Drug Policy Research Center Hot Topic: Marijuana Legalization

The RAND Drug Policy Research Center is a non-partisan research center dedicated to providing objective analysis and research to decisionmakers. We do not have an official policy position on marijuana reform and more generally RAND does not advocate for or against legislation at any level of government.

But for more than 25 years, RAND researchers have published articles and studies that will be useful for those making decisions about marijuana policy. Here we summarize some of these studies and provide links to the publications (some journal articles may require subscription). This is not an exhaustive list of RAND's marijuana-related publications and we encourage readers to visit http://dprc.rand.org for more information.

Featured Research

Commentary

  • Researcher Q&A: Beau Kilmer on the State of Marijuana Legalization

    May 26, 2016

    Beau Kilmer, co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center and a co-author of the nonpartisan primer Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know addresses developments in marijuana policy and why reasonable people can disagree about legalization.

  • What Are the Public Health Consequences of Legalizing Marijuana?

    May 16, 2016

    Legalizing and allowing profit-maximizing firms to produce, sell, and advertise recreational marijuana would likely increase marijuana consumption. But how would this increased consumption influence the use of other substances?

  • Making Prevention a Priority

    Mar 7, 2016

    A bill legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes in Vermont has a strong possibility of passing. Lawmakers and communities should focus on putting in place drug prevention programs aimed at young people, considering that their marijuana use is higher in Vermont than the national average.

  • The 10 Ps of Marijuana Legalization

    Jun 22, 2015

    Marijuana policy is a growing topic of discussion, and laws are starting to change. Ten choices confronting jurisdictions considering legalization cover many of the critical decisions that will determine whether removing prohibition is a good idea.

Books

  • Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know

    May 2, 2016

    A crisp, clear, and comprehensive non-partisan primer, this book covers the risks and benefits of use, current trends, and marijuana laws around the world. The authors discuss the costs and benefits of legalization as well as possible policy options.

  • Cannabis Use and Dependence: Public Health and Public Policy

    Jan 1, 2003

    Exploring the relationship between health policy, public health and the law regarding the controversial use of cannabis, this study assesses the impact of illegality in drug use and compares it with the policies of the U.S., Europe and Australia as well as other developed societies. Written by two leading drug advisors, the analysis contributes to an important field of research.

  • Drug War Heresies: Learning From Other Vices, Times, & Places

    Aug 21, 2001

    This book provides the first multidisciplinary and nonpartisan analysis of how the United States should decide on the legal status of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. It draws on data about the experiences of Western European nations with less punitive drug policies as well as new analyses of America's experience with legal cocaine and heroin a century ago.

Policy and Law

Markets and Prices

Criminal Justice

Outcomes

Prevention and Interventions