Use the links below to research any aspect of marijuana,
medical cannabis, drug policy and the public policy process
Medical Cannabis and Scientific
and Medicine, Assessing the Science Base. This is
the landmark 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine on medical
cannabis. Read on-line for free.
as Medicine: The Science Beyond the Controversy.
This is a follow-up by Allison Mack and Janet Joy to the 1999
Institute of Medicine report on medical cannabis from the
National Academies Press and was published n 2000. Read
on-line for free.
National Library of Medicine
This is the premier web site in the United States for information
on health and medicine.
This server from the National Library of Medicine provides
citations and abstracts for biomedical articles. Descriptions
of almost all cannabis-related research are available through
Dr. Lester Grinspoon’s
Marijuana Uses. Lester Grinspoon, MD, is the author
of Marihuana: the Forbidden Medicine (along with James Bakalar).
This site contains essays and brief accounts about marijuana
use submitted by the public.
Articles by Lester
Grinspoon and James Bakalar. An associate professor
of psychiatry (emeritus) at Harvard Medical School, Lester
Grinspoon, MD, has often written about medical cannabis with
his Harvard colleague James Bakalar. Lester Grinspoon
is a pioneer in recognizing the importance, value, and potential
of medical cannabis use and his work over the last decades
continues to have relevance to both patients, health care
professionals, policy makers, and interested members of the
Out of Time This group sponsors the biannual National
Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics and maintains
important contact with the medical and scientific community
on the behalf of medical cannabis patients. Patients
Out of Time’s mission is the education of health care professionals
and the public about the therapeutic use of cannabis.
They seek to provide a compassionate, science-based educational
forum for the restoration of medical cannabis knowledge.
Patients Out of Time is a member of the Coalition for Rescheduling
Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)
The oldest and one of the most reliable sources for news and
information about marijuana, medical marijuana use, and marijuana
laws in the United States – NORML filed the original rescheduling
petition in 1972 that resulted in the 1988 recommendation
by Administrative Law Judge Francis Young that marijuana be
made legally available as prescription medicine. NORML
works with activists, attorneys and legislators to address
medical cannabis issues at the personal, local, state, and
national level. NORML is a member of the Coalition for
NORML The California chapter of NORML is an excellent
source of information about California’s Proposition 215,
related state laws and policies about medical cannabis, and
other news and information related to the legal use of medical
cannabis under California state law. California NORML
is a member of the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis.
for Safe Access (ASA) This group provides legal training
for lawyers and patients, medical information for doctors
and patients, media support for court cases, activist training
to organizers, and rapid response to law enforcement problems.
ASA works with local, state and national legislators
on issues concerning medical marijuana patients. ASA is a
member of the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis.
Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC) The Alliance
is dedicated to bringing patients, caregivers and volunteers
the facts they need to make informed decisions about whether
Cannabis is the right medicine for them, the laws surrounding
Medicinal Marijuana in your area, political activism and even
handy recipes. AAMC is a member of the Coalition for Rescheduling
Buyers Cooperative (OCBC) This is a not-for-profit cooperative
supporting patients who benefit from medical cannabis.
At this website OCBC explain how we help our friends, and
how you can help us help us all. OCBC is a member of
the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis.
Law Judge Francis L. Young’s Opinion and Recommended Ruling
(1988) Opinion and Recommended Ruling, Findings
of Fact, Conclusions Of Law And Decision Of Administrative
Law Judge. Francis L. Young, Administrative Law Judge.
September 6, 1988. After hearing testimony and
arguments concerning NORML’s original rescheduling petition,
Judge Young recommends that marijuana be placed in schedule
II because it has an accepted medical use in the United States.
Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics (ACT) The Alliance
was the first non-profit organization dedicated to reforming
the laws which prohibit medical access to marijuana. ACT
was founded in 1981 by Robert Randall and Alice O'Leary and
their website continues to provide valuable information about
the medical uses of marijuana.
Gettman on the Web
of Indiscretion: Marijuana Arrests in the United States,
by Jon Gettman, PhD is a comprehensive study reporting and
analyzing national arrest data between 1995 and 2002 and other
important trends in US marijuana policy, published by NORML.
on U.S. Domestic Marijuana Production – The 1998 Marijuana
Crop Report, by Jon Gettman and Paul Armentano.
An Evaluation of Marijuana Production, Value, and Eradication
Efforts in the United States, published by NORML.
Cases in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Distinguishing Personal
Possession from Intent to Distribute, by Jon Gettman.
This is a collection of excerpts from Virginia Court of Appeals
opinions on the evidentiary requirements to sustain a conviction
for possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.
This handout was originally prepared for a conference of the
Virginia College of Criminal Defense Attorneys in Fredericksburg,
Virginia on October 25, 2002 and is located on the website
of Virginia NORML.
of the Budgetary Costs of Marijuana Possession Arrests
the Commonwealth of Virginia. (113 KB PDF) By Jon
Gettman and Stephen Fuller. This report contains is
a review of the penalty structure, relative severity of all
crimes in Virginia, and an estimate of the costs of marijuana
possession arrests. This report is located on the website
of Virginia NORML.
Argument Against Increasing the Maximum Penalty for Marijuana
Possession in Virginia. (662 KB PDF) By Jon Gettman.
This report was prepared in response to a legislative proposal
in the Virginia General Assembly. The report reviews
marijuana use, marijuana arrests, jail overcrowding and costs
by county, and other data as part of an overall argument why
House Bill 737, a proposal to increase the maximum penalty
for marijuana possession, should be rejected. Due to
strong public opposition HB 737 was defeated in committee
during the last session of the General Assembly.
Cannabis Column. By Jon Gettman. This is a
monthly column taking fresh look at the effort to legalize
marijuana, with commentary, criticism, and analysis of news
and reform proposals, published by High Times Online.
Dependence, Addiction, and Abuse
the Myths About Addiction: Strategies to Increase Understanding
and Strengthen Research. This National Academies
Press title is available to read free on-line and provides
excellent background on how the scientific community views
addiction and dependency. Read free online.
of Addiction: Opportunities in Drug Abuse Research.
This National Academies Press title contains a superb discussion
distinguishing drug use, abuse, and dependency. Read
Biological Components or Substance Abuse and Addiction.
This report was prepared for Congress in 1993 by their Office
of Technology Assessment and provides a good introduction
to the biological basis for drug dependency.
for Understanding and Preventing Substance Abuse and Addiction.
This report was prepared for Congress in 1994 and
provides a solid introduction to all of the issues involved
in drug policy and the various policy options available for
policy makers, including both prohibition and public health
Criminal Justice and Public
Crime Reports County Data. This University of Virginia
web server provides access to county level data on marijuana
and other arrests.
of Justice Statistics. Information and data about
the criminal justice system at the local, state, and federal
of Justice Statistics: Expenditure and Employment Statistics.
This link provides access to data on the costs of law enforcement,
the court system, and the correctional system.
Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive. This site
provides visitors with the capability to conduct on-line analysis
of data from important national surveys, such as the National
Survey on Drug Use and Health. Some training in statistical
analysis will be helpful in utilizing this service.
Consortium for Political and Scientific Research. This
is the primary source for social science and political datasets.
For example the dataset used by the University of Virginia
server for arrest data can be obtained from this source.
Formal training in statistical analysis and the use of related
software packages is required to utilize the datasets available
from this source.
U.S. Drug Policy
The Trebach Report. This
is the website of Arnold Trebach, founder of the Drug Policy
Foundation, author of The Heroin Solution and The Great Drug
War, and a pioneer in contemporary efforts to reform drug
policy in the US and throughout the world. Trebach remains
an expansive critic of the War on Drugs and devotes special
attention to issues involving the abuse of patients receiving
drug treatment services and the pursuit of the War on Drugs
in the Age of Islamic Terror, the subject of his new book
Policy Alliance. DPA is the nation's leading organization
working to end the war on drugs. We envision new drug policies
based on science, compassion, health and human rights and
a just society in which the fears, prejudices and punitive
prohibitions of today are no more.
Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
This federal agency coordinates federal drug policy and programs;
it is the primary source for government analysis of drug policy
issues and developments.
This portal provides access to every federal agency
and important government programs.
National Drug Control Strategy Report. This annual
report analyzes progress in achieving the policy objectives
of the Administration and the Congress, and generally makes
a case for how the government is winning the war on drugs.
Drug Intelligence Center. The Bush Administration
has eliminated funding for this agency, however it is currently
“the nation's principal center for strategic domestic counterdrug
intelligence.” This is an excellent source for government
analysis of trends in key policy indicators such as availability
Data Sources. This portal from ONDCP provides access
to the original source data used to evaluate federal drug
policy, including survey data on drug use, emergency room
visits, drug treatment admissions, and other key indicators
of policy performance.
America’s Policy on Illegal Drugs: What We Don’t Know Keeps
Hurting Us. This book from the National Research
Council provides important background information on the data
used to evaluate drug policy as well as valuable critiques
of its use in drug policy analysis. This is an essential
guide to the use of federal data sources by drug policy analysts
and to critical evaluation of claims of drug policy success.
