Marijuana Liberalization Policies

Why We Can't Learn Much from Policy Still in Motion

Published in: Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, v. 33, no. 1, Winter 2014, p. 212-221

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2014

by Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Eric Sevigny

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Much remains unanswered about the potential effects of marijuana liberalization policies because the most relevant questions have yet to be fully considered and addressed. Existing policy experiments have not been used to answer the most important questions, namely are public health harms from marijuana use a function of the person consuming it (age, polysubstance user, or other identifying factor)? Amount consumed? Activities engaged in while under the influence? Method of consumption? Potency? Or duration of use? How responsive is problematic use to changes in price? To answer these questions definitively, researchers need a bit more time and a lot better data.

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