Pot and Your Paycheck

3.5 based on 2 ratings

Updated on Feb 08, 2012

Grade Level: 9th - 12th; Type: Social Science


Determine the effect of marijuana use on income levels. The goals of this project are:

  1. To clarify the correlation between recreational marijuana use and income levels.
  2. To provide helpful information to the public.

Research Questions:

  • 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.

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography below and terms listed above)
  2. Address all of the above terms and research questions.
  3. Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic.
  4. Take photographs throughout the course of the experiment.
  5. Explain to the volunteers that they will be answering the questions anonymously.
  6. 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.
  7. Prepare a statistical report based on the results of the questionnaire.
  8. Carefully record all observations.
  9. Analyze your data.
  10. Interpret your findings in a detailed report.
  11. Include interesting photos, diagrams and models in your science fair display.

Terms/Concepts: Cannabis; Cognition


Judee Shipman is a Bay Area Educational Consultant and professional writer of quality educational materials. Her recent writing credits include Top50States.com (a popular and entertaining website about states), and a book called The Portable Chess Coach (Cardoza, 2006), currently available in stores.

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