Pot and Your Paycheck
Grade Level: 9th - 12th; Type: Social Science
Determine the effect of marijuana use on income levels. The goals of this project are:
- To clarify the correlation between recreational marijuana use and income levels.
- To provide helpful information to the public.
- What are the known long-term effects of marijuana use?
- Does marijuana use affect income levels?
Opinions regarding marijuana use vary. Some call it a “harmless” drug whose benefits outweigh the health risks. Others say marijuana use negatively affects our ability to “succeed” in life. This experiment is designed to determine whether or not marijuana use affects income levels.
- Computer with Internet access
- Color printer
- Digital camera
- Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.).
- 100 anonymous volunteers (names withheld)
- Questionnaire (one copy for each volunteer)
All necessary materials can be found in or around your home, at local stores, or on ebay.
- Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography below and terms listed above)
- Address all of the above terms and research questions.
- Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic.
- Take photographs throughout the course of the experiment.
- Explain to the volunteers that they will be answering the questions anonymously.
- Devise a multiple-choice questionnaire with 20 questions. 18 of the questions don't matter to the study, but are there to disguise the true nature of the study, in order to discourage deliberately false responses. The other two questions (placed randomly among the rest) are: 1) How often do you smoke marijuana on a recreational level? The answers provided should be A-Never, B-Occasionally, C-Frequently and D-Daily. The second crucial question is “What is your average annual income? The answer choices (depending on your local economy) might be A – under $20k, B – 21K – 40K, C - 41K – 60K, D – 61K – 100K and E – More than 100K.
- Prepare a statistical report based on the results of the questionnaire.
- Carefully record all observations.
- Analyze your data.
- Interpret your findings in a detailed report.
- Include interesting photos, diagrams and models in your science fair display.
Terms/Concepts: Cannabis; Cognition
- http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/15/health/research/15marijuana.html (NY Times article about the effects of early marijuana use)
- http://citizensagainstmarijuana.com/2010/07/study-intelligence-cognition-unaffected-by-heavy-marijuana-use/ (Study of marijuana's effects on lifestyle)
- Internet searches of your choosing. Search words or terms listed here, or make up your own phrases. Click on any results you find interesting. Have fun surfing the net!
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state’s handbook of Science Safety.