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.
RAND's Elizabeth D'Amico discusses her research on how medical marijuana advertising influences adolescents' use of—and positive attitudes toward—the drug. Los Angeles County used her findings to limit the placement of marijuana billboards and signage outside dispensaries.
Exposure to marijuana advertising may play a significant role in shaping teen attitudes about the drug, and contribute to increased marijuana use and related negative consequences throughout adolescence. Restrictions on marijuana advertising similar to those on alcohol and tobacco would likely help limit its exposure to teens.
Young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 have been shown to be the most prevalent and problematic users of marijuana. There are proven strategies that people can use to help protect themselves from experiencing harmful effects.
How will legalization of recreational marijuana affect alcohol consumption? Will drinking go down because people substitute cannabis for alcohol? Or will drinking go up because cannabis and alcohol complement each other? These questions have important implications.
U.S. schools and community organizations face a difficult battle to keep kids safe and drug-free. They need tools to help them choose programs that will work best for youth. The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices is such a tool, but its future is uncertain.
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?
Evidence doesn't support using electronic cigarettes to quit smoking. In fact, doing so could even lead to reduced chances of quitting. Evidence does show that other options work, such as nicotine replacement patches or gum combined with counseling strategies.
Californians have a lot to consider when it comes to decriminalizing possession. But now is the time for a rigorous discussion about removing criminal penalties for drug possession, rather than rushing to judgment in the heat of a future election season.
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 Netherlands should proceed cautiously in implementing any marijuana regulations, taking into account the models devised elsewhere and remembering that once enacted the rules will be difficult to change.