Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Rader, Nicole E.

Committee Member

Kelly, Kimberly C.

Committee Member

Cossman, Jeralynn S.

Committee Member

Dunaway, R. Gregory

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Sociology


Marijuana has been found to be the sole substance used by 57.3 percent of illicit drug users in the United States (NSDUH 2008). Taking this statistic into mind, it makes sense that individuals currently wed, divorced, cohabitating, or in some form of committed, romantic relationship would also be affected by the use of marijuana. While in today’s society the process of mate selection and relationship formation is considered to be a rather private and personal affair, some aspects of relationships still have consequences for the greater society. The effects of failed pairings on the individuals involved can have numerous repercussions; such ramifications are only multiplied when children are present within the relationship. The purpose of this project was to gain an understanding of the interplay between marijuana use and relationships and to better understand the means and methods by which relationships and marijuana use change over time. The influence of one’s personal, committed relationships on the increase, decrease, initiation, or cessation of marijuana use is examined in this study. Through the use of qualitative, in-depth interviews with 19-seven current and former users of marijuana, the underlying processes and events associated with the use of marijuana within relationships are better understood. According to the current research, marijuana can have both positive and negative repercussion on the romantic relationships of users. However, the most negative impacts on relationships tend to be seen when partners are unequally matched on their usage of the substance.