Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

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.