Useful Facts & Links

Visit the Rhode Island Department of Health website for more information and forms needed for the state’s Medical Marijuana Program.

For basic to detailed information and studies on marijuana, hemp, medical use, and more, please see NORML National’s Fact sheets.

Updated Data & Studies

Now that 10 states have legalized and are now regulating the adult-use of marijuana, there’s a significant amount of data to support our arguments to end marijuana prohibition. Study after study by respected organizations and publications such as The Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, and the National Academies of Sciences provide us with a data driven argument in support of legalization. Read more:


When looking at crime, The Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization found that adult-use marijuana laws are not associated with an uptick of overall criminal activity. The Police Quarterly recently reported that the legalization of marijuana is freeing up law enforcement man hours to focus on violent crimes, property crimes, burglaries and motor vehicle thefts. Read more:

Allegations that the regulation of marijuana use and retail sales is responsible for an uptick in violent criminal activity, are not supported by the available evidence. In fact, studies typically show just the opposite to be true. The News Tribune recently reported, “Since voters approved Initiative 502, FBI crime statistics show lower rates of violent crime in Washington than before legalization.”


Based off of several studies, we now know that marijuana legalization has not resulted in an increased rate of use among teenagers. According to the Centers for Disease Control, marijuana use among Colorado teens dropped from 21.2% in 2015 to 19.6% in 2017. Not only is there a noticeable drop since the implementation of a tax and regulate program, Colorado’s below the national average which is 19.8%. Read more:

We’re seeing similar data in California. Since voters approved Prop 64 Marijuana use by adolescents has continued to decline in California, according to statewide data provided by the California Healthy Kids Survey, a biennial survey funded by the Departments of Health and Education. Read more:

Self-reported marijuana use by adolescents has failed to increase in recent years despite the majority of states legalizing it for either medical or adult use, according to data compiled by the University of Michigan. Read more: There’s also a recent study by The Journal of Adolescent Health that revealed that the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries within close proximity of schools does not increase teen use. Read more:


It’s also important to note the workplace impairment piece. The National Academies of Sciences found that cannabis use is not positively associated with elevated rates of workplace accidents or injury and the Journal of Addictive Disease agrees. Read more: Additionally investigators with Montana State University, Colorado State University, and American University in Washington, DC found that legalizing medical marijuana is associated with year-over-year declines in fatal workplace accidents. Read more:

Most recently, Denver-based Employers Council found that testing positive for marijuana won’t get you fired at more than half of Colorado companies. Read more:


The relationship between cannabis and opioid use is among of the best-documented aspects of marijuana policy. We’re seeing a reduction of opioid prescriptions ( and a decline in opioid-related deaths in states like Colorado where both medical and adult-use marijuana are available. The American Journal of Public Health has provided data to support this claim. Read more:

Furthermore, a team of researchers from Canada and the United States reported that nearly 70 percent of participants said they substituted marijuana for prescription drugs like opioids. 45 percent acknowledged substituting cannabis for alcohol and 31 percent said they used marijuana in place of tobacco. Read more:

Know Your Rights

Freedom Card

The NORML Foundation Freedom Card

Keep this card with you in case of involvement with law enforcement personnel.

  • Download the PDF document. You can also print 4 cards on one page. (Requires Adobe Reader).
  • Print page one
  • Re-insert the paper to print on the back and print page two
  • Trim and fold between the opposing text
  • Card stock suggested

Instructions to make your own card:

Text of the card
The U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from interfering with your right to remain silent, to consult with an attorney, and to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement. However, it is up to you to assert these rights. This NORML Foundation Freedom Card will help you do so effectively.

If you are confronted by a police officer, remain calm. Be courteous and provide your identification. Politely refuse to answer any further questions. Ask to talk to an attorney. Do not consent to any search of your person, your property, your residence or your vehicle. Tell the officer you would like to give him or her this card, which is a statement of the constitutional rights you wish to invoke. Do not reach for this card until you have obtained the officer’s permission to do so.

If the officer fails to honor your rights, remain calm and polite, ask for the officer’s identifying information and ask him or her to note your objection in the report. Do not attempt to physically resist an unlawful arrest, search or seizure. If necessary, you may point out the violations to a judge at a later time.

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