William Garriott

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Drake U.

Grant number

Gr. 9459

Approve Date

April 25, 2017

Project Title

Garriott, Dr. William Campbell, III, Drake U., Des Moines, IA - To aid research on 'Commercializing Cannabis: Marijuana Legalization in the Shadow of the Carceral State'

WILLIAM CAMPBELL Garriott, III, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, received a grant in April 2017 to aid research on “Commercializing Cannabis: Marijuana Legalization in the Shadow of the Carceral State.” For decades, the US-led War on Drugs has been the reigning paradigm of drug policy throughout the world. This paradigm is defined by a logic of punitive prohibitionism, which uses the force of law to control supplies and discourage use. This paradigm has shaped the global circulation of drugs, as well as drug markets and users. But in 2012 the US state of Colorado challenged this approach by legalizing marijuana for recreational use. In so doing, they and a handful of other states created a new paradigm that uses commercial markets, rather than punitive prohibitionism, to govern the circulation of drugs and users. This research seeks to understand this new paradigm by focusing on the industry it created, the retail marijuana industry. It asks: How is the reliance on commercialization shaping marijuana legalization in Colorado? What is the impact of this approach on US drug policy more generally? And, how is this new approach to marijuana implicated in the pursuit of other governmental projects, such as education, economic growth, and healthcare? Proceeding in this way, this research is part of a broader project on marijuana legalization and the future of the War on Drugs.


Garriott, Dr. William. 2020. Change Is in the Air: The Smell of Marijuana, after Legalization. Law & Social Inquiry Volume 45, Issue 4, 995–1026