Beau Kilmer

Beau Kilmer

Codirector, RAND Drug Policy Research Center; Senior Policy Researcher; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School

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Beau Kilmer (he/him) is codirector of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center, a senior policy researcher at RAND, and a professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

His research lies at the intersection of public health and public safety, with special emphasis on substance use, illegal markets, crime control, and public policy. Some of his current projects include assessing the consequences of cannabis legalization (with a special focus on social equity); measuring the effect of 24/7 Sobriety programs on impaired driving, domestic violence, and mortality; analyzing changes in illegal fentanyl markets; and considering the implications of legalizing psychedelics.

Kilmer's publications have appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Science. His commentaries have been published by CNNLos Angeles TimesNew York TimesSan Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, among others. Two editions of his coauthored book on cannabis legalization were published by Oxford University Press; his coauthored book on the future of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids was published by RAND.

Kilmer is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on Public Health Consequences of Changes in the Cannabis Policy Landscape. In 2023, he was elected as vice president of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy. He received his Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University, M.P.P. from UC-Berkeley, and B.A. in international relations from Michigan State University.


Ph.D. in public policy, Harvard University; M.P.P. in public policy, University of California, Berkeley; B.A. in international relations, Michigan State University

Selected Work

  • Beau Kilmer, Bryce Pardo, "Clarifying “Safer Supply” to Enrich Policy Discussions," Addiction, 2023
  • Jonathan Caulkins, Beau Kilmer, Peter Reuter, "Modeling Cartel Size to Inform Violence Reduction in Mexico," Science, 2023
  • Nancy Nicosia, Beau Kilmer, Greg Midgette, Marika Suttorp Booth, "Association of an Alcohol Abstinence Program With Mortality in Individuals Arrested for Driving While Alcohol Impaired," JAMA Psychiatry, 2023
  • Beau Kilmer, Greg Midgette, "Criminal Deterrence: Insights from an Individual-level Analysis of 24/7 Sobriety," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 2020
  • Beau Kilmer, "Recreational Cannabis--Minimizing the Health Risks from Legalization," The New England Journal of Medicine, 376, 2017
  • Jonathan P. Caulkins, Beau Kilmer, Mark A.R. Kleiman, Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know (2nd Edition), Oxford University Press, 2016
  • Beau Kilmer, Nancy Nicosia, Paul Heaton, Greg Midgette, "Efficacy of Frequent Monitoring with Swift, Certain, and Modest Sanctions for Violations: Insights from South Dakota's 24/7 Sobriety Project," American Journal of Public Health, 103, 2013
  • Mark Kleiman, Beau Kilmer, "The Dynamics of Deterrence," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106, 2009

Authored by Beau Kilmer

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