Ahmed El Fatmaoui Ph.D. Candidate Department of Economics University of Oklahoma Norman, Oklahoma

Study Evaluates Effects of Legalized Marijuana on Higher Education

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ahmed El FatmaouiPh.D. Candidate
Department of Economics
University of Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma

Ahmed El Fatmaoui

Ahmed El Fatmaoui
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Economics
University of Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The impetus for this research was the growing trend of recreational marijuana legalization (RML) and its potential impact on higher education. With increasing marijuana use among college students, it was crucial to understand how RML might influence college enrollment decisions. Specifically, it is important to examine whether recreational marijuana is regarded by some students as another college amenity, similar to Greek life and other amenities.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response:  My study found that RML is associated with a significant increase in college enrollments, particularly out-of-state enrollments, without adversely affecting degree completion or graduation rates. This suggests that recreational marijuana legalization may be viewed as a positive amenity by prospective students

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Readers should note the nuanced impact of recreational marijuana legalization on higher education. While it appears to enhance college competitiveness and attractiveness, this effect is primarily observed in non-selective colleges, which may have non-binding capacity limits.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a results of this study?

Response: Future studies should explore the long-term effects of recreational marijuana legalization on academic performance and the labor market outcomes of graduates. Additionally, research could examine the impact of RML on student major choice and peer effects.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? Any disclosures?

Response: It’s important to consider the broader socioeconomic factors at play and how they interact with recreational marijuana legalization policies. This study opens the door to a more comprehensive understanding of these dynamics.

I have no disclosures related to this study.


El Fatmaoui, A. (2024) From high school to higher education: is recreational marijuana a consumption amenity for US college students? Economic Inquiry, 62(3), 1024–1045. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1111/ecin.13225

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Last Updated on June 27, 2024 by Marie Benz MD FAAD