As the next round of states debate marijuana legalization, they would do well to contemplate allowing state governments to control the wholesale prices and linking the price of cannabis to its potency.
The EU Drugs Strategy takes a balanced approach to reduce drug demand, supply, and harm. All EU member states have a national drugs strategy, and most are aligned with the EU's. Having a coordinated voice on drug policy is valuable but is the strategy working?
Data lags and the elimination of the ADAM program complicate estimates of U.S. cocaine consumption. New users who haven't yet developed cocaine dependence are also a factor. It may be prudent to start planning for an increase in heavy use even before all of the evidence is in.
The new administration has at least six options for addressing marijuana. These are not mutually exclusive, and each comes with tradeoffs. All six are compatible with a federal approach that encourages discussions about prohibition and its alternatives.
There are many ways to legalize marijuana supply besides the for-profit approach. But to learn what effects various models have, the federal government will have to make it easier for states to implement some middle-ground options.
Setting the cannabis tax should not be considered a one-time event. Smart jurisdictions will revise their decisions over time to incorporate new data about taxes, testing, and the cannabis plant itself — without being influenced by those seeking to maximize profits.
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.