Date of Award

Summer 8-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Dr. D'Lane Compton


The economic impact of legalized marijuana has been massive, but does legal marijuana have the impact to create new types of urban spaces? The legalization of formerly illicit vices has created urban spaces thematically constructed around vice, such as The Strip in Las Vegas (gambling) or The Wallen in Amsterdam (prostitution). This paper suggests that legalized marijuana similarly has the potential to construct vice-themed urban spaces in a post-industrial economic paradigm defined by consumption. Using Denver’s South Broadway (an urban area that has been rebranded as “The Green Mile” due to the outgrowth of marijuana businesses in the area) as the foundation for the analysis, this paper uses qualitative methodologies including historical and content analysis and interviews to examine how marijuana becomes normalized through legalization and resituated for mass consumption, in turn creating the possibility for the construction of thematic urban spaces.


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