Date Presented

Spring 4-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Jessica Scheld, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Michael Schnur, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Edward DeClair, Ph.D.


The objective of this thesis is to investigate and report the impact of the legalization of marijuana on the funding of education and car crash fatality rates in the state of Colorado. Legalization has been a controversial topic, and marijuana has already been legalized for recreational use in 11 states, and medically in 22 states across the United States. The tax revenues from marijuana are used in school funding, though the allocations of these funds have varied in different years. As we approach the impact that legalization has had on Colorado, it will be interesting to see if the newly allocated funds are supplementary or a replacement.

For this investigation we will need data on the following: marijuana tax revenue, marijuana tax allocation, state education funding (non-marijuana), and crash fatality data. The increased funding for education should lead to lower crime rates; the legalization of a schedule V drug for recreational and medical use should also lead to a decrease in drug incidents at schools and lower dropout rates. Looking at the data, we will be able to see if that holds true for Colorado since legalization in November of 2012.

Using statistics and regression analysis, I will examine the effect that legalization has had in Colorado on the funding of education and on car crash fatality rates. Examining the process and effects that legalization and the tax revenue from marijuana sales has had on the state of Colorado, is important in further decisions of legalization in other states and on a federal level. After I have completed my study, I will report my findings and analyze the results and their potential impact on future policy decisions.