27 of 53 member states, including the United States voted to remove medical marijuana from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which includes opioids like heroin.
South Dakota voters also legalized recreational marijuana, the first state to legalize both simultaneously.
On Apr. 6, 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed SB 1015 into law. The law goes into effect on July 1, 2020 and will legalize CBD and THC-A medical cannabis products, protecting patients from arrest and prosecution for possession.
As more stay-at-home orders are issued during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, medical marijuana dispensaries have been labeled “essential” businesses, meaning they can remain open under certain guidelines while other businesses such as bookstores must close their doors to customers.
A Feb. 2020 poll by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky found that 90% of adults surveyed favor allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes with a doctor’s recommendation.
The Missouri DHSS clarified in a letter this week that medical marijuana card holders are legally allowed to possess and use medical marijuana even though licensed dispensaries have not opened yet.
CBD can now be found in drinks, pet products, gummy bears, cosmetics, and more. With the explosion of CBD’s popularity, you might be wondering what exactly this marijuana-related compound is. See how the experts explain the science behind the trend.
The National Institutes of Health awarded nine research grants to investigate the potential role of cannabinoids such as CBD in pain management.
Learn about the presidential candidates’ views on important issues, compare them with a side-by-side chart, find your best match with a fun quiz, track their finances, and so much more on our 2020 Presidential Election website. The New York Times called our previous presidential election site “The most comprehensive tool for researching the candidate’s stance on issues.” Check back monthly for expanded issue coverage.
On Aug. 12, 2019, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill making the state’s medical marijuana program permanent, whereas before it had been set to expire in 2020. The new law added 11 qualifying conditions for which a person may apply to use medical marijuana.
The 17 states that have not legalized medical marijuana have all passed laws allowing the use of cannabidiol (CBD) extract, usually in oil form and with limited amounts of THC.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill on June 14, 2019 that adds more medical conditions to the list of patients allowed to obtain cannabidiol containing up to .5% THC from a state-licensed dispensary.
Read pros and cons from the Minnesota Department of Public Health (pro), the FDA (con), the Institute of Medicine (pro), the American Medical Association (con), and more.
Prescription opioid deaths were five times higher in 2017 than in 1999, according to the CDC. Explore the pros and cons of using medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids, with quotes from orthopedic surgeon Frank D’Ambrosio (pro), Stanford University School of Medicine professor Keith Humphreys (con), former Drug Policy Alliance Manager of Marijuana Law and Policy Amanda Reiman (pro), Medical Director at Caron Treatment Centers Joseph Garbely (con), and more.
Our new topic explores the pros and cons in the debate over making birth control pills available over-the-counter (OTC). 9.1 million women (12.6% of contraceptive users) use birth control pills, which are the second-most commonly used method of contraception in the United States. Proponents say making the birth control pill available over-the-counter would lower teen pregnancy rates, provide contraceptive access to medically underserved women, and ease access to a health-improving drug with decades of safe use. Opponents say making the Pill over-the-counter would raise the cost of contraception for women, pose a danger to teens’ and women’s health by removing the doctor’s visit requirement, and limit what options are made available.
Our new website presents the top pro & con arguments and quotes, a history of the debate, a video gallery, the prescription status of birth control pills around the world, and a list of drugs switched from prescription to OTC status.
Examine both sides of the debate on medical cannabis with new quotes from dispensary owner Chanda Macias (pro) and the Cleveland Clinic (con), along with insights from doctors, pharmacists, politicians, and more, including Dr. Sanjay Gupta (pro) and the FDA (con).
ProCon.org, a Los Angeles-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity,
seeks an in-house Researcher (full-time with benefits or part-time
without benefits) to develop content for websites devoted to a
nonpartisan in-depth presentation of 70+ controversial issues. Three
items are required for application, as specified in the job notice.
On Dec. 20, 2018, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka Farm Bill) removed hemp containing less than 0.3% THC from the Controlled Substances Act.
Missouri and Utah joined the list of states with legal medical marijuana after the success of ballot measures in the Nov. 6, 2018 election.
Cannabis fees, possession limits, approved conditions, registration requirements, and other important information for each legal state from Alaska to West Virginia.
We’re excited to announce 50 free lesson plan ideas for educators! Visit our Teachers’ Corner for inspiration, including lessons plans about distinguishing fact from opinion, how to write a “call-to-action” letter, and content from our partner Credo Reference.
57% of voters approved a ballot question legalizing medical
marijuana in the June 26, 2018 election. Learn more on our
historical timeline of marijuana as medicine from 2900 BC to
On June 25,
the FDA announced approval of Epidiolex, a CBD medicine for the
treatment of two rare and serious forms of epilepsy.
57% of voters in the June 26 election approved Question 788 to legalize medical cannabis in Oklahoma, which is now the first legal state that doesn’t limit medical use to a specific list of approved conditions. Learn more about medical marijuana state laws.
– 2.1 MILLION. Maine has the highest per capita medical marijuana patient population (38.42 per 1,000 people) with Michigan in second (27.06 patients per 1,000 people), and New Mexico in third (25.03 patients per 1,000) – all well above the national average of 10.79 per 1,000 people.
Expert opinions on the addictiveness of cannabis range from less addictive than caffeine to “highly addicting.” Read quotes and find estimates of marijuana dependence in our updated question.
Explore the debate over using marijuana to treat pain with quotes from
experts such as pain-management physician Dr. Pedro Oliveros (pro),
Director of the University of Michigan Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research
Center Dr. Daniel Clauw (con), the National Academies of Sciences,
Engineering, and Medicine (pro), the US Food and Drug Administration
(con), and more.
Read quotes from experts such as Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN (now pro), former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg (con), pain-management physician Pedro Oliveros (pro), registered nurse Mary Haag (con), and more than 50 others.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 400+ ingredients found in marijuana and is not psychoactive. See which states have passed laws allowing its use to treat specific conditions, such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
– What do the top medical professionals in the federal government say about medical marijuana? Three former Surgeons General are pro (Satcher, Elders, and Steinfeld), one is con (Koop), and six, including current Surgeon General Jerome Adams, are neither pro nor con. You can read all their position statements in one handy guide.
We thank the teachers in 10,037 schools who have used our free resources in your instructional materials. Our amazing community consists of 3,524 elementary and middle schools (35.1%), 4,692 high schools (46.7%), and 1,821 colleges and universities (18.1%) in all 50 states and 92 countries. Visit the Teachers’ Corner to find your school and see how educators are using ProCon.org in the classroom. Or join the community by taking our 2-minute survey.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the policy guidelines issued by President
Obama’s Justice Department regarding the enforcement of marijuana laws
in states where marijuana is legal.
Bills to legalize medical marijuana failed to pass in 13 states so far this year, but North Carolina and Wisconsin still have legislation under consideration.
Several US states have enacted laws about CBD, a non-psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana, mainly related to the treatment of epilepsy but occasionally for other conditions as well.
Read pro and con arguments for moving marijuana out of Schedule I from experts such as the President and CEO of Mission Health Dr. Ronald Paulus (pro), Harvard Medical School professor Dr. Bertha Madras (con), the American College of Physicians (pro) and the US Food and Drug Administration (con).
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a decree on June 19, 2017 that calls on the Ministry of Health to implement medical marijuana.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice (D) signed SB 386 into law on Apr. 19, 2017, allowing the use of non-smoked medical marijuana for conditions to be approved by the newly created West Virginia Medical Cannabis Commission.
– Thirteen US states, including several in the South, are currently considering legislation that would legalize medical marijuana, while bills in Kansas, Mississippi, and Virginia have failed this year.
All three states with medical marijuana ballot measures (Arkansas, Florida, North Dakota) voted to legalize medical marijuana on Election Day.
We thank the teachers in 8,369 schools that have used our free resources in your instructional materials. Our amazing community consists of 2,461 elementary and middle schools (29.4%), 4,160 high schools (49.7%), and 1,748 colleges and universities (20.9%) in all 50 states and 87 countries. Visit the Teachers’ Corner to find your school and see how educators are using ProCon.org in the classroom. Or join the community by taking our 2-minute survey.
ProCon.org has been cited by authors such as Glenn Beck, Tavis Smiley, Mark Bittman, Newt Gingrich, Condoleezza Rice, and Joseph Stiglitz. See the 48 books that have referenced our research in 2016 so far.
Read powerful statements from Sanjay Gupta, Barack Obama, the FDA, the former Drug Czar, several physicians and medical organizations, and others on whether or not marijuana should be a medical option.
Our free resources have been used by teachers, librarians, and administrators in all 50 US states and 87 countries. The breakdown is 2,282 elementary and middle schools (29.4%), 3,818 high schools (49.2%), and 1,662 colleges and universities (21.4%). Thank you to educators around the world for using ProCon.org to help your students to better understand issues and perspectives, and to develop their own informed opinions and voices.
Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) signed HB 523 into law, allowing the use of non-smoked medical marijuana for 20 conditions including cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, pain, and PTSD.
Florida will vote on a ballot measure in November, Louisiana passed one bill in a step towards legalization, and South Carolina has legislation pending.
The televised debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley during the 1968 political conventions are explored in this award-winning documentary. Use our discussion guide to spark a thought-provoking conversation – in your classroom or your living room – about American politics, past and present.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) signed SB 3 into law, allowing the use of non-smoked medical marijuana to treat conditions such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, epilepsy, glaucoma, pain, and more. The governor said implementation of the program will take 18 to 24 months.
Our 55th website explores the pros and cons in the debate over increasing the minimum wage. The federal minimum wage was introduced in the 1930s by President Roosevelt and has been increased by Congress 22 times, most recently in 2009 to reach its current level of $7.25 an hour. Proponents say the current federal minimum wage is too low for anyone to live on; and that a higher minimum wage will help create jobs, grow the economy, and decrease wage inequality. Opponents say that many businesses cannot afford to pay their workers more and will be forced to close, lay off workers, and reduce hiring; that an increase makes it more difficult for low-skilled workers with little or no experience to find jobs; and that low-income communities are disproportionately harmed by wage raises at the federal level.
Find 86 quotes on critical thinking from Socrates, Marie Curie, Jean Piaget, Malala Yousafzai, and others.
Our new resource shows which states have passed laws allowing for the use of a CBD (non-psychoactive component of marijuana) extract, often for the treatment of epilepsy or seizures in seriously ill children.
Learn about the laws in states that have legalized medical marijuana, including possession limits, approved conditions for use, and how patients are allowed to obtain the marijuana.
See how many people are using medical marijuana in the states that have legalized it, as well as an estimate for the number of medical marijuana patients nationally.
States with legislation to legalize medical marijuana include FL, GA, IN, IA, KS, MS, MO, NE, PA, SC, TN, and WI. Florida has also approved a ballot measure for the Nov. 8, 2016 election. In 2015, 20 states considered legislation to legalize medical marijuana, but none of those bills passed. Six states passed bills that were favorable towards medical marijuana but did not necessarily legalize its use.
ProCon.org has been referenced by 24 international governments (includes inter-governmental organizations, dependencies, and areas of special sovereignty), 22 US federal entities, and 33 US state governments.
– Our free resources have been used by teachers, librarians, and administrators in all 50 US states and 85 countries. The breakdown is 2,072 elementary and middle schools (29.5%), 3,478 high schools (49.5%), and 1,476 colleges and universities (21.0%). A big thank you to educators around the world for helping us spread the word about critical thinking!
Explore 75 quotes about critical thinking from thinkers including Carl Sagan, bell hooks, and Cornel West.
