Jan 21, 2015
In this January 2015 Congressional Briefing, RAND researchers Beau Kilmer and Jonathan Caulkins present an overview of their new report, Considering Marijuana Legalization: Insights for Vermont and Other Jurisdictions.
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 20 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.
Marijuana legalization is a controversial and multifaceted issue. This report provides a foundation for thinking about the consequences of different marijuana policy options while being explicit about the uncertainties involved.
This paper does not address the question of whether cannabis should be legal; it instead focuses on the design considerations confronting jurisdictions that are pondering a change in cannabis policy.
This study seeks to clarify the characteristics of state medical marijuana laws (MMLs) in place since 1990 that are most relevant to consumers/patients and categorizes those aspects most likely to affect the prevalence of use, and consequently the intensity of public health and welfare effects.
Our goal is not to address whether marijuana legalization is a good or bad idea but, rather, to help policymakers understand the decisions they face and some lessons learned from research on public health approaches to regulating alcohol and tobacco over the past century.
Much remains unanswered about the potential effects of marijuana liberalization policies because the most relevant questions have yet to be fully considered and addressed.
This study provides a multinational overview of cannabis production regimes, with a special focus on identifying and describing official statements and/or legal decisions made about production regimes for non-medical and non-scientific purposes.
How legalizing marijuana would affect consumption and tax revenues will depend on many design choices including tax level, incentives for a continued black market, whether advertising is restricted, and how the regulatory system is designed and adjusted.
Discusses whether legalizing marijuana in California would reduce the revenues of Mexican drug trafficking organizations and related violence.
Testimony presented before the California State Assembly Public Safety Committee and California State Senate Public Safety Committee on September 21, 2010.
Legalizing marijuana in California would lead to a substantial decline in price, but there is much uncertainty about legalization's effect on public budgets and consumption; even minor changes in assumptions lead to major differences in outcomes.
Testimony presented before the California State Assembly Public Safety Committee on October 28, 2009.
Attention has been given to the debate regarding allowances for medical marijuana use since the 1996 California and Arizona ballot initiatives.
The Dutch depenalization and subsequent de facto legalization of cannabis since 1976 is used here to highlight the strengths and limitations of reasoning by analogy as a guide for projecting the effects of relaxing drug prohibitions.
Using data from 2000 to 2010, RAND researchers estimated the number of users, expenditures, and consumption for four illicit drugs: cocaine (including crack), heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine (meth).
Recent debates regarding liberalization of marijuana policies often rest on assumptions regarding the extent to which such policy changes would lead to a change in marijuana consumption and by whom.
This report estimates the total weight of marijuana consumed in Washington state in 2013 -- the last year before legalized commercial sale of marijuana -- in order to provide decisionmakers with baseline information about the size of the state's market.
This Article seeks to broaden the revenue discussion about marijuana legalization with respect to policy goals, types of taxes, and components of revenue.
This report demonstrates how cannabis prices increase across the supply chain in the EU as distributors take additional mark ups to compensate themselves not only for shipping costs but also for the risks they assume.
This report generates estimates of retail cannabis expenditure in the EU using new data about cannabis consumption and expenditures from a web survey conducted in seven Member States.
The authors review two general approaches to drug market estimation--supply-side and demand-side--before turning to a more specific analysis of studies that measure the size of the U.S. marijuana market.
Lowering the legal risks for marijuana users increases the demand for the drug, and consequently, increases prices and profits for drug dealers.
The report generates country-level consumption and retail expenditure estimates for cannabis, heroin, cocaine, and amphetamine-type substances.
There are 400 million retail marijuana purchases in the U.S. each year and the average purchase size is small, about six or seven joints.
For the past 25 years, marijuana has been the most commonly used illicit drug among adolescents.
This chapter assesses these previous efforts and describes a bottom-up approach to estimate the criminal justice costs of prohibiting marijuana in California.
The chemical compounds found in marijuana deserve more attention as efforts to regulate marijuana for medical and recreational use go forward.
A recent study of arrest data show that African Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession offences than Whites.
Examines the characteristics of California and Arizona offenders who ultimately ended up in prison on low-level drug charges.
This paper examines a broad set of cannabis use patterns and multiple dimensions of antisocial behaviors and test the empirical importance of two prominent criminological theories -- general strain and social bond -- in explaining associations between cannabis use and antisocial behavior.
The shift from punitive prohibition to legalizing marijuana at the state (or federal) level may produce a net social benefit.
Trajectories of drug use are usually studied empirically by following over time persons sampled from either the general population (most often youth and young adults) or from heavy or problematic users (e.g., arrestees or those in treatment).
This study used latent growth mixture modeling to identify discrete developmental patterns of marijuana use from early adolescence (age 13) to young adulthood (age 23) among a sample of 5,833 individuals.
The common-factor model has implications for evaluating marijuana control policies that differ significantly from those supported by the gateway model.
We examined changes in perceived norms of alcohol, marijuana, and cigarettes over a two-year period among a large and diverse sample of 6th and 7th grade youth.
This study examines whether structural features of friendships moderate friends' influence on adolescent marijuana use over time.
The current study reports findings from a pilot evaluation of a voluntary alcohol and marijuana intervention for young teens.
School-based drug prevention programs can prevent occasional and more serious drug use, help low- to high-risk adolescents, and be effective in diverse school environments.
This fact sheet reports lowered use of marijuana among ninth graders exposed to anti-drug messages from the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign along with Project ALERT Plus, a drug prevention curriculum for middle school students.