Marijuana is the most widely used illegal substance in the world today. It's also the most controversial.
According to the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 96.8 million (40.2%) Americans ages 12 and older have tried marijuana at least once during their lifetimes. About 25.5 million (10.6%) people reported past year marijuana use, and 14.6 million (6.1%) people reported past month use.
As you might expect, college students use marijuana at higher rates than the U.S. population generally. The Harvard School of Public Health, which has surveyed U.S. college students extensively every other year since 1989, reports that approximately 47% of U.S. college students have tried pot at least once. About 30% report past year use, and 17% report past month use.
How Marijuana Works
HowStuffWorks, a reliable online source for clear, unbiased explanations, offers a lively, in-depth description of marijuana the plant and marijuana the drug.
NIDA, a division of The National Institutes of Health (NIH), supports over 85 percent of the world's research on the health aspects of drug use, abuse and addiction. Its InfoFacts section on marijuana provides a good description on the effects of marijuana use as well as an extensive bibliography.
Erowid provides reliable, non-judgmental information about psychoactive plants and chemicals and related issues. The site includes input from academic, medical, and experiential experts. The comprehensive section on marijuana includes not only general information but also pages on marijuana history and culture.
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws: NORML
NORML is a nonprofit lobby organization that intends to provide a voice for Americans who oppose marijuana prohibition. NORML supports a policy of decriminalization, the removal of all criminal penalties for the private possession and responsible use of marijuana by adults, including cultivation for personal use, and casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts.
The Drug Policy Alliance focuses on marijuana law reform in an effort to end marijuana prohibition in the United States and elsewhere. The project brings together public education efforts, strategic litigation, media outreach and federal and state legislative drafting and lobbying to reform prohibitionist marijuana policies.
Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)
MPP's stated purpose is to develop and promote policies to minimize the harm associated with marijuana. They support research, policy development, lobbying, and educational initiatives.