Medical Marijuana Votes and Polls – Polls show that more than eight in ten registered voters in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania support legal medical marijuana.
Federal Government Removes Obstacle to Marijuana Research – The US Department of Health and Human Services streamlined the application and approval processes for non-federally funded cannabis research by eliminating the Public Health Service review, which was not required for any other drug, including cocaine and heroin.
ProCon.org, America’s Most Popular Resource for the Pros and Cons of Issues, Expands to Serve More than 6,000 Schools – 6,152 teachers, librarians, and administrators in all 50 states and 80 countries have used ProCon.org in their educational materials. We found 3,092 high schools (50.3%), 1,718 elementary and middle schools (27.9%), and 1,342 colleges and universities (21.8%) where educators referenced ProCon.org. The lesson plan ideas and teacher reactions to using ProCon.org are available in our Teachers’ Corner. If you are an educator, please take our 2-minute survey and let us know how you use ProCon.org!
Governor of Puerto Rico Legalizes Medical Marijuana in the US Territory – Governor Padilla’s executive order allowing medical marijuana took immediate effect, although the island’s health secretary has three months to issue a report on how to implement it.
Is Marijuana an Effective Treatment for Reducing Nausea and Vomiting from Chemotherapy? – Read pro and con quotes from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (pro), the US Food & Drug Administration (con), oncologist Dr. Gil Bar-Sela (pro), the American Medical Association (con), and many other experts and organizations.
9 States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana – 9 States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana – States considering legislation to legalize medical marijuana include FL, GA, MO, NE, NC, PA, SC, TN, and TX. Also, five states have legislation that is favorable towards medical marijuana but would not fully legalize it. Virginia passed a bill that creates an affirmative defense for cannabis oil used for epilepsy.
Does Marijuana Use Increase the Risk of Psychosis (Including Schizophrenia)? – Read pro and con quotes from Marta Di Forti, MD, MRCPsych, Clinical Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London (pro), Lynn E. DeLisi, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (con), Matthew Large, MBBS, Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales (pro), Martin Frisher, PhD, Senior Lecturer in Health Services Research at Keele University (con), and many other experts and organizations.
– US Department of Labor Cites ProCon.org for Its ‘Up-to-Date Information’ on Same-Sex Marriage – Another example of the utility and credibility of ProCon.org at the highest levels of government. To date, 24 international governments, 30 US state governments, and 10 federal agencies have referenced ProCon.org research.
Votes and Polls on Medical Marijuana – New polls in Iowa and Utah show that more than 70% of those surveyed support the legalization of medical marijuana.
20 Lesson Plan Ideas with Common Core Correlations – Free curricula to help teach counterargument, distinguish fact from opinion, analyze primary sources, build research speed, and other thoughtful lessons related to critical thinking. Lessons are listed by grade level and include adaptations and Common Core standards met.
– 60 Peer-Reviewed Studies on Medical Marijuana – See our compilation of 60 scientific studies on medical marijuana’s utility or lack of utility in treating 16 health conditions including multiple sclerosis, cancer, and pain.
10 States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana – States that are currently considering the legalization of medical marijuana are FL, GA, IN, KS, KY, MO, NE, ND, PA and SC. Legislation in Mississippi has already failed.
11 US Surgeons General and Their Views on Medical Marijuana – Dr. Vivek Murthy, the current US Surgeon General, said “preliminary data” shows that medical marijuana “can be helpful” in some situations.
Educators in 5,758 schools have used ProCon.org. Our free resources have been used by teachers, librarians, and administrators in all 50 US states and 73 countries. The breakdown is 1,529 elementary and middle schools (26.6%), 2,911 high schools (50.5%), and 1,318 colleges and universities (22.9%). A big thank you to educators around the world for helping us spread the word about critical thinking!
Governments That Have Used ProCon.org – ProCon.org research has now been used by 24 international governments, inter-governmental organizations, dependencies, and areas of special sovereignty. Recent additions include Germany, Spain, and the United Nations.
– RSS, Social, Newsletter – Get Your Latest Updates – You can now get customized RSS updates on one, two, three, or all of our topics. Pick and choose the issues you care about most, and when we publish updates you’ll be the first to know. Another free resource from the friendly folks at ProCon.org.
– 101 Books Cited ProCon.org in 2014 – a 48.5% Increase over 2013 – Authors who have cited ProCon.org in the past include Glenn Beck, Mark Bittman, Newt Gingrich, Stefan Halper, Dick Morris, Condoleezza Rice, Michael Schmoker, Tavis Smiley, and Joseph Stiglitz.
ProCon.org referenced 462 times by media outlets in 2014 – News organizations such as Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Forbes, Rolling Stone, PBS, and ESPN cited and linked to our research 462 times in 2014, a 34% increase over 2013.
50 Famous Quotes about Critical Thinking – Read illustrated quotes about critical thinking from Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and other famous thinkers from Aristotle to Howard Zinn.
– Teachers’ Corner – Check out our new and improved Teachers’ Corner for free lesson plan ideas, critical thinking resources, info on Common Core, and examples of how to use ProCon.org from more than 5,000 educators around the world.
– Is There Really a Santa Claus? – He’s jolly and generous, but is he real? Our new holiday-themed site explores the legend of Santa Claus. Read the arguments from both sides and then decide for yourself: Is Santa Claus man or myth?
– ProCon.org Critical Thinking Seminar – Our seminar teaches critical thinking in a hands-on, interactive format. Read about this new lesson plan idea for teachers, see which Common Core standards it addresses, and watch a short video showing the seminar in action.
– Which topics should ProCon.org cover in 2015? – Net neutrality? Common Core? Minimum wage? Affirmative action? GMOs? Something else? What do YOU think? You can vote for as many subjects as you like, or suggest some of your own.
Number of Legal Medical Marijuana Patients – Our exclusive research estimates that there are at least 1,137,069 legal medical marijuana patients in the United States. See which states have the most and the fewest users per capita and total in our state-by-state chart, map, and related research.
Florida’s Medical Marijuana Amendment Fails – Amendment 2, which would have legalized medical marijuana, did not reach the 60% yes vote needed to pass, with 57.58% voting yes and 42.42% voting no in the Nov. 4, 2014 general election.
– NEW ProCon.org Website! – Local Elections – Since our presidential election websites helped millions of people decide whom to vote for, many readers have asked ProCon.org to cover local elections. For the first time ever, and in a more limited capacity, we have brought our unique brand of election coverage to local elections starting with Santa Monica, California where we are based. Our 52nd website gathers views from the Santa Monica city council, school board, and college board candidates on important community issues. Click on a candidate, click on an issue, or take the quiz to see which candidate best matches your views. More than 600,000 people took a similar version of our quiz for the 2012 presidential election.
Should Marijuana Ever Be Used to Treat Children and Adolescents? – Read responses from Paige Figi, whose daughter inspired the Charlotte’s Web strain (pro), Sharon Levy, MD, MPH, Medical Director at Boston Children’s hospital (con), David Hadorn, MD, PhD, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Otago Wellington School of Medicine (pro), and the National Association of School Nurses (con).
– NEW ProCon.org Website! – Should students have to wear school uniforms? – Our 51st website explores the pros and cons in the debate over mandatory school uniforms. Almost one in five US public schools required students to wear uniforms during the 2011-2012 school year, up from one in eight in 2003-2004. Proponents say that school uniforms make schools safer for students, create a “level playing field” that reduces socioeconomic disparities, and encourage children to focus on their studies rather than their clothes. Opponents say school uniforms infringe upon students’ right to express their individuality, have no positive effect on behavior and academic achievement, and emphasize the socioeconomic disparities they are intended to disguise.
UPDATED: Is Medical Marijuana an Effective Treatment for Patients Suffering from Severe / Chronic Pain? – Read quotes from Gregory T. Carter, MD, Clinical Professor at the School of Medicine at the University of Washington (pro), Gregory Bunt, MD, Medical Director at Daytop Village (con), the Mayo Clinic (pro), the US Food and Drug Administration (con), along with more doctors and organizations.
– Educators in 5,216 schools have used ProCon.org. Our free resources have been used by teachers, librarians, and administrators in all 50 US states and 66 countries. The breakdown is 1,335 elementary and middle schools (25.6%), 2,618 high schools (50.2%), and 1,263 colleges and universities (24.2%). Thank you to all the educators around the world who are helping us promote critical thinking!
– ProCon.org 10th Anniversary Contests and Prizes – Help celebrate our 10th anniversary by entering our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ contests to win a $100 Amazon gift card or a ProCon.org hat!
– Over 300 Books Cite ProCon.org – 308 books have used our research, including 38 so far in 2014. Topics referenced this year include medical marijuana, euthanasia, prostitution, and gay marriage. Notable authors who have mentioned ProCon.org in their books include Glenn Beck, Mark Bittman, Newt Gingrich, Dick Morris, Condoleezza Rice, Michael Schmoker, and Tavis Smiley.
New York becomes 23rd US state to legalize medical marijuana – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed AB 6357 into law, allowing the use of non-smoked medical marijuana to treat conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and more. The state has 18 months to establish the medical marijuana program and register dispensing organizations.
Minnesota becomes 22nd US state to legalize medical marijuana – Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed SF 2470 into law, allowing the use of non-smoked medical marijuana in liquid, pill, and vaporization form (but not if it requires “dried leaves or the plant form”) for conditions including glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, and epilepsy.
Educators in over 5,000 schools have used ProCon.org. Our free resources have been used by teachers, librarians, and administrators in all 50 states and 66 countries (the latest was Egypt). The breakdown is 1,229 elementary and middle schools (24.6%), 2,547 high schools (50.9%), and 1,226 colleges and universities (24.5%). For this Teacher Appreciation Week, we say THANK YOU to the educators, our partners in promoting critical thinking, who helped us reach this milestone achievement.
Maryland becomes 21st US state to legalize medical marijuana – Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed HB 881 into law, which will allow the use of medical marijuana for certain conditions (including severe or chronic pain and seizures) under specific guidelines.
Is Marijuana an Effective Treatment for Glaucoma? – Read quotes from Elvy Musikka, a patient in the federal Compassionate IND program for medical marijuana (pro), the Glaucoma Research Foundation (con), Thomas Orvald, MD, a cardiac surgeon (pro), and the American Medical Association (con), plus more doctors, glaucoma organizations, medical marijuana dispensaries, and others.
– NEW VIDEO – Critical Thinking Video Series: Felon Voting – Should felons be allowed to vote? Some people argue that felon voting laws are unfair and racially discriminatory, while others say that felons have forfeited the right to vote by committing a crime. Explore both sides of the debate in ProCon.org’s latest video.
15 States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana – Bills that would legalize medical marijuana are being considered in 15 states (FL, GA, KS, KY, MD, MN, MS, MO, NY, OH, PA, TN, UT, WV, WI). An additional five states (AL, GA, IN, NC, SC) are considering legislation that are favorable towards medical marijuana but would not legalize it.
New Federal Guidelines Allow Banks to Provide Financial Services to Legal Marijuana Sellers – The US Justice and Treasury departments issued a new policy that will enable banks to do business with marijuana shops so long as the banks complete “thorough customer due diligence.”
270 Books Citing ProCon.org – 68 books in 2013 referenced our research. Our websites on gay marriage, immigration, medical marijuana, and prostitution garnered the most citations. Notable authors who have referenced ProCon.org in their books include: Glenn Beck, Mark Bittman, Newt Gingrich, Stefan Halper, Dick Morris, Condoleezza Rice, Michael Schmoker, Tavis Smiley, and Joseph Stiglitz.
