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Research Topic Starters




Some search terms to try when searching databases for this topic:


Drug Abuse Statistics

Harm Reduction


Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana Legality United States

Marijuana Taxation

Mass Incarceration

Medical Marijuana

Legalization of Marijuana

Public Health


Addiction: A chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive (or difficult to control) drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences, as well as long-lasting changes in the brain. In the past, people who used drugs were called “addicts.” Current appropriate terms are people who use drugs and drug users.

Decriminalization: the process of ceasing to treat something as illegal or as a criminal offense.

Harm Reduction: a range of public health policies designed to lessen the negative social and/or physical consequences associated with various human behaviors, both legal and illegal. 

LD50 / Median Lethal Dose: In toxicology, the median lethal dose is a measure of the lethal dose of a toxin, radiation, or pathogen.

Legalization: the process of removing a legal prohibition against something currently illegal.

Medical Marijuana: Cannabis that is prescribed by a physician for a patient.

Physical dependence: Adaptation to a drug that produces symptoms of withdrawal when the drug is stopped.

Public Health: the health of the population as a whole, especially as the subject of government regulation and support.

Tolerance: A reduced response to a drug, requiring more of the drug to experience the same effect.