The National Academies Press (NAP) provides online access
to this and other publications. Read free online.
on the Problems of Drug Dependence. See what the
nation’s experts on drugs, pharmacology, and addiction think
drug policy (pdf). Marijuana legalization will require
the support of these professionals. Advocates of marijuana
legalization need to understand how to appeal to the interests
and concerns of professionals in this field.
Drug Policy Research Center. This is one of the
nation’s most prominent and respected drug policy think-tanks.
Drug policy reformers need to persuade this academic community
of the merits of their proposals in order for the public to
take them seriously. As with the example above, advocates
of marijuana legalization need to understand how to effectively
communicate this field of professionals. RAND affiliated
analysts are frequently consulted by Congress on drug policy
Control Policies in the United States: Historical Perspectives.
(PDF) A short history of drug policy in the United States
contained in the above report.
This Syracuse University program is a source for comprehensive
independent, and nonpartisan information about the Drug Enforcement
Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Discussion Paper
#44: The Relationship between Research and Drug
Policy in the United States by Laurent Laniel. An interesting
discussion of US drug policy by an international observer.
of Marijuana Policy This 1982 report by the
National Academy of Sciences recommends that prohibition be
abandoned and replaced with a regulatory system. It
is a classic example of drug policy analysis that is still
relevant today. Read free online.
Journal of Public Health This journal has published
many important articles on marijuana use and its relationship
to the use of other illegal drugs. This journal represents
another audience that reform advocates must persuade in order
to be successful.
Legal and Legislative Aspects
of Drug Policy
Controlled Substances Act. These are the laws that
govern the production and distribution of medical cannabis.
Marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I drug,
restricted for research use only. These laws provide
a basis for changing that classification, a process known
Legal Information Institute of the Cornell University Law
School. This portal provides access to the statutes
and court decisions that make up US law.
v. California. This is probably the most important
legal decision about drug policy in United States law.
In Robinson v. California (1962) the Supreme Court ruled that
it was cruel and unusual punishment to make drug addiction
a crime in the United States. Listen to the Oral Arguments
in this and other historic Supreme Court cases and read the
opinions of the Court.
Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. These are the laws
that govern the marketing and sale of drugs in the United
States. Under existing law, if rescheduled by the DEA
medical cannabis will governed by these federal statutes requiring
extensive clinical trials before a drug can be approved for
marketing as a safe and effective treatment for any medical
National Drug Control Policy. These laws describe
the requirements for the Office of National Drug Control Strategy
and its annual report.
States House of Representatives. Learn how to contact
your Congressional Representative and how this house of the
States Senate. Learn how to contact your U.S. Senator
and how the Senate functions.
Use this service of the Library of Congress to monitor marijuana-related
legislation in the U.S. Congress.
Contract and Funding Announcements. Follow the money!
Apply for Federal Funding! Here is where you can learn
more about the flow of federal funds to independent contractors
and non-governmental organizations.
and Local Government on the Net. This portal provides
access to every state government and state legislative website.
Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) . This is
an excellent source of information on the issues before state
legislatures. This source provides an opportunity to
learn more about what cannabis reform legislation must compete
with at the state level, as well as the overall legislative
and policy environment in any specific state.
Budget and Tax Issues. This section of the NCLS
website provides background on the financial pressures faced
by state governments, pressures that may be alleviated in
many areas by the decriminalization of marijuana and/or other
International Drug Policy
Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Here is the
source for information on the global war on drugs.
Nations World Drug Report. This annual report estimates
drug production and consumption around the world as well as
reports on enforcement trends.
Nations: Drug Control Conventions. These are the
international treaties that attempt to enforce a global prohibition
on opium, coca, cannabis, and other drugs.
> This is a national database on nonprofit organizations
and their financial reports. Learn how pro- and anti-
reform groups spend their money.
This website explains how nonprofits can improve their federal
financial reports as well as background information for members
of the public researching the financial reports of non-profits
National Center for Charitable Statistics This
organization provides background on the standards and practices
of financial reporting for charities and other non-profit
organizations. Learn here how pro- and anti-reform groups
should be reporting on their finances and agendas.
for Non-Profits This is a federal government web
site providing access to resources for non-profits, including
summaries of federal reporting requirements.
Information for Charities and other Non-Profits
This Internal Revenue Service website explains the obligations
of non-profit organizations to disclose their financial reports
to both the government and the public.
About Exempt Organization Disclosure Requirements
More information on financial disclosure requirements for
non-profit advocacy groups.
Foundation Center Find out where to get funding
for your non-profit community service or advocacy organization.
The Foundation Directory, published by the Foundation Center,
is available in many public libraries.