About This ProjectThis project establishes the first state-level longitudinal marijuana user and producer survey using Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS) methods. The results will help identify where individuals get their marijuana and how policy changes influence producers' behavior over time. This request will fund the initial sample gathering and survey, drawn from Oregon residents before the impending November vote on recreational legalization (Measure 91).
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What is the context of this research?
I conducted the first peer-reviewed study of Oregon marijuana users and producers using Respondent Driven Sampling techniques. That study suggests that (1) the average Oregon marijuana user consumes approximately 4.5 ounces per year, (2) the average per ounce price is the lowest in the US at $177, (3) most users purchase the drug from friends, (4) nearly one third of respondents indicate that they sell marijuana, and (5) growers tend to sell small quantities to friends and relatives, rarely earning more than $10,000 annually from their sales.
My initial study occurred before Oregon allowed medical marijuana dispensaries to open (3/2014) and demonstrated the need for a long-term surveillance program to assess the impact of policy changes on marijuana related behaviors.
What is the significance of this project?
Oregonians are voting on the legalization of recreational marijuana use in November 2014. If the measure passes--which public opinion polls suggest will occur--Oregon marijuana policy will drastically change. We need to know how the marijuana market works pre-legalization and post-legalization. In addition, we need to establish a surveillance network of respondents to identify how future policy changes alter consumption/production behaviors. Because there is too little time to solicit funding from traditional sources and conduct the actual research before this November's election, I'm turning to the "democracy of ideas" that crowd-sourced research funding represents.
This project represents an open-source model that can be replicated in any state considering marijuana policy changes.
What are the goals of the project?
To establish a network of marijuana-using respondents that can be surveyed at multiple time points (current and future) to assess the effects of marijuana policy changes on use/production behavior. If successful, this funding request will provide the foundation for future research and establish a cost-effective framework for other states to follow.
For successful data collection, Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS) requires primary monetary incentives (i.e. money to reward people for participating) (Crawford 2014). This funding request will provide $10 to 350 respondents for taking our survey instrument. If more funds are collected, we can offer secondary incentives to respondents who successfully recruit others ($5 / person; max $25), which accelerates the sample building process.
For successful data collection, Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS) requires primary monetary incentives (i.e. money to reward people for participating) (Crawford 2014a; Crawford 2014b). This funding request will provide $10 to 350 respondents for taking our survey instrument, which is the minimum amount to get the project off the ground. If more funds are collected, we can offer secondary incentives to respondents who successfully recruit others ($5 / person; max $25), which accelerates the sample building process.
Establishing this initial network and gathering data before the November election will provide the foundation to pursue further grants for additional surveys to monitor the effects of policy changes on marijuana consumption/production behavior. The more research funding we can gather at this stage (in excess of the minimum startup amount), the more data points we will be able to collect--this will strengthen the generalizability of our findings in the long term.
The most important point to make is that this is a crucially time-sensitive request for funds; this research opportunity is very likely to vanish after Oregon's November referendum on marijuana legalization. We will never have the opportunity to study Oregon's pre-legalization marijuana market structure again.
Meet the Team
Team BioI am a 4th generation Oregonian and was raised in an electricity-less log cabin in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness of southern Oregon (42°34'57.09"N, 123°37'20.09"W). I study the political economy of resource issues (energy and marijuana).
My current research investigates the political economy of marijuana from multiple levels of analysis within the US. Using mixed methods, including qualitative comparative analysis, event history analysis, time series regression models, social network analysis, respondent driven sampling, and web-based survey methods, I argue that marijuana legalization has and will continue a predictable policy path through US states, though its consequences are likely to result in oligopolic market control and increased economic inequality in peripheral areas of the country (particularly in southern Oregon and northern California).
Press and MediaMy research on marijuana markets has been featured or cited by a number of media outlets. A partial list (and dates) include:
2/11/14 Interviewed and quoted, The Palm Beach Post
4/10/14 Interviewed, Gazzette-Times
4/21/14 Interviewed, The Palm Beach Post
7/23/14 Research cited, The Oregonian
7/24/14 Interviewed, The Washington Post
7/28/14 Research cited, The Portland Tribune
7/29/14 Research cited, The Oregonian
8/5/14 Research cited, The Oregonian
8/6/14 Research cited, The Statesman Journal
8/8/14 Research cited, KOIN News
8/10/14 Research cited, The Statesman Journal
8/20/14 Research featured, OSU News & Research
8/20/14 Research cited, Hines Sight Blog
8/21/14 Research cited, KTVZ News
8/21/14 Research cited, KVAL News
8/21/14 Research cited, Medical Xpress
8/21/14 Research cited, Medical Marijuana Business Daily
8/21/14 Research cited, Hemp News
8/21/14 Research cited, eCannabis News
8/21/14 Research cited, Ganjapreneur
8/21/14 Research cited, 420 News Wire
8/21/14 Research cited, World News Network
8/21/14 Research cited, Russ Belville Show
8/22/14 Research cited, The Weed Blog
8/22/14 Interviewed, KLCC (Radio)
8/22/14 Research cited, Herald-Tribune
8/22/14 Research cited, Medical Marijuana Reporter
8/24/14 Appeared and research cited, KLCC (Radio)
8/25/14 Appeared and research cited, Jefferson Public Radio (Radio)
8/28/14 Appeared and research cited, Cannabis Radio News (Radio)
8/29/14 Appeared and research cited, Public Radio Exchange (Radio)
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