ProCon.org received 343 media references in 2013 compared to 285 in 2012. Notable 2013 media references included The Atlantic, Business Insider, CNN, Deadpsin, Forbes, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, MSNBC, New York Times, NPR, PBS, Psychology Today, Reuters, TIME, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.
– Educators in More than 4,500 Schools in All 50 States and Over 65 Countries Use ProCon.org – We expanded the number of schools where educators use ProCon.org from 3,560 schools at the end of 2012 to 4,571 schools at the end of 2013 – an increase of 1,011 schools (28.4%). By level, those schools include: 1,053 elementary and middle schools (23%), 2,356 high schools (51.6%), and 1,162 colleges and universities (25.4%). Check out our updated resource to look up your school and nearby schools, find new lessons, learn new ways to use ProCon.org, and get inspired.
Governments That Use ProCon.org – ProCon.org is now used by 17 international governments including Ecuador, Iran, Japan, Portugal, South Korea, and Taiwan.
Six States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana – Bills that would legalize medical marijuana are being considered in Kentucky, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.
Check out some great photos from our successful charity golf tournament which took place on Dec. 2nd at the Calabasas Country Club. Thank you to all our players, sponsors, and organizers.
In attendance were dozens of celebrities including: former NHL player Marty McSorley, former MLB player Royce Clayton, former NFL player Hank Baskett and his wife, reality TV star Kendra Wilkinson, senior golf pro Steve Pate, former NBA player Norm Nixon, and actors Patrick Warburton, Alan Thicke, Anthony Anderson, Ryan Merriman, Sheila Shah, Stephen Bishop, Chris Rich, Jeremy Sumpter, Christopher McDonald, Paula Trickey, Josh Morrow, Kato Kaelin, and others.
10 Pharmaceutical Drugs Based on Cannabis – Read about pharmaceutical drugs that contain chemicals directly from marijuana (Sativex), synthetic versions of chemicals found in marijuana (Marinol), chemicals similar to those found in marijuana (Nabilone, Dexanabinol, etc.), or that use the same brain pathways as marijuana (Rimonabant/Acomplia, Taranabant).
– Teachers’ Corner – Teachers, librarians, and administrators in more than 4,150 schools have used ProCon.org. Those educators come from all 50 states and 58 countries (including the newly-added Ukraine). 51.9% of the schools are high schools, while 22.1% are elementary and middle schools and 26.0% are colleges and universities. Please help ProCon.org by taking a few minutes to tell educators you know about our free website.
241 Books Citing ProCon.org – We’ve added another 40 books to the list of published texts citing ProCon.org research. Some of the authors who used ProCon.org in their works include Glenn Beck, Mark Bittman, Newt Gingrich, Stefan Halper, Dick Morris, Condoleezza Rice, Michael Schmoker, Tavis Smiley, and Joseph Stiglitz.
– How Educators Use ProCon.org – See the lesson plans, resource lists, and teaching strategies used by educators in over 4,000 schools to incorporate ProCon.org into their classrooms and libraries. Our updated resource lets you search by country, state, school, or subject.
ProCon.org and Pivot.tv Join Forces on Critical Thinking Campaign – Pivot TV, a new television network from Participant Media, selects ProCon.org as its exclusive alliance to promote critical thinking by providing research around the social issues explored in the new TV series Raising McCain, a documentary-style reality program featuring Meghan McCain, the daughter of US Senator John McCain. The show premieres Saturday, Sep. 14 at 10pm ET / 7pm PT.
Justice Department Will Not Challenge State Marijuana Laws – The US Department of Justice announced an update to its marijuana enforcement policy stating that the federal government will not challenge state marijuana legalization laws in Colorado and Washington
Historical Timeline: History of Marijuana as Medicine – 2900 BC to Present – Our updated timeline includes historical events ranging from Emperor Fu His referencing medical marijuana in ancient Chinese texts to CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta coming out in favor of medical marijuana on Aug. 8, 2013.
Illinois becomes 20th medical marijuana state – Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill that will allow qualifying patients in Illinois to use marijuana to treat 35 medical conditions. The four-year pilot program will take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
Critical Thinking Quotes – Read insights on critical thinking from famous thinkers such as Plato, Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., and Thomas Jefferson.
New Hampshire becomes 19th medical marijuana state – Gov. Hassan signed a bill that will allow qualifying patients in New Hampshire to use marijuana to treat certain medical conditions. The law allows for up to four non-profit alternative treatment centers (dispensaries) in the state.
– ProCon.org Used by Educators in over 4,000 Schools – Teachers, librarians, and educational administrators at 806 elementary schools, 2,063 high schools, and 1,055 colleges and universities in all 50 states and 57 countries have used ProCon.org. Read their lesson plans, resource lists, and experiences in our Teachers’ Corner. Thank you, educators, for helping to propel ProCon.org past a new milestone.
– Critical Thinking Explained – What is critical thinking, and why is it so important? This episode of ProCon.org’s Critical Thinking Video Series explores the ways critical thinking cuts through confusion, encourages citizen involvement, and leads to a stronger democracy.
Six States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana – Bills died in Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, and Missouri. As of today, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has not yet announced whether he will sign a bill passed by the legislature on May 17, 2013, legalizing medical marijuana.
– New study shows students who discuss/debate controversial issues get higher NAEP test scores – See this and other studies showing the importance of teaching controversial issues to stimulate critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship.
12 States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana – New bills were added in Minnesota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, while the bills in Florida died in committee.
221 Books Citing ProCon.org – We’ve added another 26 books to the list of published texts citing
ProCon.org research. Some of the authors who used ProCon.org include
Mark Bittman, Newt Gingrich, Condoleezza Rice, Michael Schmoker, Tavis
Smiley, and Joseph Stiglitz.
Which topic should we pick next? – Please take our brief survey and let us know which issues you would like ProCon.org to research next.
– Educators in over 3,750 schools in all 50 US states and 56 countries use ProCon.org. 819 elementary and middle schools, 1,926 high schools, and 1,010 colleges and universities use our free nonpartisan research to stimulate critical thinking. The newest international schools using ProCon.org are in Angola, India, and Oman.
– Student Video Contest Highlights – We posted a 3-minute highlight reel from our 2012 Student Video Contest where each student shows why he/she loves ProCon.org. Thanks, students!
– Reader Survey results – Our survey helped us learn the age, gender, and political affiliation of 1,032 ProCon.org readers. We also learned that 36.7% of respondents changed their “perceptions, feelings, or opinions on an issue” based on what they learned at ProCon.org and that 87.2% reported that they “enjoyed their experience” at ProCon.org. Thank you to all the survey participants.
Is marijuana an effective treatment for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or other inflammatory bowel diseases? Read pros and cons from several physicians as well as the official not
clearly pro or con response from the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of
ProCon.org and the March of Dimes Canada held a celebrity golf tournament on March 2, 2013 to raise money for our charities. See dozens of our celebrity golf tournament photos and watch the celebrity golf tournament videos on our YouTube channel.
11 States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana – New bills to legalize medical marijuana were introduced in Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, and West Virginia. Bills in Oklahoma and South Dakota have died.
North Carolina Bill to Legalize Medical Marijuana Defeated – The House Rules Committee gave HB84 an “unfavorable report,” which killed the bill on Feb. 20, 2013. Eight states currently have pending legislation that would legalize medical marijuana if passed.
ProCon.org Reader Survey, 2013 – Please take a couple of minutes to tell us about yourself, and let us know how we’re doing and what we can do to improve.
10 States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana – So far in 2013, ten states have introduced legislation that would legalize medical marijuana. An additional three states are considering legislation that is favorable towards medical marijuana but would not legalize its use.
States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana – Six states have introduced legislation that would legalize medical
marijuana (AL, IL, IA, KS, KY, and NY).
– Watch seven wonderful student films about ProCon.org. A
panel of prominent film celebrities and education leaders judged 1-2
minute student videos on the theme “Why I Love ProCon.org,” and their seven lucky winners in the ProCon.org national student video contest have been announced.
many people in the United States use medical marijuana? There are an estimated 1,029,315 patients in the 18 legal medical
marijuana states and DC, as well as an estimated 2,421,069 medical
marijuana users in the United States (based on an average of 7.77
patients per 1,000 residents in each legal state).
– Educators in over
3,500 schools in all 50 US states and 53 countries use ProCon.org.
756 elementary and middle schools, 1,821 high schools, and 983 colleges and
universities use our free nonpartisan research to stimulate critical
thinking. The newest international schools using ProCon.org are in
Argentina, Malta, and Portugal.
– Critical Thinking Video Series #2: Milk – Does milk help to build strong bones, or does it weaken them? Does it help you lose weight, or make you fat? Does it reduce cancer risk, or increase it? Does milk contain pus, or is that a myth? Explore both sides of the milk debate in our latest ProCon.org video.
Website! – Should
the United States maintain its embargo against Cuba? –
February 7, 2012 marked the 50th anniversary of the ongoing US
embargo against Cuba. Proponents of the embargo say that the
economic sanctions and travel restrictions should remain until Cuba
meets the conditions set out by US law, and that it is an important
bargaining chip to pressure Cuba to improve human rights. Opponents
of the embargo say that it is an outdated, failed policy that hurts
the US economy and Cuban citizens, and that the rest of the world is
against the US sanctions. Our 46th website explores the pros and
cons in the debate over the Cuba embargo.
Jersey opened on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. Both states
passed medical marijuana in 2010.
– ProCon.org Student Video Contest – The early entry deadline was Dec. 1, and Mark from Oregon won the $100
Amazon.com gift card. Congratulations! The final deadline for video
entries is Monday Dec. 31. See what has been submitted so far.
Massachusetts voters approved medical marijuana, which is now legal in 18 states and DC. Arkansas voters rejected medical marijuana, and Montana voters upheld a 2011 law that imposes restrictions on medical marijuana.
– ProCon.org has been used by teachers, librarians, and administrators in 3,218 schools in all 50 states and 50 countries. We’re thrilled to have educators in 643 elementary and middle schools, 1,652 high schools, and 923 colleges and universities using our free educational resources.
Six States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana – Two states have initiatives on the Nov. 6, 2012 ballot (Arkansas and Massachusetts) while four other states have pending bills in the state legislature (IL, NY, OH, and PA).
174 Books Citing ProCon.org – We’ve added 16 new books to the list of works citing ProCon.org research, including books about the Middle East, bioethics, criminal law, and even the death of Bruce Lee.
105 Peer-Reviewed Studies on Marijuana – One new study (#79) found that women who used marijuana regularly up
to the point of conception have a “significant and strong” risk of
spontaneous preterm birth. Another new study (#78) found that marijuana
may help to improve cognitive functioning in people with bipolar
10 US Surgeon Generals and Their Views on Medical Marijuana, 1961-Present – In response to our question “Should marijuana be a medical option?” two former Surgeons General are Pro, two are Con, two have not clearly pro or con statements, and four have no position that we could find.
Books Citing ProCon.org – See how more than 150 authors
including Glenn Beck, Mark Bittman, Newt Gingrich, Stefan Halper,
Dick Morris, Condoleezza Rice, Michael Schmoker, Tavis Smiley, and
Joseph Stiglitz have cited ProCon.org research in their books.
Books, Articles, and Studies about Using Controversial Issues to Stimulate Critical Thinking – Read over 40 studies which show that teaching controversial issues can improve critical thinking skills and increase student motivation, achievement, creativity, self-esteem, and appreciation of cultural diversity.
