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Drug legalization: Welcome

Resources on the topic of American drug laws, especially the question of legal reform and legalization.


This guide is intended as a starting point for research on all facets of the drug-legalization controversy.

Drug legalization

Jar of marijuana for sale in legal dispensary

The War on Drugs has been one of the most significant factors in American life for almost a half-century. Since its inception, there has been a growing opposition, arguing for at least partial legalization of certain drugs. Marijuana, in particular, has been a target. In recent years, several states have in fact legalized marijuana, either for medical use or even for recreational use. Nationally, however, there remains a conflict about the status of this and other illegal drugs.

Reasons for supporting or opposing legalization are numerous, and span the political spectrum—from a belief in individual autonomy to concerns about systemic racism, and from interest in public health to worries about the economic impacts. The debate is ongoing and complicated, and so there are numerous resources to be found on it.

Photo: Section of Purple Diesel, Big Jar by flickr user Dank Depot