Master of Mass Communication (MMC)


Mass Communication

Document Type



This study conducted a framing analysis of the medical marijuana issue in United States print media. In addition, this analysis investigated whether the medical marijuana issue was portrayed as a policy issue or a medical issue, and based the inquiry in public opinion and health communication literature. This analysis extracted a sample (N=240) from newspaper stories that reported the issue within the past five years in states that have enacted medical marijuana legislation. The framing analysis measured the occurrence of frames in three different categories: gain vs. loss, types of frames, and policy vs. medical. Furthermore, this analysis determined if a relationship occurred between the use of a policy context and the conflict frame, and the medical context and the human interest frame. Findings indicate that a majority of the medical marijuana conversation is framed as policy related, as a loss, and as a conflict. This study also uncovered that print media pair the use of conflict and policy frames together, and likewise for human interest and medical frames.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Sylvester, Judith L.