LA City Council Bans Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Unanimous Vote – 762 registered medical marijuana shops in Los Angeles (plus as many as 200 unregistered ones) will be given notice to shut down immediately after the City Council voted 14-0 in favor of the ban.
Top 17 Hospitals’ Positions on Medical Marijuana – Our chart shows the top 17 US hospitals according to US News and World Report along with their responses to our question “Should marijuana be a
medical option?” Read statements from such hospitals as Johns Hopkins,
the Mayo Clinic, and the Cleveland Clinic.
82 Books Citing ProCon.org – See how 82 authors including Glenn Beck, Newt Gingrich, Dick Morris, Michael J. Schmoker, and Tavis Smiley have cited ProCon.org research in their books.
Connecticut Becomes 17th State to Legalize Medical Marijuana – On June 1, 2012, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed HB 5389
into law, making his state the 17th to legalize marijuana for medical
use. See the approved conditions, possession limits, and other details
of the new law on our state laws page. Seven other states currently have
pending legislation to legalize medical marijuana.
– NEW ProCon.org Website! – Is golf a sport? – Our 43rd website explores the pros and cons in the debate over whether golf is a sport. Proponents argue that golf meets the definition of “sport” found in the dictionary, requires physical exertion and coordination, and is recognized as a sport by sporting goods companies, athletic associations, fans, and the media. Opponents argue that golf better meets the definition of “game” than “sport,” does not require rigorous physical activity, and can be played professionally by people who are overweight, injured, or non-athletic.
16 Legal Medical Marijuana States and DC – On Apr. 11, 2012, Arizona released its revised rules for regulating medical marijuana and announced that it will be accepting dispensary applications. The Apr. 2012 Delaware Register of Regulations included proposed regulations for the Delaware medical marijuana program. See these and other laws, fees, and possession limits in the 16 states and District of Columbia that have legalized medical marijuana.
12 States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana – Legislation that would legalize medical marijuana is being considered in 12 states (AL, CT, ID, IL, KS, MD, MA, MO, NH, NY, OH, PA), while similar bills have failed in seven states so far in 2012 (IN, IA, KS, MS, OK, WV, WI).
– ProCon.org has been used by teachers, librarians, and administrators in 2,522 schools in all 50 states and 45 countries. Thank you to the educators in those 508 elementary and middle schools, 1,295 high schools, and 719 colleges and universities who benefit from our free educational resources.
Teachers and librarians, if you have not already
done so, please take our 2-minute
survey and let us know how YOU use ProCon.org. With roughly 100,000
schools in the United States, we need all your help to promote critical
thinking in today’s youth.
– 18 States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana – Bills
that would legalize medical marijuana are being considered in 18 states
(AL, CT, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MD, MA, MS, MO, NH, NY, OH, OK, PA, WV,
and WI). Read the summaries, history, status, and proposed legislation
for each state. Medical marijuana is currently legal in 16 states and
NEW: 17 States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana – Bills that would legalize medical marijuana are being considered in 17 states. Ten bills carried over from 2011 in states that have two-year legislative sessions. One state, Delaware, passed medical marijuana in 2011. Medical marijuana is currently legal in 16 states and Washington, DC.
NEW: Ranking 20 Drugs and Alcohol by Overall Harm – Marijuana ranked #8 out of 20 drugs in overall harm according to a study in The Lancet, a British peer-reviewed medical journal. Alcohol ranked #1 in overall harm and harm to others. Crack cocaine had the highest score for harm to users. See our new graphs showing detailed harm rankings for alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, and more.
– NEW: Medical Marijuana Historical Timeline – Our timeline traces medical marijuana from its earliest reference in 2900 BC as a popular Chinese medicine to 2011 where it remains legal in 16 states (and DC) and illegal under federal law. Read all 150+ major events in the history of medical marijuana from 90+ sources.
– UPDATED: 100 Peer-Reviewed Studies on Marijuana – What does the scientific literature say about the medical benefits or dangers of marijuana? Our chart of 100 studies on medical marijuana shows results from 22 double-blind human peer-reviewed studies, 74 human peer-reviewed studies (not double-blind), and four peer-reviewed animal studies.
– NEW ProCon.org Website! – Should churches (defined as churches, temples, mosques, synagogues, etc.) remain tax-exempt? – US churches have been exempt from paying income and property taxes since the country’s founding. Debate continues over whether or not these tax benefits should be retained, especially during our tough economic times. Proponents argue that a tax exemption keeps the government out of church finances, and that churches deserve a tax break because they provide crucial social services. Opponents argue that giving churches special tax exemptions violates the separation of church and state, and that the government cannot afford what amounts to a subsidy worth billions of dollars every year. Our 44th website explores the pros and cons in the debate over church tax exemptions.
NEW: Should cannabidiol (CBD) be a medical option? – Cannabidiol (CBD) is the main non-psychoactive chemical component of marijuana. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was awarded a patent for CBD on Oct. 7, 2003. However, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies CBD as a Schedule I drug, meaning it is considered to have “no accepted medical use,” “a high potential for abuse,” and “a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.” Given the large volume of studies on CBD, the HHS patent of this Schedule I drug, and the growing attention CBD receives, we have compiled the best pro and con arguments from major players in the CBD debate to help our readers better understand this controversy.
NEW ProCon.org Website! – Which candidate should be US president in 2012? – ProCon.org has researched the US presidential candidates and their views on 25 issues ranging from abortion to global warming to medical marijuana to waterboarding. Our 43rd website also features resources on US presidential election history, debate transcripts, a step-by-step guide on how to become president, and more. We will add at least 50 more issues and several new resources over the coming months to help you decide who should be the next president of the United States.
UPDATED: Does the regular smoking of marijuana cause lung cancer or in any way permanently injure the lungs? – Read pro and con arguments from the American College of Physicians (pro), Harvard and Oxford PhDs (con), the British Lung Foundation (pro), NORML (con), and several others.
UPDATED: Six States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana – Bills in six states died in committee when legislative sessions adjourned, leaving pending legislation in IL, MA, NH, NY, OH, and PA.
– On June 21, 2011 the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) denied an Oct. 9, 2002 request to reclassify marijuana out of the most restrictive Schedule I category where heroin, LSD, and peyote are also classified, ruling that marijuana “has a high potential for abuse” and “has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”
– On July 6, 2011, ProCon.org was highlighted in the Congressional Record when Congressman Rob Andrews (D-NJ) honored ProCon.org by reading a glowing statement about the organization on the floor of the US House of Representatives. His statement said in part: “It is my distinct pleasure to honor the staff of ProCon.org and wish them continued successes in their service to the American public. Their unbiased and truthful presentation makes a tremendous contribution to the political system.”
– NEW ProCon.org Website! – Is the use of standardized tests improving education in America? – Standardized tests have been a part of American education since the mid-1800s. Their use skyrocketed after 2002’s No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) mandated annual testing in all 50 states. Proponents say standardized tests are a fair and objective measure of student achievement, and that they ensure teachers and schools are accountable. Opponents say the tests are neither fair nor objective, and that their use narrows the curriculum and promotes “teaching to the test.” ProCon.org’s 42nd website explores the pros and cons in the debate over standardized tests.
– Medical Marijuana Infographic – See our visual representation of 10 little known facts in the medical marijuana debate as compiled from our “Did You Know?” page. Check it out and share it with your friends!
– Delaware Becomes the 16th State to Legalize Medical Marijuana – Governor Jack Markell signed SB 17 earlier today allowing adults in
– NEW ProCon.org Website! – Should people become vegetarian? – In 2010, people in the
US ate an average of 57.5 pounds of beef, 46.5 pounds of pork, and 82 pounds of chicken. Vegetarians, about 3.2% of the
US population, do not eat meat (including poultry and seafood). Many proponents of vegetarianism say that the meatless diet is healthier and better for the environment, and that killing animals for food is wrong. Many opponents of vegetarianism say that eating meat is natural, healthful, humane, and that people have done it for millions of years. ProCon.org’s 41st website explores the pros and cons in the debate over vegetarianism.
– UPDATED: 12 States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana – Florida is considering a bill that would put medical marijuana on the ballot in 2012, and Connecticut introduced a sixth medical marijuana bill into the current legislative sessions. Follow the progress of medical marijuana legislation in 12 states.
– Help ProCon.org Win $5,000: Write a short review of ProCon.org by Feb. 28 for a contest at GreatNonprofits.org. The most-reviewed nonprofit wins, so please take a few minutes and help us compete for the prize!
– NEW: Six States with Pending Legislation to Legalize Medical Marijuana – State legislators in CT, DE, ID, IL, MS, and OK have submitted bills in 2011 to legalize medical marijuana in their respective states.
– UPDATED: 15 Legal Medical Marijuana States and DC – Read about the latest developments in the medical marijuana programs of DC and
NEW ProCon.org Website! – Should teachers get tenure? – Teacher tenure is the increasingly controversial form of job protection that public school teachers in all states receive after 1-7 years on the job. Proponents of tenure argue that it protects teachers from being fired for personal or political reasons, and prevents the firing of experienced teachers to hire less expensive new teachers. Opponents argue that this job protection makes the removal of poorly performing teachers so difficult and costly that most schools end up retaining their bad teachers, and that tenure is no longer needed given current laws against job discrimination.
ProCon.org’s 40th website explores the pros and cons of whether or not teachers should get tenure.
– ProCon.org has been used by 1,500 schools in 32 countries and all 50 US states. 278 elementary and middle schools, 710 high schools, and 512 colleges and universities use the free nonpartisan research we provide to stimulate critical thinking. The newest international school using ProCon.org is in Malaysia.
– ProCon.org is happy to announce that our Managing Editor, Kamy Akhavan, is now the new President of our organization. Kamy, who has been with ProCon.org since Dec. 7, 2004, will also continue his duties as Managing Editor. Visit Kamy’s profile to read more about his qualifications.
– Help ProCon.org Select Its Next Topic – Take our survey to tell us which controversial topics you want to see ProCon.org cover in 2011. Select your favorite issues from a list of 25 topics ranging from animal research and astrology to whistleblowers and zoos.
– Arizona Becomes 15th State to Legalize Medical Marijuana – Proposition 203, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, has passed by a margin of 4,341 votes out of 1,678,351 votes cast. All of the early and provisional ballots have been counted. The state has until Nov. 29, 2010 to certify the results.
– Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative Defeated in South Dakota – On Nov. 2, 2010, Measure 13 in
– ProCon.org received 1,054,740 website sessions in Oct. 2010 – the highest number of sessions we have ever received in a month.
– ProCon.org in the News – ProCon.org has received over 100 media references so far in 2010 compared to 76 for all of 2009. References to ProCon.org in 2010 have come from mainstream media sources including the Washington Post, CNN, Huffington Post, CNBC, AOL News, and Discovery News, as well as several radio interviews on NPR and Fox News affiliates.
NEW ProCon.org Website! – Was Bill Clinton a good president? – Bill Clinton served as the 42nd President of the United States from Jan. 20, 1993 to Jan. 19, 2001. His supporters contend that under his presidency the US enjoyed the lowest unemployment in recent history, low crime rates, and a budget surplus. His detractors blame his policies for the financial crisis that began in 2007 and point to his scandals and impeachment by Congress. ProCon.org’s 39th website explores the pros and cons of whether or not Bill Clinton was a good president.
NEW ProCon.org Website! – Was Ronald Reagan a good president? – Reagan served as the 40th President of the United States from Jan. 20, 1981 to Jan. 19, 1989. His supporters point to his accomplishments, including stimulating US economic growth, strengthening national defense, revitalizing the Republican Party, and ending the global Cold War. His detractors contend that Reagan’s poor policies, such as bloating national defense, drastically cutting social services, and making arms-for-hostages deals, led the country into record deficits and global embarrassment. ProCon.org’s 38th website explores the pros and cons of whether or not Ronald Reagan was a good president.
NEW ProCon.org Website! – Is it appropriate to build a Muslim community center (aka the “Ground Zero Mosque”) near the World Trade Center site? – The debate over the ”Ground Zero Mosque” has grown from a local discussion to an issue of international prominence. Proponents argue that the 16-story Muslim community center will be an asset to the neighborhood and local economy, and its construction demonstrates America’s religious tolerance. Opponents argue that the ”Ground Zero Mosque” is an insensitive and disrespectful political ploy by radical Islamists that will inflict emotional distress on families who suffered casualties on Sep. 11, 2001. ProCon.org’s 37th website explores the pros and cons of the ”Ground Zero Mosque” debate.
How to Cite ProCon.org in Bibliographies and Endnotes – You can now click the “Cite” button on the upper-right corner of any ProCon.org page to see that page’s citation style according to the Modern Language Association Style Manual (MLA), the Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago), the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), and Kate Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (Turabian) – four of the most popular bibliographic protocols.
NEW ProCon.org Website! – Should gay marriage be legal? – Gay marriage is allowed in ten countries, five US states, and the District of Columbia. 30 states have constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. Proponents argue that same-sex couples should have access to the same marriage benefits enjoyed by heterosexual couples. Opponents argue that altering the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman will further weaken a threatened institution. ProCon.org’s 36th website explores the pros and cons of legalizing gay marriage.
– NEW ProCon.org Website! – Are the March 2010 federal health care reform laws good for
America? – The March 2010 health care reforms were hailed by proponents as “landmark legislation” that will provide affordable health care to millions of currently uninsured Americans. Opponents railed against the bill warning that it was a “government takeover” of medicine that would lower the quality of care and drive up the federal deficit. Our 35th and newest website, provides pros and cons on 34 commonly asked questions regarding the March 2010 health care reform laws using statements from over 150 experts including President Barack Obama (pro), former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (con), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (pro), House Majority Leader John Boehner (con), AARP (pro), US Chamber of Commerce (con), New York Times (pro), Wall Street Journal (con), and dozens more.
– ProCon.org has now been used by 1,322 schools in 31 countries and all 50 US states. 249 elementary and middle schools, 615 high schools, and 458 colleges and universities use the free nonpartisan research we provide to stimulate critical thinking.
– UPDATED: 14 Legal Medical Marijuana States and DC – Medical marijuana is now legal in the
– New: US Department of Veterans Affairs Relaxes Rules for Legal Medical Marijuana Users – Veterans who participate in legal state medical marijuana programs will no longer be disqualified from “substance abuse programs, pain control programs, or other clinical programs” by the Veterans Health Administration.
UPDATED: Did You Know? – The US Department of Justice advised federal prosecutors in an Oct. 19, 2009 memo not to target medical marijuana patients whose actions are in compliance with the law in states that have legalized medical marijuana. The first cannabis-based prescription medicine, Sativex, was launched in the United Kingdom on June 21, 2010. The states with the three highest possession limits among the 14 states with legal medical marijuana are Oregon (24 plants), California (18 plants), and New Mexico (16 plants). Read these and other little known facts in the medical marijuana debate on our updated resource page.
– UPDATED: Eight States and DC with Pending Legislation or Ballot Measures to Legalize Medical Marijuana: AZ, IL, MA, NC, NY, OH, PA, and SD still have pending legislation or ballot measures to legalize medical marijuana in 2010. Bills considering the legalization of medical marijuana in AL, DE, IA, KS, MD, MO, MS, TN, WI, and VA for 2010 have all died.
NEW ProCon.org Website! – Is human activity a substantial cause of global climate change? – Over the 20th century the earth warmed 1-1.4°F and climate changes including more intense heat waves, stronger hurricanes, loss of sea ice, glacier retreat, and more droughts have occurred. As of Apr. 2010, levels of the greenhouse gas CO2 were 389 parts per million – allegedly higher than at any time in the last 650,000 years.
Some people argue that rising levels of human-produced greenhouse gases are warming the planet and causing the climate to change. Others argue that reported greenhouse gas increases are too small to change the climate, and that 20th century warming has been the result of natural processes such as fluctuations in the sun’s heat and ocean currents. ProCon.org’s newest and 34th website explores the pros and cons in this debate.
ProCon.org has now been used by 1,267 schools in 31 countries and all 50 US states. 239 elementary and middle schools, 589 high schools, and 439 colleges and universities use the free nonpartisan research we provide to stimulate critical thinking. The newest international schools using ProCon.org are in Kazakhstan and Kenya.
ProCon.org has now been used by 1,205 schools in 29 countries and all 50 US states. We are thrilled to have 225 elementary and middle schools, 548 high schools, and 432 colleges and universities using the free nonpartisan research we provide to stimulate critical thinking. The newest international schools using ProCon.org are in Serbia, United Arab Emirates, and South Africa.
UPDATED: Quotes about Critical Thinking – Read 25 selected quotes about critical thinking from Confucius, Plato, Socrates, Ben Franklin, Albert Einstein, John Maynard Keynes, Mohandas Gandhi, and others.
NEW ProCon.org Website! – Should abortion be legal? – Since the Jan. 22, 1973 US Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade through 2005, more than 45 million legal abortions have been performed in the United States. One out of five pregnancies end in abortion, and 40% of all women have an abortion by the age of 45. “Pro-life” proponents generally believe abortion is immoral because personhood begins at conception, and therefore abortion kills innocent human beings. “Pro-choice” advocates contend that a woman’s right to control her pregnancy outweighs any right claimed for an embryo or fetus. ProCon.org’s newest website explores the pros and cons in this debate.
– ProCon.org in the News – ProCon.org surpassed 200 mentions in the press for the first time in our history. We have been referenced in the media 35 times already in 2010, including articles by CNBC, the Guardian, and AOL News.
NEW: Is the D.A.R.E. program good for America’s kids (K-12)? – Read the top pro, con, and not clearly pro or con arguments from D.A.R.E., President Obama, the Office of the Surgeon General, the Government Accountability Office, as well as policemen, economists, schools, and others.
– ProCon.org Surpasses One Million Monthly Sessions – In March 2010, ProCon.org received 1,026,399 website sessions – the first time we have received over a million sessions in a month. The new record marked a 90% increase in traffic over Mar. 2009 and an 88% increase for the first three months of 2010 over the first three months of 2009. We are thrilled that so many teachers, students and others are finding our free and unbiased content so useful. Thank you to all our readers, supporters, and donors for helping us to attain this milestone in our effort to promote critical thinking for a better tomorrow.
– NEW ProCon.org Website! – Should adults have the right to carry a concealed handgun? – 48 states allow for the concealed carry of handguns. Proponents argue that carrying concealed handguns deters crime and is a right granted by the Second Amendment. Opponents counter that concealed guns lead to more crime and increase the chances of arguments becoming lethal. Read the press release (21 KB) .
– NEW: ProCon.org a hit at the 2010 San Diego Science Festival. 500-600 people participated in our interactive booth, including students, teachers, scientists, parents, and others. Check out some of our photos from the event to see how much critical thinking took place in our booth.
– ProCon.org has now been used by 1,077 schools in 26 countries and all 50 US states. We are thrilled to have 189 elementary and middle schools, 480 high schools, and 408 colleges and universities using the free nonpartisan research we provide to stimulate critical thinking.
NEW ProCon.org Website! – Is the D.A.R.E. program good for America’s kids (K-12)? – Supporters of D.A.R.E. argue that the program annually helps over 35 million kids in all 50 states and 43 countries to resist drug abuse. Critics counter that decades of research shows D.A.R.E. is ineffective, marketing not science-based, and can actually increase drug use by students.
– ProCon.org has now been used by 1,009 schools in 26 countries and all 50 US states. We are thrilled to have 176 elementary and middle schools, 435 high schools, and 398 colleges and universities using the free nonpartisan research we provide to stimulate critical thinking. The newest international school using ProCon.org is in
– UPDATED: 12 States with Pending Legislation or Ballot Measures to Legalize Medical Marijuana: Read details about the latest action on legislation to legalize medical marijuana in 12
NEW ProCon.org Website! – Should any vaccines be required for children? – All 50 states require vaccinations for children entering public schools although 48 states allow exemptions for religious reasons and 20 for philosophical reasons. While proponents argue that vaccines save lives, prevent epidemics, and reduce harm from illness, opponents counter that vaccinations should not be required because they may do more harm (cause illness, reduce immunity, etc.) than good. ProCon.org’s newest website explores the pros and cons of the debate surrounding vaccination.
New Jersey Becomes the 14th State to Legalize Medical Marijuana: A bill legalizing medical marijuana in
ProCon.org has now been used by 932 schools in 25 countries and all 50 US states. We are thrilled to have 161 elementary and middle schools, 390 high schools, and 381 colleges and universities using the free nonpartisan research we provide to stimulate critical thinking. The newest international schools using ProCon.org are in Russia, Spain, and Thailand.
– New Jersey Assembly and Senate Vote for Legal Medical Marijuana: A bill legalizing medical marijuana in
– UPDATED: 13 Legal Medical Marijuana States: Our chart of laws, fees, and possession limits now includes details about whether each state accepts other states’ registry ID cards, whether registration is mandatory or voluntary, and what information is provided by each state on sources for obtaining medical marijuana.
NEW ProCon.org Website! – Is obesity a disease? – An estimated 72 million people in the US as of 2006 (34.3% of the adult population) are obese and 10% of all US medical spending ($147 billion) in 2008 was attributed to obesity-related health conditions. The FDA, IRS, and the World Health Organization have stated obesity is a disease while other government and medical entities, such as the House of Representatives, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the American College of Physicians, have not. ProCon.org’s newest website explores the pros and cons in this debate.
ProCon.org has now been used by 802 schools in 22 countries and all 50 US states. The newest international schools using ProCon.org are in Austria, Israel, Netherlands, Philippines, and Singapore. We are thrilled to have 136 elementary and middle schools, 313 high schools, and 353 colleges and universities using the free nonpartisan research we provide to stimulate critical thinking.
NEW ProCon.org Website! – Do violent video games contribute to youth violence? – Critics argue that violent video games are to blame for school shootings, increases in bullying, and violence towards women and that research supports these assertions. Defenders of violent video games counter that the research is deeply flawed, that violent video games provide a safe outlet for aggressive feelings, and that video game content is protected free speech. ProCon.org’s newest website explores the pros and cons of this debate.
NEW ProCon.org Website! – Should Social Security be privatized? – Social Security, the largest government program in the world and the biggest expenditure ($612 billion) in the US federal budget, is projected to become unsustainable by 2037. ProCon.org’s newest website explores the pros and cons of whether Social Security should be privatized to give people control of their own retirement funds and help ensure that their safety net remains intact.
– The American Medical Association changed its official medical marijuana policy and now “urges that marijuana’s status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance be reviewed.” Its prior policy stated that “marijuana be retained in Schedule I.”
UPDATED: How 728 Schools Are Using ProCon.org – ProCon.org is now used by schools in all 50 US states (North Dakota just added) and 17 countries (Sweden and Macedonia just added). 119 elementary and middle schools, 282 high schools, and 327 colleges and universities use the free nonpartisan research we provide to stimulate critical thinking.
– UPDATED: On Nov. 3, 2009, 59% of voters in Maine approved a medical marijuana ballot measure that requires the state to establish a registry identification program, allows nonprofit dispensaries to operate, and increases the number of approved conditions for legal medical marijuana use.
– NEW: ProCon.org Volunteers & Interns – See the latest volunteer research opportunities at ProCon.org along with profiles of our talented and hard working senior interns, interns, and volunteers.
– UPDATED: “Should marijuana be rescheduled?” Read our five-page pro and con document about whether marijuana should be reclassified to Schedule II or III or lower, instead of its current classification in Schedule I with drugs like LSD and heroin.
– UPDATED: Physicians’ Views on Medical Marijuana – See 90 physicians’ views on whether or not marijuana should be a medical option. Our updated research shows that 54.4% of physicians cited on medicalmarijuana.procon.org are Pro medical marijuana, including Dr. John A. Benson, Jr., one of the authors of the 1999 Institute of Medicine report “Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base.”
NEW: Survey for High School Students Only – If you’re in high school, please take our 10 question survey about ProCon.org, critical thinking, and you.
– NEW: US Department of Justice advises federal prosecutors not to target individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses in the 13 states where medical marijuana is legal. See the full memo, the pro and con opinions on the new policy, and related links.
UPDATED: Benefits of Teaching Controversial Issues – Five highlighted facts about the benefits of critical thinking and 28 articles, studies, and books about teaching controversial issues in the classroom.
UPDATED: Lesson Planning with ProCon.org – 11 lesson plan ideas for using ProCon.org in the classroom to engage critical thinking while meeting 15 national teaching standards.
– NEW: US Government Seeks Proposals to Grow Marijuana – The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is looking for someone to grow up to 6.5 acres of marijuana for federal research and to supply the four patients in the federal
– NEW ProCon.org Website! – Are cell phones safe? – Cell phones use a form of radiation called radio frequency (RF) to send their signal. This RF radiation is regulated by the FCC, and has been deemed safe by a number of government and private scientific studies. However, some studies have found that the radiation from cell phones may increase the chance of developing cancer and other health problems. ProCon.org’s newest website explores the pros and cons of whether or not cell phones are safe to use.
NEW ProCon.org Website! – Should all Americans have the right (be entitled) to health care? – With millions uninsured, the US is one of the few – if not the only – developed nations that does not guarantee health care for its citizens. Many Americans believe that health care for all would be too expensive and unearned. ProCon.org’s newest website explores the pros and cons of whether there should be the right to health care in the US.
– UPDATED: 100+ Physicians’ Views on Medical Marijuana – See which doctors are Pro, Con, or Not Clearly Pro or Con to medical marijuana. Read their biographies and position statements.
– UPDATED: How Schools Are Using ProCon.org – See how teachers and librarians from 588 schools in 48 states and 14 countries use ProCon.org in their classrooms and school libraries.
ProCon.org added six more media references to its In the News page including a mention of our Prescription Drug Ads website in Business Week.
ProCon.org Five Year Anniversary – ProCon.org celebrated its 5-year anniversary on July 14, 2009 with a party for supporters and friends from 4-7 pm in our Santa Monica office. We also held five anniversary contests and awarded winners over $500 in cash and prizes. See photos and video from the party, find out who won the contests, and read highlights and reflections from our first five years.
– UPDATED: 13 Legal Medical Marijuana States – Read about the approved conditions, official state programs, possession limits (ranging from 1 oz in AK, MT and NV to 24 oz in OR and WA) and how the laws were approved (four by legislation and nine by voter initiatives)
Winners of the ProCon.org 5-Year Anniversary contests announced! Each winner receives $100 and our gratitude. See who won the ProCon.org Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, and Scavenger Hunts contests. Thank you to all who participated.
NEW PROCON.ORG WEBSITE! – Should the drinking age be lowered from 21 to a younger age? – Our new micro site presents an overview, pro and con arguments, little-known “Did You Know” facts, videos, graphics, and a comprehensive list of sources on the issue of lowering the drinking age.
– NEW: Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske said that “Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit” in
California State Schools Chief Jack O’Connell Praises ProCon.org – The California State Superintendent of Public Instruction wrote that ProCon.org is a “…great resource that breaks down hot button issues with quality, sourced info… The best part about procon.org is the entire web site is free to use. No ads, no registration necessary. If you’re in ed, check it out.” Visit ProCon.org for Teachers for details.
ProCon.org Celebrates Its Five Year Anniversary – July 2009 marks our fifth anniversary and we’re celebrating with five contests where you can win up to $500. Visit our anniversary page to read contest details, a statement from our Chairman, top five highlights, select readers’ comments, and more.
UPDATED: How Schools Are Using ProCon.org – See how teachers and librarians from 516 schools in 48 states and 14 countries use ProCon.org in their classrooms and school libraries.
– UPDATED: In the News – See the most recent media refrences to ProCon.org in the Telegraph, WRPI, the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, and more.
– NEW PROCON.ORG WEBSITE! – Should prescription drugs be advertised directly to consumers? – This website is our first ever site meaning it took us less than 35 hours to build. The site contains a “did you know?” section, an overview of the issue, pro and con arguments, an image and video gallery, a reader survey, and a listing of all our sources.
UPDATED: Peer-Reviewed Studies on Marijuana – Read summaries of 65 medical studies involving cannabis and cannabis extracts from 1990 – 2009.
UPDATED: Books and Articles about Using Controversial Issues to Stimulate Critical Thinking: Take a look at our list of 16 publications, including 15 full text articles, on this important educational topic.
– The Minnesota House (70 to 64) and Senate (38 to 28) pass legislation legalizing medical marijuana, but Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoes the bill. Read more in our updated page 12 States with Pending Legislation or Ballot Measures to Legalize Medical Marijuana.
Our Volunteer Program – created on Feb. 9, 2009 – has been a great success. We thank all the volunteers who have helped us so far, and we encourage others to consider becoming a ProCon.org volunteer or intern.
UPDATED: In the News – 113 mainstream media--the most recent including Washington Post, Guardian, and CBS News--have referenced ProCon.org’s websites.
NEW: Survey for Teachers and Librarians – Please take our 2-minute survey so we can learn how to make our sites more useful to educators.
– NEW DESIGN – Whether you are visiting for the first time or coming back for the 100th time, we’d love to know: What do you think of our new website design?
UPDATED: In the News – We added 10 more media references and surpassed 100 mentions in the press for the first time in our history. 103 mainstream media outlets have now referenced ProCon.org.
UPDATED: How Schools Are Using ProCon.org – See how 66 elementary and middle schools, 133 high schools, and 176 colleges and universities in 45 states and eight countries use ProCon.org content in their educational materials.
– NEW PROCON.ORG WEBSITE! – Can alternative energy effectively replace fossil fuels? – Our 17th issue website has over 200 pro and con responses from more than 175 experts on energy topics such as oil, solar, wind, nuclear, ethanol, biofuels, hydrogen vs. electricity, subsidies, and more.
– Articles about Using Controversial Issues to Stimulate Critical Thinking – Attention educators. We have compiled over a dozen published articles on why and how to develop critical thinking skills by teaching controversial topics in the classroom.
– UPDATED: In the News – Our list of media references has grown to 93. See the latest additions from Popular Science magazine, Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN), two radio stations, and more.
– UPDATED: Peer-Reviewed
Studies on Marijuana – New study explores the association
between marijuana use and testicular cancer
– UPDATED: How Schools Are Using ProCon.org – See how 352 schools in 45 states and eight countries use ProCon.org content in their educational materials.
ProCon.org was honored to receive the 2008 “Best Non-Profit to Work For” award in a national competition. ProCon.org was one of five winners in its class of “non-profits with an operating budget of under $2.5 million.” There were 15 winners total. There are roughly 1,000,000 nonprofit organizations in the United States.
NEW TOPIC SURVEY – Select the topic you would most like ProCon.org to cover next.
– UPDATED: See
How Schools Are Using ProCon.org: 50 elementary and middle
schools, 100 high schools, and 116 colleges and universities (that we know of)
have used ProCon.org in their teaching materials.
NEW PROCON.ORG WEBSITE! – Should performance enhancing drugs (such as steroids) be accepted in sports? Read over 250 pro and con responses from more than 200 experts on nearly 30 subjects related to drugs in sports at our 17th website, sports.procon.org.
Big Three auto makers compared to Toyota and Honda by ProCon.org – We explore the question “Should the Big Three auto makers be bailed out by the US government?” in our first ever “mini” site. See the 144-point comparison chart and read statements from Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Paul Krugman, and many others.
NEW: ProCon.org for Teachers – Lesson plan ideas, natl. teaching standards, articles about teaching controversial issues, teachers’ comments, and students’ comments.
– UPDATED: State Medical Marijuana Laws –
– ProCon.org was referenced in the media six times last week. See our In the News page for the Swedish, Russian, and four US publications that mentioned ProCon.org.
– UPDATED: State
Medical Marijuana Laws – Washington clarified its definition of
“60-day supply” to allow 24 ounces of marijuana and 15 marijuana plants
– UPDATED: In the Classroom – 256 schools in 42 states and five countries reference ProCon.org in their K-12 and university level lesson plans and resource lists.
ProCon.org received four more media references in the last three days. See our coverage at Slate, National Catholic Reporter, and others in our growing In the News page.
– UPDATED: Learn about the presidential candidates‘ views
on medical marijuana
ProCon.org User Survey passes 1,000 responses. See the survey results so far.
– ProCon.org received two more media mentions last week. Visit our In the News page to see our latest media references.
– NEW: ProCon.org received four more media references in the last 30 days.
– NEW WEBSITE: Death Penalty ProCon.org – “Should the death penalty be abolished?” Read pros, cons, stats, news, bios, and more great information related to this perennially controversial topic. Explore our 15th issue website at ProCon.org and let us know what you think.
– We are proud to announce the new ProCon.org sites that became available Monday June 30, 2008. See over 10 new features in a new design and layout that took over 25 people nearly 2 years and 9,000 hours to complete. If you like what you see, please tell your friends.
– NEW WEBSITE: Insider Trading ProCon.org – Should “insider trading” by Congress continue to be legal? Read pros, cons, and general reference information in the debate over whether Congressional representatives should be allowed to trade stocks based on material nonpublic information that they acquire during their normal Congressional duties.
– ProCon.org Referenced in the Los Angeles Times and the Social Studies Professional – The number of media references to ProCon.org increased to 50 this week with favorable coverage by two respected publications.
– NEW: Physicians’ Views– List of physicians cited who are Pro, Con, or Neutral to medical marijuana.
– UPDATED: Should the government stop raids against medical marijuana patients? Read responses from the 2008 presidential candidates.
– UPDATED: Should marijuana be a medical option? Read responses from the 2008 presidential candidates.
– NEW: Subscribe to our free RSS feed and automatically receive the latest news and notices from our 13 ProCon.org websites. To subscribe, click on the RSS button in the top right of the homepage and follow the instructions provided on the screen. It takes a few seconds, and you can unsubscribe whenever you want.
– UPDATED: State Medical Marijuana Laws – See a summary of state medical marijuana laws, programs, fees, and possession
– NEW: 2008 Presidential Candidates on whether the federal government should stop raids against medical marijuana patients.
– UPDATED: Pharmaceutical Drugs Based on Cannabis – Details on drugs that either contain or have similar chemicals as those found in the marijuana (cannabis) plant
– UPDATED: Can marijuana help AIDS / HIV patients?
