public Health

Degree Type

Master of Science


Drug laws and policies have certainly had an impact on countries, whether it is positive or negative seems to be a debatable and inflammable issue. This study endeavored to analyze the drug laws and policies of three comparable countries – the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada – to assess if a difference exists in recreational marijuana use patterns among marijuana users from these countries. It was evident that the United States followed a prohibitional model and the United Kingdom and Canada favored varying degrees of decriminalization. In addition, demographic and lifestyle characteristics, legal history, and general well-being of the three samples were compared. An epidemiological cross-sectional descriptive study was undertaken to study adult recreational marijuana users from the three countries via the internet, from 1996 to 1997. The results of the study revealed no significant difference in marijuana use, demographics, and general well-being among the three samples, thereby, implying that the highly punitive laws of the United States sample had more legal problems consequent to drug use behavior. The stringent drug policies of the United States may explain the above finding. Several implications for drug policy reform in the United States emerged from this study.


Medicine and Health Sciences | Pharmacy Administration, Policy and Regulation | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences | Public Health