FYI-3 – UROP Spring Symposium 2021


Jacob Small


Pronouns: he, him, his

Research Mentor(s): Susan Franzen, Research Area Specialist Senior
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Prevention Research Center at U of M, School of Public Health
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 6 (4pm-4:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 13
Presenter: 7

Event Link


Despite the recent increase in US states where recreational marijuana is legal, little is known about how these policies affect low-income communities and families in difficult circumstances. The overall idea is that recreational marijuana usage is a double edged sword; helping people overcome mental health obstacles or eating disorders in some situations, but creating more dangerous neighborhood environments in others. This study analyzes the perspectives of families in Flint, Michigan on the state’s marijuana policy through qualitative interviews with over 100 clients in the Genesee County Area. An analysis of these interviews yields the clients’ own personal experiences with recreational marijuana; how it has influenced their past and now currently affects their children. Depending on the client, interviews may either certify or challenge the following arguments about legal recreational marijuana: 1) recreational marijuana disparages communities and contributes to an addiction cycle that increases life’s challenges; 2) recreational marijuana helps relieve stress, anxiety and other domestic problems; 3) legal marijuana has little effect on day-to-day life because it is still primarily sold on the streets without tax. The stories add nuance to our understanding of the positive and negative consequences of legal marijuana in lower income communities in the Genesee County area. This study, titled FYI-3, is the third stage of a longitudinal interview collection of Flint residents and their personal experiences with marijuana. In using a frequently underrepresented sector of the American population”” truths from low income and minority communities””this project will contribute to future research on similar topics and influence future policy decisions.

Authors: Jacob Small
Research Method: Survey Research

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