– NEW WEBSITE: 2008 Election ProCon.org – Read pro and con statements from the 2008 presidential candidates on several issues including abortion, education, environment, gun control, Iran, Iraq, religion, social security, and many more. Decide for yourself which candidate would make the best US President.
– NEW WEBSITE: Immigration ProCon.org – What are the solutions to illegal immigration? ProCon.org explores the debate over illegal immigration with 50 questions, 200+ sources, and over 350 pro, con, and general reference responses.
– Teen Marijuana Use and State Medical Marijuana Laws – Graphs and tables comparing trends in teen marijuana use (1999-2005) in states with legal medical marijuana to states without it.
– NEW WEBSITE: Milk ProCon.org – Is drinking milk healthy for humans? We investigate health claims about milk using over 100 experts. The results of our research show conflicting data on milk’s effect on cancer, heart disease, weight loss, diabetes, children’s development, and other health issues. Visit our newest website and tell us what you think.
– Medical Marijuana ProCon.org was referenced four times by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), a division of the Library of Congress, in its July 27, 2007 meta-report by Mark Eddy titled CRS Report for Congress: “Medical Marijuana: Review and Analysis of Federal and State Policies” (PDF 344KB)
– Should marijuana be rescheduled? (PDF 42KB) – Read our four-page document on the pros and cons of whether marijuana belongs in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.
– 2007 Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment Fails – The U.S. House of Representatives voted 262-165 against an amendment that would prohibit the Justice Department from spending any money to prosecute people who use or distribute marijuana for medical purposes in states that have approved its use.
– 2008 Presidential Election Poll – Visit our parent website ProCon.org and vote on the issues you want us to ask the U.S. Presidential candidates. Poll will close on July 15th.
– Rhode Island’s medical marijuana law become permanent – Governor’s veto overridden by the state legislature.
– Rhode Island’s governor vetoes medical marijuana law, setting up a possible repeat of 2005, when the governor’s veto was overridden by the state legislature.
– Our 1-Minute Overview explains why we selected medical marijuana as a topic, and it shows the basic pros and cons in about a minute.
– New ProCon.org website:
- ProCon.org launched its 10th website today, Prostitution ProCon.org, which explores the core question “Should prostitution be legal?” The site features over 200 expert sources from Presidential hopefuls Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton to Ann Landers, Heidi Fleiss, Susan B. Anthony, and the ACLU.
– Our newest question looks at What is known about marijuana’s potential utility in treating Tourette’s syndrome?
– Dying patients have no right to use medical marijuana, rules the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Read the details and the ruling in Angel Raich’s case.
– A new lawsuit declares the government lies about medical marijuana, and requests a permanent injunction halting the government from stating that “marijuana has no currently accepted medical use.”
– Smoked marijuana helps ease HIV neuropathic pain, according to a double-blind peer-reviewed study published today in the journal Neurology.
– The U.S. government’s current marijuana supply is “inadequate” for research, according to a DEA Administrative Law Judge’s ruling yesterday.
– Our Pharmaceutical Drugs Based on Cannabis resource page has been updated to include the newest drugs and indications and the most recent approval status.
– Our comprehensive search engine (top right on the homepage) allows visitors to quickly find a word or phrase on the Under God ProCon.org website. The search function at www.procon.org allows visitors to simultaneously search all ProCon.org websites.
– Euthanasia ProCon.org, our newest website, was launched today. It features nearly 600 pro, con, and general reference arguments in 80 questions. Visit the site today and decide for yourself: “Should euthanasia be legal?”
– Our newest question explores “Can the ‘high’ associated with marijuana provide a benefit to health?“
– Our first new question of the year explores “What is -- and what causes -- the marijuana ‘high’?“
– Our new question examines “What is THC (Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol)?“
– Our updated list of Source Biographies has 538 entries for the individuals and organizations quoted, referenced, or relevant to Medical Marijuana ProCon.org.
– Our new Issue examines the Chemical Composition of Marijuana. We break the Issue into two Sub-Issues: Marijuana and Its Byproducts Defined and Biological Effects of Marijuana Consumption. New questions tailored to these Sub-Issues include:
– 24 more medical marijuana studies have been added to our chart on peer-reviewed research.
– Our new review of landmark medical marijuana court cases offers case summaries, original court documents, and amicus briefs of some of the major cases to have come out of the medical marijuana debate.
– A final verdict has been reached in a medical marijuana lawsuit involving three California counties battling the State of California.
– The Top 10 Pros and Cons have been updated. Read the main arguments in the medical marijuana debate in about five minutes.
– A tentative ruling by San Diego Superior Court says California’s medical marijuana laws are not preempted by federal laws.
– Read our updated question Should marijuana be reclassified as a drug generally available by prescription (Schedule II or III)?
– Read our updated question What are cannabis clinics (clubs)?
– “Why do cannabis clubs (aka buyers’ clubs or pot clubs) exist?” – Read responses from advocates and government at the state, federal, and international levels.
– Our new question examines “Is marijuana an effective treatment for the symptoms of hepatitis C?“
– The core question to this website, Medical Marijuana ProCon.org, was changed to remove the word “now.” Read more about why the change occurred.
– See our updated question “Can marijuana help treat Alzheimer’s Disease?“
– Using the Freedom of Information Act, ProCon.org has obtained from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the total deaths reported where marijuana, cannabis, or cannabinoids were a suspect contributor. From 1997 to 2005, of 279 deaths, marijuana was never considered the primary contributor to the death.
– Our new question examines “What are some of the legal consequences that medical marijuana patients could face?“
– A new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reviews “The Association Between Marijuana Smoking and Lung Cancer.”
– Our newest question examines the pros and cons of Is marijuana an effective treatment for migraines?
– The U.S. House of Representatives voted to allow federal prosecution of medical marijuana users in states with laws that permit it.
– At its 217th General Assembly, the Presbyterian Church (USA) approved a resolution endorsing the medical use of marijuana.
– Our newest question examines the pros and cons of “Is medical marijuana an effective treatment for depression, bipolar disorders, anxiety, and similar mood disorders?”
– In the largest study of its kind, UCLA’s Dr. Donald Tashkin
has concluded that smoking marijuana, even regularly and
heavily, does not lead to lung cancer.
– Our new question “Is marijuana an effective
treatment for the symptoms of arthritis?” examines the
pros and cons of using marijuana to treat this painful
– The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a press statement declaring that smoked
marijuana is not medicine. Read the FDA’s press statement,
reactions to it, and related information.
– In a lawsuit challenging California’s medical marijuana law, the state has requested that the suit be dismissed “because there is no actual dispute here.”.
– San Diego County filed a lawsuit against California to void the state’s medical marijuana laws.
Our newest chart “Pharmaceutical Drugs Based on
Cannabis” details over 10 drugs which contain chemicals
found in the marijuana (cannabis) plant.
Medical marijuana becomes legal in Rhode
Island by a legislative override of the Governor’s veto.
– Our newest addition examines “Does medical marijuana use significantly impair driving ability even when not under the immediate effects of the drug?”
The amount of marijuana a patient may grow
or possess will change in Oregon when Senate Bill 1085, takes
effect on Jan. 1, 2006.
– Read our new pro-con question: Can marijuana help people with Crohn’s disease or other gastrointestinal disorders?
– “Deaths from Marijuana v. 17 FDA-Approved
Drugs” -- see our exclusive charts using data we obtained
from the Food and Drug Admnistration (FDA) through the U.S.
Freedom of Information Act. The drug death chart includes
Marinol, Vioxx, Viagra, Ritalin, and several others.
– Read our new pro-con question: Can marijuana help people
with asthma or other breathing disorders?
– See our new section devoted to the pros and cons of whether
medical marijuana affects human
reproduction. Topics covered include male and female
fertility, fetal development, SIDS, and breastfeeding.
– A new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation
indicates that rats injected with high potency cannabinoids
grow new brain cells and have significantly reduced anxiety
– A new poll reveals that 75.7% of Wisconsin residents believe
that patients with serious illnesses should be allowed to use
medical marijuana. [View results of 80 similar state/national polls and votes
on medical marijuana.]
– Teen marijuana use is significantly lower in those states that have approved the medical use of marijuana, according to a new report commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).
– We’ve updated our list of sources and now have 429 available for reference
– California resumes its medical marijuana ID program after a legal review by the state Attorney General.
– California suspended its medical marijuana ID program pending a legal review of the effects of the recent Supreme Court ruling.
– A showdown is developing over Rhode Island’s medical marijuana law.
The state legislature passed it. The governor vetoed it. The
legislature is attempting to override the veto.
– Health Canada has given conditional approval to Sativex, the
first cannabis-derived prescription pain killer.
-The U.S. House of Representatives voted 264-161 against a medical marijuana
amendment that would have prevented the federal government
from arresting patients or caregivers in states that have
approved medical marijuana.
– A June 2005 national poll shows that 68% of Americans say the federal
government should not prosecute medical marijuana
– What are some of the reactions to the Raich Supreme Court case? See
responses and projected impacts from prominent sources, such
as Angel Raich, the ACLU, the DEA, several news organizations,
Montel Williams, and more.
– The U.S. Supreme Court rules 6-3 against medical marijuana
proponents. Read about this case.
– We added a chart on peer-reviewed studies of cannabis from
medical journals. The studies include double-blind, human, and
– A new study reports that cannabis users may risk a loss of
bone mass (osteoporosis). Click here to read.
– The Canadian government has approved the use of the
marijuana-derived drug Sativex for treatment of muscle spasms
and pain associated with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Click here to read.
– We added a chart that examines some of the ways medical
marijuana patients may be tested for drug use, as well as the
length of time marijuana can be detected in the body after
use. Click here to view the
-The Did You Know? section is our latest
experiment and features little known facts from the medical
marijuana debate. Check it out and let us know what you
– A long-term stability study of government marijuana
cigarettes, conducted for NIDA, shows that, if frozen,
cannabis potency “remained relatively constant with no
significant decomposition” for at least five years. Read about the study or read the report to the
government in PDF format.
The U.S. government reports that the “admission rate for those
who seek treatment for marijuana use nearly tripled between
1992 and 2002.” See a recap of this information, along with
our study which demonstrates how the the government report may
be misleading. Click here to read.
– Election violation complaints were filed against the U.S.
Government in three states in relation to their campaigns
against medical marijuana initiatives. Click here to read.
– We added the new question. “What have medical marijuana
proponents done recently to obtain federal authorization for
medical marijuana?” For more, click here.
– We posted information we received from the National
Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which indicates that marijuana
seized in the U.S. from 1999 to 2003 has tested positive for
Paraquat. For more, click here.
– We posted the results of a poll on medical marijuana
conducted on behalf of the AARP (American Association of
Retired Persons). For more, click here.
– We posted the official transcripts of the Raich v. Ashcroft oral arguments on
medical marijuana before the U.S. Supreme Court. To read these
transcripts, (in pdf format), click here.
– A request by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst to
grow marijuana for medical research, was rejected by the U.S.
DEA. To read about this, click here.
– A cannabis spray, Sativex, intended for Multiple Sclerosis
(MS) patients, has been rejected by U.K. regulators. To read
about this, click here.
– H.R. 5429, “The Safe and Effective Drug Act,” which will
require the U.S. government to review the effectiveness of
smoked marijuana, was introduced in the U.S. House of
Representatives by Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN). To read about this
and the text of the bill, click here. To read Rep. Souder’s
press release about the bill, click here.
– The U.S. Supreme Court today heard oral arguments in the
medical marijuana case known as Ashcroft v. Raich. A decision is
expected by July, 2005. To read about this, click here.
