Marijuana, cannabis and legalization research guide

Guide for undergraduates to find sources and resources on marijuana-related issues.

Example keywords and subtopics

Example keywords or search terms: 

  • cannibus or marijuana
  • marijuana
  • medical marijuana
  • medical cannibus
  • recreational marijuana
  • CBD or cannabinoid
  • hemp
  • THC or tetrahydrocannabinol
  • recreational marijuana
  • retail or stores
  • marijuana or cannabis or pot or weed or thc or cannabinoids
  • edibles or edible cannabis
  • drug addiction
  • substance abuse
  • alternative to opioids
  • attitudes or perceptions or opinions or thoughts or feelings or beliefs
  • legal or law or legislation or policy or regulation
  • police or policing or law enforcement

Tip: This is a big topic with lots written so you can often focus on one or two subtopics. This will help to find more relevant sources, more quickly and be a better fit for an assignment. Here are a few examples of potential areas a research project regarding social media might examine:

health impacts, public health, cultural practices, medical uses, policy changes over time, legalization, growing, use in agriculture, police or criminal justice aspects and more.

Explore additional UMN Libraries research guides 

*New* Cannabis Research Center launches at UMN School of Public Health

University of Minnesota School of Public Health has launched a new Cannabis Research Center (CRC). The center will assess the impact of adult-use cannabis legalization and help inform future cannabis policies and practices across the state of Minnesota.

Search article databases

Article databases are a very useful tool because many of them search high-quality, scholarly sources like academic journal articles, or more popular sources such as newspaper or magazine articles. Watch this tutorial to learn more about databases.

A few databases to explore for this topic: 

Example searches

The important thing to remember is that searching on databases is different from searching on google. Instead of typing your question try using your keywords to search topics together. 

In this example, we search the database Academic Search Premier for the search on (cannibus OR marijuana) AND (law OR legal OR legislation OR policy OR regulation) AND minnesota to get results. The results are sorted by "relevance" but you can select "data newest" if that is more useful. 

Minnesota government and federal sources

Minnesota is the 23rd state in the nation to legalize cannabis use for people 21 and older in July 2023. Learn more about the legislation.

Search newspapers and newspaper databases


  • Drug Abuse Statistics
    • National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics
    • Features the most noteworthy drug abuse statistics and data surrounding drug addiction in the United States, including overdose deaths, addiction by drug type, and overall illicit drug use.
  • Drug Use
    • Our World in Data
  • FastStats: Illicit Drug Use
    • CDC
  • National Addiction & HIV Data Archive Program 
    • The National Addiction & HIV Data Archive Program acquires, preserves and disseminates data relevant to drug addiction and HIV research. The scope of the data housed at NAHDAP covers a wide range of legal and illicit drugs (alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, synthetic drugs, and others) and the trajectories, patterns, and consequences of drug use as well as related predictors and outcomes.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) 
    • SAMHDA provides public-use data files, file documentation, and access to restricted-use data files to support a better understanding of this critical area of public health.
    • National Survey on Drug Use & Health 
      • Drinking, smoking, marijuana, cocaine and other illegal drug use statistics.


Sample of online books

Last Updated: Jan 25, 2024 12:25 PM