July 28, 2016 – Today, the Drug Policy Alliance released Marijuana Facts, intended for non-expert audiences seeking answers to some of the most common questions asked about marijuana use, its effects, and the rapidly-shifting legal landscape.
The booklet addresses 15 frequently-asked questions about subjects such as driving, mental health, brain development, potency, edibles and concentrates. It touches on marijuana’s history as one of the earliest cultivated crops in many parts of the world, the racial prejudice that motivated the first marijuana prohibition laws – which continues to this day – and the historically significant shift toward decriminalization and legal systems of regulation over the past two decades. It also touches on some of the potential benefits of legal regulation, as well as the challenges, such as ensuring that the communities worst harmed by prohibition are able to participate in the emerging legal industry.
Twenty-five U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, while four states – Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington State – and D.C. have legalized marijuana more broadly. A slew of recent polls show majority support across the political spectrum for removing criminal penalties for marijuana possession and legally regulating its production and sale to adults 21 and over.
This November, voters in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada will decide whether to legalize marijuana in their states, while Arkansas, Florida, Missouri and Montana will vote on medical marijuana initiatives.
For more than 20 years, DPA has been at the forefront of marijuana law reform, supporting new policies that regulate marijuana effectively and that no longer arrest, incarcerate, disenfranchise and otherwise harm millions – particularly young people and people of color, who are disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. DPA also works to promote the development of a safe, responsible, inclusive and ethical marijuana industry.
For additional resources on marijuana and marijuana policies, check out:
- Reforming Marijuana Laws (brief overview of DPA’s priorities and work on marijuana law reform)
- DPA Fact Sheet: Medical Marijuana (English/Spanish)
- DPA Fact Sheet: Marijuana Legalization (English/Spanish)
- DPA Fact Sheet: The Life-Changing Consequences of a Marijuana Arrest (English/Spanish)
- DPA Fact Sheet: Marijuana Concentrates
- DPA Fact Sheet: Marijuana-Infused Products (“Edibles”)
- DPA Fact Sheet: Synthetic Cannabinoids
- DPA Status Report: One-Year Status Report on Marijuana Legalization in Colorado
- DPA Status Report: One-Year Status Report on Marijuana Legalization in Washington State
- DPA/ACLU Report: Marijuana Enforcement Disparities in California: A Racial Injustice
The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is the nation’s leading organization promoting drug policies that are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights