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Marijuana

  • By: Stephen T. Schroth, Jason A. Helfer, Aubrey J. Cunat & Stephen T. Schroth
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

Marijuana, which is known by a variety of names such as cannabis and hemp, but also a variety of slang terms such as weed, mary jane, ganja, and others, is a psychoactive drug most commonly used in a dried herbal form that is smoked. Marijuana has been popular for thousands of years and remains one of the most common and available drugs in the United States and globally. Marijuana is sometimes viewed as a “gateway drug,” that is, one that increases the probability users will eventually segue to more potent substances, such as cocaine or heroin. Perhaps this is why marijuana generates such powerful response by both its advocates and opponents. The possession, sale, or use of marijuana remains illegal pursuant to federal law. Recent ...

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