WIU Logo

Drug Legalization

A Guide to Finding Government Information

Web version of this guide includes links to web resources.

Search Tips:

Mix and match these terms in searching the library catalog, WestCat , or use them to search journal articles and law reviews via the library's Databases page. You can also use them to search government information sites listed on our Starting Points page - click the tab and pay particular attention to the Top Six.

  • drug legalization
  • substance abuse
  • drug control or policy
  • drug prohibition
  • drug trade or abuse
  • war on drugs
  • decriminalization
  • drug treatment
  • medical marijuana
  • 'marihuana' is gov't spelling
  • drug courts
  • drugs and mass media

Related Topics:
  • prison overcrowding
  • drug war and civil asset forfeiture
  • states' rights
  • victimless crimes

An important source for many research topics is Congress. Congressional committees and subcommittees hold hearings on a wide variety of controversial and timely subjects. Simply add the word "hearing?" to a search string in WestCat .

Search Engines

Google and StartPage
Use these search engines to search for government information by typing "site:gov" in the search box preceding your search terms:

  • site:gov "drug legalization"
  • site:mil drug war

Federal Government Information
National Drug Control Strategy.

Detailed government policies and objectives for the war on drugs are underscored with facts and statistics on drug use and crime. 2012

Speaking Out Against Drug Legalization

This manual was developed by and for DEA and FBI employees to enhance their effectiveness in the debate on the legalization of drugs. 2010

Marijuana and Medicine : the Need for a Science-Based Approach

This hearing challenges the assertion from pro-drug advocates that smoking marijuana is useful for medical purposes by discussing more effective delivery pills. 2004
Y 4.G 74/7:M 33/5

"Medical" Marijuana, Federal Drug Law and the Constitution's Supremacy Clause

In this hearing, the debate is whether states have the right to legalize marijuana, and what the federal government can do based on the constitution's supremacy clause. 2001
Y4.G 74/7: M33/4

States' Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act - H.R. 1983

This bill, which has been reintroduced several times - most recently in the 112th Congress, calls for the rescheduling of Marijuana within the Controlled Substances Act in order to give states the right to legalize it for medical use.

Alternatives to the “War on Drugs:” Obama Drug Policy and Reforming the Criminal Justice System

This page discusses the changes in drug control policy toward a more treatment-centered approach.

The Brain and the Actions of Cocaine, Opiates, and Marijuana

On this website view a highly technical online teaching packet (includes graphics) for use in explaining both the effects of drugs on brain chemistry and the science of addiction.

Legal Information
The Marihuana Tax Act

This is the Federal government's first attempt to regulate marijuana by imposing taxes for harvesting, prescribing, or possessing it. 1937
50 STAT. 551

Drug Abuse Prevention and Control

21 USC 801, et seq. This part of the United States Code includes the Schedules of Controlled Substances along with enforcement laws on distribution, registration requirements, and production quotas.

Schedules of Controlled Substances

21 CFR 1308, et seq. This section of the Code of Federal Regulations includes the Schedules of Controlled Substances along with regulations written for FDA enforcement.

Washington State's New Marijuana Law

The voters of the State of Washington made the sale and possession of small amounts of marijuana legal.

Illinois Laws
Other Historical Sources
  • Decriminalization of Marihuana - Y 4.N16:95-1-7 (1977)
  • Therapeutic Uses of Marihuana and Schedule I Drugs - Y 4.N16:96-2-8 (1980)
  • Health Consequences of Marihuana Abuse: Recent Findings and the Therapeutic Uses of Marihuana and the Use of Heroin to Reduce Pain - Y 4.N16:96-2-5 (1980)
  • Legalization of Illicit Drugs: Impact and Feasibility--Part I - Y 4.N16:100-2-10 (1988)
  • Legalization of Illicit Drugs--Part II - Y 4.N16:100-2-11 (1988)
  • Legalization of Illicit Drugs: Impact and Feasibility (A Review of Recent Hearings) - Y 4.N16:101-1-2 (1989)
  • Drug Legalization--Catastrophe for Black Americans - Y 4.N16:100-2-9 (1988)

Subject Guides