Congressional Briefing - January 21, 2015

Marijuana plant

Photo by Ondrej Hajek/Fotolia


Wednesday, January 21, 2015


11:00 a.m. –12:00 p.m.


The Gold Room
2168 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.


About the Program

Marijuana legalization is a controversial and complex issue that is now the subject of serious debate. Since 2012, four states have passed ballot initiatives to remove prohibition and legalize a for-profit commercial marijuana industry. Voters in Washington D.C. recently took the more limited step of legalizing home production and personal possession. In 2016, voters in California and some other states are expected to vote on liberalizing marijuana laws.

RAND researchers Beau Kilmer, Jonathan Caulkins, and Rosalie Liccardo Pacula presented an overview of the RAND report, Considering Marijuana Legalization: Insights for Vermont and Other Jurisdictions. The authors discussed:

  • What is happening with marijuana policy in the U.S. and abroad;
  • The various options available to jurisdictions considering alternatives to marijuana prohibition (e.g., while the for-profit commercial model receives most of the attention in the United States, it is not the only approach and it may not be the best);
  • How much money Vermont could earn from legalizing marijuana and what it could mean for the Northeast;
  • How the federal-state conflict over marijuana can affect policy choices.

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