• The High Road. A Content Analysis of Newspaper Articles Concerning Medical Marijuana

Lambert Academic Publishing
Publication date:

(Samuel G. Vickovic, M.S: B.A. in Criminology, Law, and Society at the University of California, Irvine and an M.S. in Criminal Justice at California State University, Long Beach. Doctoral student in criminology and criminal justice at Arizona State University. Research interests include drugs, drug markets, social networks, and justice policy.)


Recent legalization of marijuana for medical purposes in certain U.S. states has brought state and federal laws regulating marijuana into conflict. As with other issues, media coverage has affected both legal and social consciousness of the debate regarding legalization of medical marijuana. This review highlights the history of marijuana, the social control of marijuana, the medicalization of marijuana use, and the relevance of agenda-setting theory to media coverage of medical marijuana. An ethnographic content analysis of newspaper articles concerning medical marijuana was utilized and revealed that 64.2% of the sample treated medical marijuana positively. The effect of presidency and region of the country regarding the treatment of medical marijuana is discussed. The policy implications discussed shed light on the various different issues encountered due to the legalization of medical marijuana, and offers guidelines for minimizing the confusion caused. The topics included in this book would be beneficial for individuals involved in drug policy making, as well as those who are interested in the topics of marijuana, and the role of media in social control.

MATERIAS: medical marijuana, medicalization, law and social control, agenda-setting theory