Movements for the legalization of medical marijuana and recreational pot within the United States have made great strides in recent years. As of this writing, thirty-three states have legalized cannabis for medical purposes, while eleven states have legalized it for recreational purposes. Public support for legalization of cannabis currently sits at 66%, up nearly 30% from a decade ago.
Although prohibition's stranglehold on cannabis is loosening, the debate over its legality rages on.
If you wish to enter this debate via a writing assignment or speech in one of your classes, or if you just want to be an informed citizen, this research guide is for you. All too often, arguments for the legalization or prohibition of cannabis rely on anecdotal evidence and received wisdom, neither of which can adequately support an informed and reasonable opinion, let alone an academic paper.
This guide will introduce you to works whose evidence and conclusions are drawn from extensive ethnographic research, clinical trials, and sociological data. These works--organized under the Bibliography tab above--illustrate the broad scope of cannabis research and provide a model for responsible, evidence-based scholarship. If you decide to extend your research beyond these works, you would do well to begin your search in one of the resources listed under the Databases tab.