– The Washington DC Court of Appeals denied petitions to force
the U.S. government to expedite requests for medical marijuana
research. To read about this, click here.
– The “Truth in Trials Act,” (S. 2989) was introduced to the
U.S. Senate on November 17, 2004 by Senator Richard J. Durbin
(D-IL), along with two co-sponsors, Sen. James M. Jeffords
(I-VT) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). To read about this, click here.
– The state of Montana approved the medical use of marijuana
by a popular vote of 62% to 38%. To read about this, click here.
– MAPS and MPP filed an Amicus Curiai brief in the Ashcroft v. Raich medical marijuana
case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. To read about the
brief, click here.
– Oral arguments in the closely watched Raich v. Ashcroft medical marijuana
case has been scheduled before the U.S. Supreme Court for
November 29, 2004. To read about this case, click here.
– We added a “Summary of Active State Medical Marijuana
Programs.” To read this, click here.
The Israeli Medical Corps will soon begin testing cannabis
(marijuana) for combat stress relief for Israeli soldiers
recently returned from the Palestinian territories. Click here to read about
A formal petition to reschedule marijuana into a
classification that would permit physician prescriptions was
officially forwarded to the Dept. of Health and Human Services
by the U.S. DEA. To read about this, click here.
Detroit voters approved a symbolic medical marijuana
initiative. Click here to read about
– A new article, to be published in the 9/04 issue of the
journal Neuropharmacology, suggests
that in laboratory animals and in vivo, cannabinoids kill
brain cancer cells selectively and can protect non-transformed
brain cells from death.” Click here to read about
– Two lawsuits were filed against government agencies,
accusing them of “obstructing medical marijuana research.” Click here to read about
– The Marijuana Policy Project has just released its July 2004
edition of “State-By-State Medical Marijuana Laws.” Click here to read it in
– The U.S. Government, saying marijuana may be a “greater
threat” than cocaine and heroin, wants “to crack down” on
marijuana producers. Click here to read about
– Three states may have medical marijuana initiatives on the
ballot this November. Click here to read about
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 268-148 to permit
prosecutions of medical marijuana patients to continue in
those states that have approved medical marijuana regulations.
Click here to read about
– The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will take the
medical marijuana case known as Raich v. Ashcroft. Click here to read about
– We added the new question; “What are some of the pro/con
arguments made before U.S. courts about medical marijuana’s
legal status?” click here to
– We posted the statement on medical marijuana adopted by the
full California Medical Board, which describes medical
marijuana as “an emerging treatment modality,” and lays out
physician guidelines for recommending medical marijuana. Click here to
– A U.S. District Judge ordered the federal government to keep
away from a California medical marijuana group. Click here to
– The U.S. Department of Justice filed an appeal of the Raich v. Ashcroft case to the U.S.
Supreme Court. Click here to read about
We added a chart we compiled comparing the risks and benefits
of THC treatment between marijuana and Marinol. Click here to
– Canada plans to make govt-certified marijuana available in
local pharmacies. Click here to read about
– The 9th Cirucit Court of Appeals denied the U.S.
Government’s request for an “en banc” review (11-judge panel)
of the Raich v. Ashcroft decision, which ruled on 12/16/03
that medical marijuana users (in the seven states in the 9th
circuit jurisdiction that have legalized medical marijuana)
cannot be prosecuted by the federal government so long as they
grow their own or obtain pot from other growers without
charge. Click here to read about
– We posted the U.S. Government’s request for an “en banc”
review (11-judge panel) of the Raich v. Ashcroft decision by a
3-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled
on 12/16/03 that medical marijuana users (in the seven states
in the 9th circuit jurisdiction that have legalized medical
marijuana) cannot be prosecuted by the federal government so
long as they grow their own or obtain pot from other growers
without charge. Click here to read about
– We updated and expanded our Pro/con Summary of Medical
Marijuana. Click here to read
– In what the BBC called a “landmark case,” a U.K. medical
marijuana provider was found not guilty by a jury after using
a “necessity” defense for supplying marijuana to sick people.
To read about this, click here.
– Two medical marijuana patients were seized by federal agents
in a California state courtroom after the local prosecutor
“lured” the couple’s defense counsel into the judge’s chambers
to dismiss the state charges filed against them. The
government has accused them of conspiracy to manufacture more
than 1,000 plants. To read about this and other federal
actions, click here.
– The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision,
ruled that people who use marijuana for medical purposes
cannot be prosecuted by the federal government so long as they
grow their own or obtain it from other growers without charge.
To read more, click here. To see the
full ruling in pdf format, click here.
– We added statements on medical marijuana by or about current
and former 2004 U.S. Presidential candidates. Click here to
– We added a resolution by the Union for Reformed Judaism,
which represents approximately 1.5 million people, in support
of medical marijuana. To see their resolution and supporting
material, Click here.
– We added results from a confidential poll we conducted on
the views on medical marijuana as held by the Deans of all 126
medical schools accredited by the Assoc. of American Medical
Colleges (AAMC). Click here to read about
– Citing a “lesser harm doctrine,” a federal judge granted
Probation to three men who ran a West Hollywood, CA medical
marijuana center. Click here to read about
– We added information from a scientific study that found that cannabis inhibited cancerous tumor growth in laboratory animals. Click here to read about this and other similar studies.
– We changed our core question, deleting the word “smoked.” Click here to read about this change.
– The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear an appeal of Conant v. Walters, the legal case
which issued a permanent injunction protecting doctors from
federal actions for recommending or talking to their patients
about medical marijuana. Click here to read about
it. To read the Permanent
Injunction, in pdf format, click here
– Outgoing California Governor Grey Davis signs the medical
marijuana task force bill (SB 420) into law, which creates a
voluntary identification program. Click here to read about
it. To read the full bill in pdf format, click here
– The Ontario [Canada] Court of Appeals issues a ruling that
effects all marijuana users -- medical and non-medical. click here to read about
All five major California gubernatorial candidates
participating in a televised debate indicate their support for
medical marijuana. click here to read about
Pharmacies in the Netherlands became legally obliged to stock
and dispense medical cannabis. To read about this, click here.
– Canada distributes government-grown marijuana. click here to read about
– We posted information from a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine which concluded that there is “no major short-term harmful effects, and possibly some beneficial effects” from using marijuana medically in HIV-infected patients taking protease inhibitors. To view the study’s abstract (in pdf format), click here.
– we posted a report by the Health Committee of New Zealand’s
Parliament relating to marijuana’s use and legal status. To
read about the report, click here. To read the
full report in pdf format, click here .
– we posted comments about medical marijuana by Karen Tandy,
who was confirmed on 7/31/03 to head the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA). To view her statements, click here.
the Canadian government announced their plan to have doctors
distribute marijuana to medical patients. To view their press
notice and related information, click here.
– We posted information on a new study by California NORML and MAPS which they claim “confirms that vaporizers can drastically reduce harmful respiratory toxins in inhaled cannabis.” To view their press release, click here.
The Solicitor General of the U.S. filed papers in the U.S.
Supreme Court requesting that the Court overturn the 9th
Circuit’s unanimous decision in Conant v. Walters, which
supports a doctor’s right to openly recommend or approve
marijuana as treatment for their patients. To view legal
documents and briefs leading up to and including the 9th
Circuit decision, click here. To view the
U.S. Supreme Court’s case file on this matter, click here.
– we posted all site sources, broken down by Individuals and Organizations.
– Ed Rosenthal, who had faced up to 40 years in prison for purportedly growing marijuana for medical patients, was sentenced to 1-day in jail, 3-years of court supervision, and fined $1,000. To read the judge’s Sentencing Memorandum (in pdf format), click here.
– we posted Maryland’s Compassionate Use Act, which on 5/22/03
became the 9th U.S. state to have reduced penalties and/or
legalized marijuana for medical use. To view the bill and
related information, click here.
– we posted the joint press release announcing a Cannabis
Marketing Agreement between GW Pharmaceuticals and Bayer,
which will market a cannabis-based medicinal exof the
debilitating symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and severe
neuropathic pain.” To view the press release, click here.
– we added HR1717, the new “Truth In Trials Act,” designed “to
amend the Controlled Substances Act to provide an affirmative
defense for the medical use of marijuana in accordance with
the laws of the various States, and for other purposes.” To
read the bill’s full text, click here.
– we added a list of all issues, sub-issues and questionsintended for this site. Note: although the questions are listed, we have not yet completed the transference of all questions from our “older” site located at www.MarijuanaInfo.org.
the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) formally
accepted a new petition to reschedule cannabis, which was
filed on 10/11/02 by the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis.
To read the DEA’s acceptance letter in pdf format, click here. To read the full petition to
reschedule cannabis in pdf format, click here.
– we posted an article detailing the 3/18/03 change in Dutch
law which authorizes pharmacies to fill marijuana
“prescriptions.” Click here to read the article from the New Zealand Herald.
– we added in pdf format a federal court ruling (in San Francisco) that refused to grant a preliminary injunction blocking the U.S. government from prosecuting medical marijuana users in California. The judge stated, “As there is no distinction between manufacturing and distribution, for which there is no medical necessity defense, it follows that there is no medical necessity defense for other prohibitions in the CSA [Controlled Substances Act], such as possession of marijuana.” The plaintiffs indicated they will appeal. To read in pdf format, click here.
– we added proposed Senate Bill S. 226, which among other things would make it a crime to knowingly rent or lease premises, for any reason, to medical marijuana individuals or groups. Click here to read the Bill.
– we added the Petition To Reschedule Cannabis (Marijuana), which was filed October 9, 2002 with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration by the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis.
– we added our review and findings to the reporting by the states of treatment admissions for marijuana abuse. To read, click here.
– we posted the Canadian court ruling of Hitzig v. Canada which declared Canada’s Medical Marijuana Access Regulations unconstitutional. An appeal was filed on 2/10/03, and will be heard [date still unscheduled] in the Ontario Court of Appeal. To read in pdf format, click here.
– we added a report by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) entitled “Marijuana Abuse.” click here to read in pdf format.
– we added a report by the U.S. General Accounting Office
(GAO) entitled “Marijuana: Early
Experiences with Four States’ Laws That Allow Use for Medical
Purposes.” To read in pdf format, click here.
– we began posting full documents of court decisions and
briefs pertaining to medical marijuana. Click here to view.
Medical Marijuana ProCon.org began a poll of all U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and Gubernatorial candidates in the up-coming 11/5/02 election on the question “Should smoked marijuana be a medical option now?” (Click here to view the Poll results and comments by the candidates.)
– our chart details the history of the American Medical
Association (AMA) and Marijuana. (Click here to view the
– our chart details California Guidelines for Legal Possession
of Medical Marijuana. ( Click here to view the
– we added a chart detailing certain State Guidelines for Legal Possession of Medical Marijuana. (Click here to view the chart.)
– our chart details Federal U.S. Government actions against
medical marijuana individuals/organizations since 1996. (Click here to view the
– our chart details over 74 votes/polls in the U.S. on the
issue of the medical use of marijuana. (Click here to view the
– began the first California medical marijuana case to be
tried after the 7/18/02 California Supreme Court decision in
People v. Mower, which basically upheld Proposition 215, the
1996 medical marijuana initiative. (Click here to read more.)
– the California Supreme Court announced their unanimous
decision in People v. Mower, which basically upheld
Proposition 215, the 1996 medical marijuana initiative. (Click here to view the full decision.)
We added the History of Medical Marijuana, divided into three columns; Pro, Neutral and Con. (Click here to read this history.)