Marijuana in America
Cultural, Political, and Medical Controversies
by James Hawdon, Bryan Lee Miller, and Matthew Costello, Editors
March 2022, 326pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6963-1
$97, £72, 84€, A132
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6964-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Analysts report that legal marijuana grew into a $10.4 billion industry in the United States in 2018, with an estimated 250,000 jobs devoted just to the cultivation and handling of marijuana plants.

This A–Z encyclopedia provides a broad and evenhanded overview of America's complex relationship with marijuana, examining political, recreational, cultural, medical, and economic aspects of marijuana use both historically and in the present day.

Marijuana in America is an accessible and comprehensive exploration of the many changes in medical, legal, and cultural issues surrounding cannabis in the United States. This multidisciplinary volume features contributions from several different fields to explain all facets of marijuana, including its chemical composition, evolving depictions in popular culture, and historical, legal, and social settings in which marijuana use occurs.

A mix of coverage provides readers with a full and accurate understanding of the spectrum of issues and controversies swirling around marijuana today, including: the changing legal landscape pertaining to the sale, possession, and use of marijuana, both at the state and federal levels; the factual basis for arguments for and against so-called “medical marijuana”; claims that marijuana is a gateway drug to harder drugs; changing cultural attitudes about marijuana and “potheads”; economic arguments for and against marijuana legalization; and the impact of marijuana on families, communities, the economy, and the criminal justice system.


  • Detailed, authoritative, and evenhanded coverage of all medical, legal, cultural, and economic aspects of legal and illegal marijuana in America.
  • Information sources for further research included in each entry.
  • Timeline of legal, cultural, and social events and trends concerning marijuana and its use in the United States.
  • Contributions from several different fields giving the volume a multidisciplinary focus.
James Hawdon, PhD, is professor of sociology and director of the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention at Virginia Tech. He is an executive member of the Division of Drug and Alcohol Research Section of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. His research focuses on drugs and society, online extremism, and communities and social control.

Bryan Lee Miller, PhD, is associate professor at Clemson University, Fulbright Scholar at Tampere University, and chair of the Division of Drug and Alcohol Research Section of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. His research focuses on drugs and society, criminology theory, and criminal justice policy.

Matthew Costello, PhD, is assistant professor of sociology at Clemson University. His research focuses on online extremism and political violence.
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