Date of Award
Master of Arts
Recent years have seen an increase in states that have legalized or proposed legislation for the use of medical marijuana. This paper used agenda-setting and framing theories to examine how the print media, in the form of daily newspapers, might influence the general population's opinion on legalizing medical marijuana. Using Lexis-Nexis, daily newspapers from 12 states (four with legalized medical marijuana, four that had pending legislation in 2010, and four without legalized medical marijuana or pending legislation as of 2010) were identified and searched for the term "marijuana" between Jan. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2010. Content analysis was employed on 677 newspaper articles. The author found that article tone did not greatly vary between states with medical marijuana and states without; articles from states with pending legislation displayed very even coverage of articles considered to have negative or positive tones; and articles from states with legalization ran the most front page marijuana articles, but states with pending legislation ran approximately four times as many front page articles as states with no legalization.
Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Temyer, Jodi, "Medical Marijuana and Mass Media Effects: Agenda-Setting and Framing in the Debate over Legalization" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 315.